Something that has been running around in my head for the past week or so is how proud I am of Birmingham’s singing community.
I went to watch my daughter sing with Ex Cathedra’s Junior Academy at Town Hall last week. I sing with Ex Cathedra – I know how good they are. But a rare chance to sit in the audience reminded me how amazing it is to hear them sing. This concert in particular knocked me sideways as the repertoire was so special. It was a concert dedicated to the music of Alec Roth. I love singing his music – but I love listening to it more. He’s written a number of pieces for Ex Cathedra and it’s so great to sing the work of a living composer and for it to be interesting and exciting to perform and yet so immediate and enthralling to enjoy in the audience.
There’s been a glowing review or two – here – is one from the Birmingham Post and I will add to this by saying it’s probably the best choral gig I’ve seen in years. And I’ve seen some pretty amazing choir gigs in recent times!
In 2012 Birmingham Opera Company are going to premiere their new Opera by Jonathan Dove who is another British composer I am very excited about. If you couple that with how spine tingling and challenging BOC events always are – I can’t wait to see it and I’m feeling that Birmingham is a brilliant place to be right now for new (and excellent) choral music…
Also – what makes this stuff so special for me personally is that Ex Cathedra’s education work is internationally renowned for bringing the joy of singing to thousands of children (which is how my daughter got to sing in an Alec Roth world premiere) and Birmingham Opera Company put community performers at the heart of every production.
…in fact I’m in the mood to commission something again… watch this space!