Singers mark 30 years with day of music

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Banchory Singers are hosting a free ‘Come and Sing’ day at the town’s East Church as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations.

‘King Arthur,’ the work to be undertaken, is a semi opera, originally partly sung and partly spoken. The group will perform the sung only version.

The music was written by Henry Purcell and the libretto by John Dryden. It was first performed in London in mid 1691.

As with all good King Arthur stories, there will be plenty of the supernatural, magic and Merlin. The plot is based on the battles between King Arthur’s Britons and the Saxons. Arthur’s fiancée, the blind Cornish Princess Emmeline, has been abducted by his arch enemy, the Saxon King Oswald of Kent and the tale centres on Arthur’s endeavours to recover her.

‘King Arthur’ has been said to contain some of Purcell’s most lyrical music, using adventurous harmonies for the day and French-inspired dance rhythms. Of note are the ‘Frost Scene’ in act three which has always attracted critical praise, also Venus’ act five ‘Fairest Isle’ which inspired Charles Wesley’s hymn ‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’, to the same tune.

Banchory Singers extend a warm welcome to all to go and enjoy singing this exciting work. The ability to read music will be beneficial but not essential.

Everyone will be given a free copy of the musical score on the day and rehearsals and performance will be on the same day.

All singers will meet at 10.30am in the East Church Hall in Banchory on Saturday, March 28. Tea and coffee will be provided, but those taking part are advised to bring their own lunch.

The performance will take place in the East Church at 6pm and will be followed by a celebratory buffet.

For more information and to register your interest, contact Tara Leiper on 019755 63277 or email leipertara@gmail.com.