Concerts

Handel Comes To Olympia

by Karine Hetherington 

Originally an Easter offering, Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin’s Musick Hall, Fishamble Street, on April 13th 1742. By all accounts it was an incredible event. Handel was famous by then and there was a rush to get seats. In order to create more room, women in the 700-strong audience, were asked to come “without hoops”.

The Messiah remains popular to this day and it is easy to see why. Handel’s oratorio is such an uplifting, sublime, immersive work. One which is guaranteed to put you in the mood for celebrating Christmas.  

I met up with Miles Lallemant, KOFMA’s musical director, and Laura Lamph, mezzo soprano and KOFMA curator, to discuss our upcoming production of the Messiah. Continue reading “Handel Comes To Olympia”

Musicians

Interview With Jeremy Summerly, Conductor

by Karine Hetherington

Karine interviewed conductor Jeremy Summerly in preparation for KOFMA’s ‘Come and Sing’ event on Saturday 10th November. We will be singing Haydn’s ‘Mass in the Time of War’ to commemorate the armistice. 

What does the Armistice mean to you?

I have a picture of my grandfather in my study. I look at it every day. He is going off to war with a pair of shoes he had made for himself. He was from Northamptonshire.  The story goes that he was a commander in France and that knowing his younger brother to be there too, asked him to join his battalion. My great uncle was only sixteen and like so many others, he had lied about his age so that he could enlist. He was killed on the train he took to meet up with my grandfather. My grandfather never got over his younger brother’s death. Continue reading “Interview With Jeremy Summerly, Conductor”

Singers

Interview With Charlotte Broker, Soprano

by Karine Hetherington

What is your nationality?

I was born in London to French and German parents, so I’d say I’m European!

Tell us a bit about your childhood. Do you come from a musical family?

I come from a family of music lovers but not professionals. My brother however is also a musician and produces electronic music on his label Troy Town. I’ve always loved everything expressive and artistic and my childhood was split mostly between ballet and music. I danced several times a week at the West London School of Dance and on weekends at the Royal Ballet School.

Music was just as important to me though. I started learning the violin when I was very young and I sang in choirs and loved singing the solos. I had a music scholarship in my time at Latymer Upper School. Continue reading “Interview With Charlotte Broker, Soprano”

Singers

Interview With Edward Kay, Baritone

by Karine Hetherington

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music?

I started singing as a boy at the age of seven at Clifton Lodge School in Ealing which had a very impressive choir setup at the time. I remember one day coming back home from school and announcing to my parents that I wanted to audition – nothing much more to it than that!

Who or what has been the most important influence on your musical life and career? 

Tenor Ben Johnson with whom I recently started studying. Continue reading “Interview With Edward Kay, Baritone”

Singers

Interview With Dominic Bevan, Tenor

by Karine Hetherington

Meet Dominic Bevan, a tenor who has sung with us at KOFMA.

Tell us a bit about your childhood.

We were a big, musical family. There was no television. We were only allowed to watch opera videos. I can still picture Don Giovanni, scene by scene.

Did you always want to become an opera singer?

I definitely chose not to be an opera singer. Continue reading “Interview With Dominic Bevan, Tenor”

Concerts

Drugs and Drama: The Staging of ‘Dido and Aeneas’

Karine Hetherington recaps 2017’s performance of Dido & Aeneas by the KOFMA choir. 

We are on the eve of our performance of Purcell’s baroque opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’. We’ve been in a dress rehearsal for hours and during a short break I close my eyes, wrap a thick woollen scarf about my neck, and play dead while other members of the choir stare at their mobile phones. Am I nervous? Yes! We all are. Up until now the chorus has had the benefit of numbers. On the night however, there will be no hiding – each and every one of us has been working on this challenging opera for months!

This project is the brainchild of Laura Lamph, our mezzo-soprano, who sang the title role of Dido touring with Sestina, the early music ensemble, in Ireland last year. She, together with our exacting Music Meister, Miles Lallemant, head up our three-year-old choir, Aves Cantantes. Songbirds! We are a mish-mash of twenty individuals of different ages and levels of singing experience. But no matter how different we may appear to the outside world, inside the church we sing as one. Continue reading “Drugs and Drama: The Staging of ‘Dido and Aeneas’”