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”

Festival News

Denis Moriarty, Speaker And Lecturer

by Karine Hetherington

Denis Moriarty will be giving an illustrated lecture about Wilfred Owen and his contemporaries for the KOFMA Armistice Centenary, 9th November. Karine Hetherington went to find out about it.

What led you to become interested in the music, poetry and art of the Great War?

It all started with Britten’s War Requiem. I sang in the choir of an early performance of Britten’s work at the Royal Albert Hall. Britten conducted and there was the Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskay there; the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; and tenor Peter Pears. For the requiem, Britten used Wilfred Owen’s poetry and it was perhaps the first time most people, including I, had been exposed to his poetry. It was Britten who brought Wilfred Owen to the public eye. I was bowled over by it and it led me on of course to Siegfried Sassoon’s work. Continue reading “Denis Moriarty, Speaker And Lecturer”

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”

Concerts, Musicians

Grand Day Out For Four In Chelsea: An Interview With Four Lallemants

by Karine Hetherington

On Saturday October 6th 2018, The Lallemant Quartet will perform a piano extravaganza at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea.

Karine Hetherington caught up with three of the sibling pianists: Miles, Oliver and Lydia Lallemant.

You’re going to be performing on four grand pianos. That’s quite a feat!

Oliver: We’ve done this before. The first time was in 2011, seven years ago. But then it was out of necessity! I had to hire two extra pianos for a concert I was directing and I needed to recoup the cost of piano hire. I therefore organised an ad hoc event the night before the main concert and got my three siblings to play with me. We got our money back but I have to admit that our first foray wasn’t much good. However it was a start and we got a taste for it. Since then we have had much more concert practice! Continue reading “Grand Day Out For Four In Chelsea: An Interview With Four Lallemants”

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”

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’”