Toad Lane Concerts: Voci Voices

Date published: 12 February 2023

The notable singing troupe Voci Voices, consisting of sopranos Elizabeth Ambrose and Margaret Ferguson, tenor Eric Cymbir and baritone David Cane entertained patrons at the Toad Lane Concert on 8 February magnificently, accompanied brilliantly by concert pianist Jonathan Ellis.

As a vocal quartet, versatility is the name of their game and they certainly excelled in that. They gave a worthy introduction to singing to visiting music students from Holy Family RC & CE College, Heywood, whose presence contributed to a record attendance at the weekly concert since Covid.

Opening with the appropriate Barry Manilow hit, One Voice, they followed with religious works by Fauré and Schubert then moved from the sacred to swing, with Gershwin and Mercer. Then to musicals with extracts from The Phantom of the Opera and Chess in further adept arrangements for quartet.

However, for these classically trained singers, opera is never very far away. Sure enough, we had a female duet from Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart then the sopranos were joined by the boys for the Act 2 finale of Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti.

Tenor and Baritone then had their own humorous duet by H. L. Wilson and the ladies joined with the delightful Art is Calling for Me from The Enchantress by Herbert.

All too soon we had a moving rendition of Time to Say Goodbye.

A rousing spontaneous encore with the finale of Les Misérables really brought the house down, finishing on a high note (several, actually) after a wonderful and inspiring hour of singing.

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are every Wednesday at 12.30pm at the Grade 1 listed St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. No refreshments available, but the venue is Covid-19 compliant. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

To see details of forthcoming Toad Lane Concerts, click here.

Dr Joe Dawson

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