Toad Lane Concerts: Voci Voices celebrated vocal quartet

Date published: 13 August 2023

Four opera singers and a concert pianist filled the ample acoustic of St Mary in the Baum on Wednesday 9 August, in a most agreeable way.

This splendid troupe performs regularly and appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Eisteddfod and Buxton Festival fringe to great acclaim.

The vocalists included soprano Elizabeth Ambrose, Polish born and trained, now based in the UK; Isobel Jenkins mezzo-soprano, originally from Switzerland, trained as a GP in Liverpool, but was drawn to singing; Eric Cymbir, Scottish tenor, now settled in the Northwest; and David Cane, baritone, former choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and latterly postgraduate at the RNCM. They were supported by accompanist Jonathan Ellis.

Lively and jazzy arrangements of Come Fly with Me, and Too Darn Hot set a playful and joyous mood. In contrast, a beautifully balanced Ricordati Mio Ben by Händel from the female duo and quartets by Rossini and Lauridsen showed their serious side.

Dramatic duets and quartets from Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Rigoletto, Puccini’s La Boheme and Mozart’s Magic Flute followed in a mini opera gala. Attractive arrangements of popular numbers such as Bridge Over Troubled Water and the exquisite Cantate Domino by Mark Hayes, were all topped off with a much-deserved rousing encore.

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts every Wednesday at 12.30pm at the Grade 1 listed church of St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

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

Dr Joe Dawson

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