Search lands the ideal singer for orchestra

Soloist at Todmorden Orchestra's summer 2013 concert, Nicola Howard
Soloist at Todmorden Orchestra's summer 2013 concert, Nicola Howard

Todmorden Orchestra has established a reputation for attracting talented vocalists and players who take part in many of their concerts and who deliver excellent entertainment.

In return audiences have shown their appreciation with enthusiastic responses, and attendance numbers.

The annual Summer Concert in Todmorden Town Hall on Saturday, June 22, at 7.30pm is no exception to the rule with a guest appearance of the accomplished soprano Nicola Howard.

Conductor Nicholas Concannon Hodges searched his contacts list to select a singer who would rise to the challenge of performing Wagner’s ethereal Wesendonck Lieder, with a voice to express the emotion and sentiments in the five musical miniatures.

The audience and orchestra are fortunate indeed to welcome a singer with the ability and status of Nicola who has appeared in major venues including St-Martin-in-the-Fields, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and others across France, Canada and the USA.

She has also broadcast with the BBC, Classic FM and French TV and in many opera venues at home and abroad.

Wagner’s song cycle is based on five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck who provided shelter for the composer and his wife when they fled from Dresden in the uprising of 1849. Mathilde is also reputed to have been romantically linked with Wagner, and the five songs are often described as love poems.

The concert, with Leader Andrew Rostron, gets off to a flying start with the well-known Barber of Seville Overture by Rossini and after the interval, the towering multi-faceted Symphony No. 5 by Tchaikovsky which includes moving and beautiful melodic contrasts.

Tickets are on sale at the hall door on the night, at Todmorden Information Centre or from the orchestra secretary on 01706 817333.

They are priced at £10, concessions £8 and £1 for children under 16.