Oxford Orpheus Concert Report – February 2019

12th February 2019David Feeny

Our sell-out concert on 2nd February 2019 was a hugely exciting event for Oxford Orpheus, as we were honoured to have Sir Thomas Allen CBE sing solo for us in the Faure Requiem.   Sir Tom is our patron,   He has been quietly supportive over the last few years, so to have him raise his magnificent voice with us was more than we could have hoped for.   In the concert he sang with such warmth and humanity, which the chorus found simply inspirational.

Sir Tom was joined by two other great young soloists.  James Newby, BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, who had been mentored by him in Vaughan Williams’ FIVE MYSTICAL SONGS in preparation for our concert, performed these in the first half, to huge acclaim.   Indeed, everyone who was there will be eagerly awaiting his return to Oxford to sing in The Lieder Festival in the autumn of this year.

Also to great acclaim was the performance of Alexander Winnifrith,  chorister from Christ Church Cathedral School, whose faultless, effortless and exquisitely beautiful singing of the PIE JESU in the Faure REQUIEM was an unforgettable experience for everyone present.

It was particularly pleasing for us to have three generations of soloists, and fitting, since we were supporting the Christ Church Cathedral School Community Outreach Programme which – in conjunction with the Oxfordshire Music Service – takes choral singing into primary schools throughout the County.   All of us who gain such joy from singing dearly hope that children of today may become singers of the future.

Leo Pitt – Chair of Oxford Orpheus


We all had a ball! What a great day and an even better evening. 

…Robert…What a great man.   Roll on the next occasion, which I will book for in PLENTY of time.  A big thank you again for finding a place for me in November and Saturday 2nd. I wouldn’t miss the two occasions for anything.

With very best wishes and grateful thanks to you, to Leo, to Robert and The Team, plus the magnificent Soloists.  PARTICIPANT


It was amazing — not just my experience of singing these great works, but the verdict of my audience friends’ (all lifelong Glyndebourne/ROH devotees). Robert’s vocal technique training of the choir  and conducting were inspirational. PARTICIPANT


Thanks so much to Leo and all of you who worked so hard to make it a great day on Saturday. It was a particularly good concert, I thought, and so did my audience friends. PARTICIPANT


Wow, I thought Robert was going take off at some points, he was giving it such a high octane treatment

What a phenomenon. When I looked at the audience bursting at the seams with the overflow on the gallery, it made me realise quite how far you’ve come with Oxford Orpheus and how professional it all is.  PARTICIPANT

*******************************************************************Thank you once again for your marvellous organisation and all your hard work to make it such a successful day on Saturday.  I know how much has to be done over many months, and it is hugely appreciated by all of us, who just arrive on the day, open our copies and sing without a care in the world.  I can’t remember how many of these days I have had with you over the years, but they are always beautifully organised, and great fun with such a lovely crowd of singers and gorgeous music to sing.

With best wishes and thanks – I’m already looking forward to next year! PARTICIPANT


This year’s concert was the best yet – it had a really professional feel to it, the silence at the end spoke volumes, Well done!  AUDIENCE MEMBER



Thank you once again for coming and singing so magnificently last night! It was a very special concert and the silence at the end of the Fauré Requiem spoke volumes as well as the then vociferous applause afterwards from a capacity audience. They were held in thrall to your superb concentration and communicative singing throughout.  Of course, it never ceases to amaze me how all of this comes together in a day but this is due to your own excellent musical  preparation and willingness to give your all when the moment arrives. I so look forward to these events and the privilege of making music with such a responsive and dedicated group of singers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart



On behalf of everyone at Christ Church Cathedral School, I would like to congratulate you once again on the truly wonderful Oxford Orpheus Concert on Saturday.

It was a huge pleasure and privilege for all of us to be there …

Thank you so much once again for allowing us to be part of this wonderful initiative and for your most generous support that enables the School to continue to run its hugely successful Chorister Community Outreach Programme.

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