Season 2023/2024

The programme of activity for the 2023/2024 Season, is providing three exciting days for our Members:

  • Saturday 23rd September 2023 – an Autumn Study Day, focused on Puccini’s Messa Di Gloria
  • Saturday 13th January 2024 – full Workshop Day, on Brahms German Requiem and Dvorak’s Te Deum
  • Saturday 10th February 2024 – a Rehearsal and Concert Day at the Town Hall, Brahms German Requiem and Dvorak’s Te Deum

See below for information on each of these days, on how to register to attend as a singing member:



Puccini’s Messa di Gloria is an enchanting piece. It has become increasingly popular since its rediscovery in 1952, although still not often performed. It proved to be an ideal piece for a Study Day: wonderful music, operatic and sacred, well within the reach of singers encountering it for the first time, and, at 45 minutes long, an ideal piece for a run-through performance at the end of the day. About 60 Orpheans gathered for a thrilling study day on September 23. We were joined for the day by soloists Josh Saunders and Charlie Broad who helped to bring the performance to a magnificent operatic climax at the end of the day. As always, Robert was infectious with his enthusiasm for the piece and managed to pack an amazing amount of inspiration, choral and vocal teaching and musical delight into a most enjoyable day. The intensive study sessions of the morning and early afternoon culminated in a most satisfying performance of this wonderful work.

“I thought Puccini only wrote operas but I was wrong! Getting to know the Messa di Gloria under Robert’s inspiring advocacy proved a real pleasure!”


In January / February we shall be following our familiar pattern of holding Workshop and Concert days which culminate in a full Concert performance at Oxford Town Hall, with orchestra and invited soloists. Robert explains the reasons for this year’s choice of Brahms German Requiem as the major work:

Ten years ago, on 16th February 2013, we inaugurated Oxford Orpheus with a performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, a work which was and remains very close to my heart. It is a choral work which saw my first professional solo engagement as a young baritone and a piece I worked on as chorus master with the Philharmonia Chorus a number of times – collaborating with distinguished conductors, Daniele Gatti, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Marin Alsop and James Conlon amongst others. It seems to me that performances of this work have always elicited a very special response from singers and orchestra alike; it is a humane work written in memory of the composer’s mother, with biblical texts that are not overtly religious yet are deeply consoling.  It challenges the chorus in that they are the main protagonists of the piece and so it seems fitting to celebrate 10 very special years of choral music making at Wesley Memorial Church and the Town Hall with a repeat of our inaugural concert. But with one difference: in 2013 our concert began with Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, it was a festive announcement of our presence in Oxford’s musical scene. Similarly, this year I wanted to programme another joyous opening to the concert and settled on Dvorak’s splendid and uplifting Te Deum, a short 20 minute work which really packs a punch.

It also has the advantage of utilising the same two solo voices needed for the Brahms, giving them a chance to shine in extended arias. We will warmly welcome back soprano soloist Manon Ogwen Parry, who created such a stir in last’s year’s Rossini concert with her wonderfully poised musical singing and her beautiful voice. And new to Oxford Orpheus but not to Oxford is baritone Thomas McGowan who studied initially at Christ Church, subsequently spending two years on the Master’s course at Guildhall; he is now about to take his place on the prestigious opera course there. I am confident that these two singers are stars of the future!  

Please come and join us and sing with the Oxford Sinfonia Orchestra in what will be a memorable and emotional occasion –  whilst, as we have always done, raising money for charity. 

Membership for the 13 January workshop day at the Wesley Memorial Church costs £25. To register via Eventbrite, click on the button below:

(Press up/down keys on Eventbrite site to find Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass registration options)



Because of very substantial increases in hire charges at the Oxford Town Hall, we have had to raise the membership fee for the 10 February Concert day to £35 (but it is still a wonderful value investment!). To register via Eventbrite, click on the button below:

(Press up/down keys on Eventbrite site to find Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass registration options)


If for some reason you are not able to use Eventbrite, you can contact us on 01865 250440  or via email at