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Addison Singers tour to Seville

2 May - 6 May

Addisons Off to Spain!
Sixty members of the Oratorio and Chamber Choirs are off to sunny Spain for the May Bank Holiday Weekend.
The first foreign tour since before the pandemic – the last was to Budapest in 2019 – this trip to sing in the capital of Andalucia, Seville, was beginning to be planned back in early 2020, when the sudden arrival of Covid called a halt to everything, worldwide.
Happily the trip is now – finally – here! Choir member Ian Wilkinson, whose work has taken him to Seville in the past, came up with the plan and has been instrumental in securing two lovely venues for us to sing in. This will be the first foreign Addisons excursion for our Musical Director, Matthew Thomas Morgan. We are delighted that Ed Kemp-Luck will once again be joining us to act as our Organist.
The principal concert will be on Saturday evening in the wonderful baroque Chapel of the “Hospital de la Caridad” [Hospital of Charity] in central Seville. This is not a “hospital” in the usual modern sense – but more in the mould of the Royal Chelsea Hospital in London, a place of care and retirement for the elderly, which dates back many centuries. The present magnificent buildings are 17th century and over 80 elderly men of limited means still live in the Hospital. The Chapel is one of the artistic and architectural glories of Seville, adorned with works of art by – among others – Murillo, who was himself a “Brother” of the organisation which ran and still runs the Hospital.
Matthew has selected a wide range of sacred choral music for us to sing, including two pieces by a “local”, Cristóbal de Morales, who was born in Seville in about 1500 and who has been described as the “Light of Spanish Music”. Other works included in the Saturday concert are by Herbert Howells, Charles H. Giffen, Morten Lauridsen, and Joaquín Rodrigo. The latter is most usually known for his music for the guitar, and his Concierto de Aranjuez in particular, but here we will sing a piece of devotional music which he composed in 1954.
The Caridad concert will also include two very well-known choral works, the incomparable Te Deum by Haydn and Schubert’s Mass in C, both of which the Addisons sang recently at our Spring Concert. The Caridad Chapel will be a somewhat more sumptuous church in which to perform these works than St Peter’s in Acton – lovely though that is, in its own way, too!.
A second and shorter concert will be given the following day at the city church of San Vicente, following their midday parish Mass. This is a large basilica-style church with several naves, dating from the 14th century though much altered in subsequent centuries, not least after some parts were destroyed in the 1753 Lisbon earthquake, which damaged many of Seville’s buildings. Let’s hope the ground doesn’t move – in that way – while the Addisons are there! For the San Vicente Sunday concert, the Chamber Choir will sing four unaccompanied pieces (since there is no working organ in this church), repeating the pieces by Morales, Lauridsen and Rodrigo.
It promises to be a marvellous opportunity to showcase our choral skills in one of Europe’s most historic, cultured and atmospheric cities. Seville is well-known as the city of Carmen (of course), and of the “Barber of Seville” too … but did you know that over one hundred operas are set in the City? Perhaps this is not surprising since Seville once held a monopoly of trade with the entire Spanish empire, back in the 16th and 17th centuries, and was immensely wealthy and prosperous.
The Andalucian weather looks to be set fair for our Addisons visit, and in view of London’s recent unseasonably cold and wet spell, that will be most welcome. It’s going to be a trip to remember. Buen viaje to all those lucky enough to be going. We’ll sing to our best ability and hope to give our audiences two fabulous concerts. Olé!

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Start:
2 May
End:
6 May
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Addison Singers