Currently wowing music lovers in South America, internationally acclaimed Cappella group - The King Singers - have made room in their busy tour schedule to perform at this year’s Portsmouth Festivities on June 22.
The twice Grammy award winning ensemble are justifiably renowned for their spot on intonation, faultless tuning and perfect timing. But one mustn’t forget their wit and humour too, which has entertained audiences for over 40 years.
Having performed at great events such as the Proms and the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, The King's Singers are pleased to fit Portsmouth into their itinerary. As Baritone Christopher Bruerton states, “it's an opportunity to share our passion for making music of the highest calibre, appealing to all ages and musical tastes. Every concert is important. Portsmouth will be as rewarding for us as Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall.”
And the intimate surroundings and fine acoustics of Portsmouth Cathedral will certainly provide the audience with a chance to really appreciate the fine quality of this close harmony group.
From Bach to Buble, the consummate performers are happy to embrace music of all genres be it high Renaissance or traditional folk tunes from the British Isles. They also champion new choral works and have commissioned many for themselves.
And, excitingly for Portsmouth, the world celebrated singers have put together a unique programme especially for the Festivities.
The Water is Wide concert will begin with some well-known, 'water-related' folksongs, mainly from the British Isles, arranged by a selection of some of the best King's Singers arrangers - Goff Richards, Gordon Langford and Bob Chilcott.
But Bruerton thinks that one of the highlights will be Peter Louis van Dijk's Horizons: “It is a beautiful setting depicting a now virtually-extinct Western Cape tribe's encounter with European explorers back in the 1700s. It's a haunting setting and one we're sure the audience will enjoy.”
The first half ends with a fantastic ensalada, La Bomba, literally meaning 'mixed salad'. This group of Spanish Renaissance works was a type of composition mixing together folksong, secular, sacred and original compositional elements. Brueton thinks “La Bomba by Mateo Flecha is arguably the finest example of this style, and depicts a shipwreck in a storm and, like all good stories, ends with a good moral.”
The second half of the concert continues with a group of English and French works by the nineteenth century composers, Hubert Parry and Camille Saint-Saëns. “And, like almost every show, we will end with a lighter, Close Harmony group of all your King's Singers favourites,” says Bruerton.
The audience also have the opportunity to attend a pre-concert talk at the Royal Navy and Royal Albert Yacht club where Baritone Christopher Gabbitas will be discussing the group's history and elaborating on the forthcoming programme.
This will be followed by a pre-concert meal which can be pre-booked at the Festivities box office.