OUR performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt is now being held in memory of popular Lay Clerk Ian Bell who was due to take one of the solo roles.
Ian, who had been a friend and colleague of our Musical Director Stephen Shellard for nearly 25 years, had been battling a terminal illness for some time and had been expected to sing on Saturday, June 13.
However his health suddenly deteriorated and he died in St Richard’s Hospice at the end of April. His memorial service last month saw Worcester Cathedral packed in tribute with family, colleagues and friends from across the UK.
Ian’s part is now being sung by his long-time friend Steve Grice who joins fellow soloists Vicki Field, David Barclay, Tom Hunt, Sebastian Field and Kirsten Offer.
Dedicating the performance of this magnificent oratorio was the natural thing for us as Ian had often fulfilled the role of solo bass in many previous Chamber Choir concerts.
Stephen says: “On his move to St Richard’s Hospice Ian had asked me for a copy of the Handel so that he might begin to prepare for the performance. He also talked about making an appearance with the Cathedral Choir at Evensong before long. However, fate stepped in and denied us one last chance to hear his superb bass voice.
“It was a pleasure and privilege to have known and worked with him for all those years”
The Worcester Chamber Orchestra will be accompanying on period instruments and we are particularly pleased to be joined by Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choir who are the second choir for the many exciting double choir choruses.
This is a rare chance to hear one of Handel’s most exciting oratorios – described as ‘fierce and fabulous’ when it appeared on The Times’ recent Hot 50 list of things critics would pay to see this summer – in the beautiful surroundings of Worcester Cathedral. The concert begins at 7.30pm and tickets cost £15 (students and under 18s, £5).
They are available from the cathedral shop, on 01386 860389 or via www.worcestercathedralchamberchoir.co.uk