Graeme Danby - the Great British Bass!
We are delighted that Graeme Danby will join us at our performance of Haydn’s The Creation on 2 June, singing Raphael and Adam.Widely recognised as one of Britain’s finest character basses, Graeme performs regularly in the major international opera houses.
It is our great privilege that he is also our Co President, with his wife Valerie Reid.
For the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Graeme has sung:Billy Jackrabbit, Charrington,Gonzalo The Tempest, Second Armed Man, Casino Manager The Gambler and Il Sacristano Tosca.
In over 200 appearances with English National Opera, Graeme has sung roles including Bartolo, Basilio, Collatinus, Dulcamara, Quince, Pistol, Pooh-Bah, Ribbing, Sacristan,Sarastro; Snug and Somnus.
Further UK engagements include Bartolo for Opera North and the Garsington Festival; Antonio for the Glyndebourne Festival; Collatus at the Buxton Festival;Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring) for Opera North and Sacristan, Bosun (Billy Budd)…
Christopher Turner - Tenor
We’re delighted to welcome Christopher Turner back to Bury St Edmunds, singing the tenor role of Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation, which we are performing on 2 June at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
Born in Birmingham, Christopher read music at the University of Hull, furthering his studies with Barbara Robotham at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the National Opera Studio, where he was sponsored by the Scottish Endowment Trust and The Friends of Covent Garden.
He has received many prizes, including The Michael and Joyce Kennedy Prize for Singing Strauss, the Frederic Cox Prize, the Elizabeth Harwood Prize, and, mostrecently, a Countess of Munster ‘Young Star’ Award and the Sybil Tutton Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund.He was also a major scholar of the Sir Peter Moores Foundation.
Christopher made his professional d├ębut as Dr Blind Die Fledermaus for Scottish Opera On Tour before joining the Young Singers Programme at English National Opera, whe…
Sena Larard, soprano, sings Gabriel and Eve in The Creation
Making a welcome return to the Bury Bach Choir for its performance of Haydn’s The Creation on 2 June, American soprano Sena Larard has always had a love of music making.
Born in Charlottesville, Virginia,Sena holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the City University of New York, where she studied with Patricia McCaffrey, and a Liberal Arts degree from Roanoke College with a cello major.
She has also studied vocal technique with Bill Schuman, Jonathan Papp and our own Graeme Danby – in this performance, she is singing Eve to his Adam, which will be a wonderful treat.
If you can’t wait for the concert, you can hear Sena singing on the soundtrack of Mirette (towards the end of the trailer), a short film featuring Tom Conti and Miriam Margolyes, which has been selected as part of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival.
Sena is also very proud of her young voice studio:her most advanced students ar…
Franz Joseph Haydn - creator of The Creation
On 2 June the Bury Bach Choir will perform Haydn’s The Creation at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, with the Prometheus Orchestra and soloists Sena Larard (soprano), Christopher Turner (tenor) and Graeme Danby (bass), conducted by Philip Reed.
Haydn (1732–1809) was born in Austria, the son of a wheelwright and a cook. Although his father wasn’t musically educated, he was a folk musician and the family frequently sang together and with their neighbours. Haydn became a prolific and prominent composer, writing over 100 symphonies, 83 string quartets, 45 piano trios, 62 piano sonatas, 14 masses and 26 operas.

At a young age he entered the Choir School of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, with a reputedly very fine treble voice which lasted until he was 16, when the Habsburg Empress, Maria Theresa, famously said ‘That boy doesn't sing, he crows!’ The choirmaster had previously suggested he become a castrato, but Haydn’s father wouldn’t allow t…
A collaboration of conductors

It is unusual for larger choirs to perform the same programme twice, and rarer still for two conductors to share the honours during a concert, but that is exactly what Edmond Fivet and Philip Reed will do when their choirs, the Aldeburgh Music Club Choir and the Bury Bach Choir, together perform Mozart’s glorious Mass in C Minor and Vesperae solennes de confessore, first at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on 3 March and then at Snape Maltings on 17 March.

So how did the idea come about?  Philip says 'Edmond made the suggestion as he wanted his choir to perform the Mass. This was quickly agreed - it’s such a great work despite its incomplete nature, and I’m always happy to conduct it. It took quite a while to find the first half of the concert and we went through several possibilities before I suggested the Vesperae, and keeping the whole evening exclusively to Mozart.  Edmond adds:  ‘We were anxious to find two works which were both significant and a challenge…
A marvellous evening of Mozart
On 3 March at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Bury Bach Choir and the Aldeburgh Music Club Choir will perform Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Vesperae solennes de confessore, conducted by Philip Reed and Edmond Fivet. They will be joined by the Prometheus Orchestra and five wonderful soloists: Sarah Fox, soprano; Rachel Dyson, soprano; Valerie Reid, mezzo soprano; Austin Gunn, tenor and Graeme Danby, bass.

In 1781 Mozart moved to Vienna, delighted to be free of the shackles of working for the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg and able to spread his wings in the musical world.  In Vienna, he initially lodged with the Weber family, whose four daughters inevitably caught his eye.  At first he paid attention to the eldest daughter, Aloysia, an exceptionally gifted soprano who went on to enjoy an illustrious career, but it was her younger sister, the quiet, doe-eyed Constanze, also a soprano of no mean ability, who was eventually to capture his heart. They married i…