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Australian mezzo-soprano sings Purcell with Bury Bach Choir

Bury Bach Choir is looking forward to welcoming Bronwen Stephens to Bury St Edmunds, to sing the roles of Second Witch and Second Woman in our concert performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas on Saturday 15 June at The Apex.

Bronwen began her vocal studies at Pembroke School, in Australia, and was a member of its acclaimed Girls’ Choir and the Adelaide Youth Choir. Following a career in the corporate world, she returned to intensive vocal studies in 2014, completing a Diploma in Opera and Performing Arts at Associated Studios in London. For several years she was a member of the London Philharmonic Choir and Voce Chamber Choir, performing in London and on tour in Europe and Australasia.
In 2015, Bronwen made her operatic title role debut as Carmen in London with Secret Opera and also premi√®red as Madre Germont in the company’s all female production of Verdi’s La Traviata – ‘The Trousered Traviata’ - with performances in Londo…
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Bury Bach Choir sings Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

The only known performance of Dido and Aeneas during Purcell’s lifetime was at Chelsea, in a boarding school run by Josias Priest, a famous dancer and choreographer, sometime before December 1689.It may have been written for a court performance and later arranged for schoolgirls. This would explain several discrepancies between the libretto printed for the Chelsea amateur production (‘perform’d by young gentlewomen’) and the earliest surviving score, whichincludes a baritone Aeneas as well as tenor and bass chorus parts which could hardly have been performed by Priest’s young pupils.
The libretto was written by Nahum Tate, based on his five-act tragedy Brutus of Alba, or The Enchanted Lovers (1678), which he had originally called ‘Dido and Aeneas’, and various translations of the fourth book of Virgil’s Aeneid. The libretto is highly condensed and elliptical; certain key events, such as the manner of Dido’s death, are unspecified, or di…
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Welcome back Austin Gunn!

Bury Bach Choir is delighted that one of the UK’s leading tenors, Austin Gunn, will return to sing with the choir on Saturday 15 June to sing the part of the sailor in our concert performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Austin made his professional operatic debut as Vorsinger in Zaide with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras in the Edinburgh International Festival.   His Scottish Opera debut was covering Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, directed by Sir Thomas Allen and conducted by Speranza Scapucci.

He has worked with English National Opera every season since his debut as Guest in John Cage Dinner Party for ENO MusiCircus.He is core tenor for ENO Baylis Know the Show events as Tamino in Magic Flute and Alfredo in La Traviata, a member of ENO Opera Squad 2015, 2016 and 2017 singing Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro in schools performances.He has appeared as guest soloist with t…
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Henry Purcell and his Anthems

Bury Bach Choir is delighted to feature the work of Henry Purcell (correctly pronounced with equal emphasis on both syllables!) in our final concert this season, on Saturday 15 June at The Apex.
Purcell (1659–1695) is acknowledged as one of England’s greatest composers and has been a source of inspiration for British composers ever since: Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett and Peter Maxwell Davies are among those who have expressed their indebtedness to him. Little is known about Purcell’s life beyond his official appointments and duties, but as a musician he excelled as a servant of the Court, the Church and the theatre, writing odes, welcome songs, sonatas, anthems, music for the liturgy and incidental music, and a series of operatic extravaganzas – including King Arthur and The Fairy Queen – which fascinated the London public during the 1690s.
Born into a musical family, Purcell became a boy chorister at the Chapel Royal, where he was trained by Henry …
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Charlotte makes her solo debut with the Bury Bach Choir

The Bury Bach Choir is delighted that one of our own singers, soprano Charlotte Leeder, will make her major solo debut with the choir at our performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at The Apex on 15 June.

Charlotte was born and raised in Bury St Edmunds and began singing in local choirs aged eleven, including the St Cecilia Chorale at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. She studied voice, achieving ABRSM Singing Grade 8 at sixteen, and continued to study voice and sing in the University Chamber Choir while reading for her mechanical engineering degree at the University of Bath.

On returning to Bury St Edmunds, Charlotte focused on establishing a career in engineering while singing in local choirs, including the St Edmundsbury Singers at St Edmundsbury Cathedral and the Bury Bach Choir, enjoying small solo roles in Schubert’s Mass in G, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols.

Charlotte says ‘I sang Dido and Aeneas wi…
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Coloratura soprano sings Belinda with the Bury Bach Choir

Lyric coloratura soprano Tali Ketzef will make her first appearance with the Bury Bach Choir on 15 June at The Apex, singing the major role of Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which we are performing in concert format.

Tali was born and lives in Israel and has been singing since she was a child. She studied vocal performance at the Buchmann-Mehta Academy in Tel-Aviv and was a member of the Israeli Opera Studio. Tali won first prize at the International Vocal Arts Institute's Competition in 2015, the Bucholz prize (2016), the Besser award (2017) and the Berkovich award (2019).

Her operatic repertoire includes Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Gilda in Rigoletto, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Pamina in Die Zauberfl√∂te, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Violetta in La Traviata and Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites. Tali debuted at the Israeli Opera in 2016 with the roles of Clorinda (La Cenerentola)…