Young sopranos enthrall audience

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Lunchtime concert review, at St George’s United Reformed Church, Morpeth, by Gilian Irvine.

Rosie Burgering and Abigail Ingram, who are a studying at Durham University, treated a packed audience to a memorable concert with a programme of favourite classical solos and duets, plus songs from well-known musicals.

Both young ladies gave a recital with poise and confidence that the audience immediately warmed to as they began with a spirited performance of Laudamus Te from Vivaldi’s Gloria, followed by Esurientes from his Magnificat. In both pieces there was a natural togetherness, preparing the audience for what was to be a very impressive hour of music.

Rosie then sang Gabriel Faurè’s Aprés Un Rêve, which highlighted her rich tonal quality and beautiful legato singing whilst producing top notes that held the audience in thrall.

This was followed by the Countess’ sorrowful aria Porgi Amor from the Marriage of Figaro, with its gentle, but dramatic melody.

Abigail then sang Bester Jungling from the comic opera The Impresario by Mozart, demonstrating precise, accurate phrasing and excellent tone, with superb top notes.

She followed this with Duparc’s Chanson Triste, with its lovely flowing accompaniment, once again sung with great attention to detail.

Next came the duet Pur Ti Moro, Pur Ti Godo from The Coronation of Poppea by Montiverdi.

Both soloists as they sang the discordant chording demonstrated their exquisite tuning, before returning with confidence to the original harmonies.

During this first half of their programme Italian, French and German were sung with great accuracy and understanding.

There next followed a set of English songs and songs from musicals. Rosie began with Richard Rogers’ If I Loved You, from Carousel, and Wright and Forrest’s And This Is My Beloved from Kismet, which features the music of Borodin. In these she showed her acting skills as she performed with confidence and conviction. Rosie’s upper register was outstanding.

Abigail then gave a delightful rendering of the slightly jazzy Cradle Song, music by Benjamin Britten to a poem by Louis Mc Neice, followed by Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal, one of the finest English songs with music by Roger Quilter. These were superb performances, very sensitively sung with meticulous attention to tuning and phrasing.

The Flower Duet from Delibe’s Opera Lakme is well known and a great favourite of many concert-goers. Rosie and Abigail’s performance of this can only be described as outstanding.

A change of mood then followed as they sang three of the most popular songs from The Sound of Music. These tested the lower registers of both soloists, but they did not disappoint and produced a lovely tone as they performed The Hills Are Alive, Climb Every Mountain and Edelweiss.

Every item sung was greeted with great enthusiasm and applause, but the best was yet to come with their final duet Pie Jesu from the Requiem by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This was the highlight of the concert and was a truly professional performance.

These two young ladies can be confidently proud of a recital which had delighted and entertained the capacity audience, leaving them wanting more.

Mention must also be made of accompanist Ken Irvine, who sympathetically supported them with great musicality in what was a very demanding programme.

The next lunchtime concert is at 12.30pm on Wednesday, December 6, with James Birkett and Bradley Johnson, a jazz guitar duo. There will be complimentary mulled wine and mince pies.