Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
O2 Guildhall Southampton
Southampton Philharmonic Choir
SU Philharmonic Choir
David Gibson conductor
John Graham Hall Gerontius
Marta Fontanals-Simmons The Angel
Nicholas Warden Priest & Angel of the Agony
Regarded by many as one of the finest works of the entire choral repertoire, Elgar’s great masterpiece was written in 1900 for the Birmingham Triennial Festival. It is a setting of Cardinal John Henry Newman’s rather controversial poem of the same title – Gerontius representing an everyman/woman character facing the end of their life and contemplating the possibility of an afterlife. Although primarily a Catholic work, the poem is just as relevant to those of other faiths and none; the meaning of life, the legacy of what we leave behind and our ultimate destiny. Elgar uses three soloists, two choirs, a large orchestra and the organ to produce an extraordinary variety of emotional and dramatic moments, from the most exultant, triumphant climaxes to passages of genuine terror and dark despair. Unlike oratorios of the 19th century which are constructed in sections or numbers, Elgar here uses a seamless 'through-composed' style that weaves the different strands and moods together without a break. The influence of Wagner ‘s music-drama is very clear, both in the structure, the use of leitmotifs and much of the harmonic language. The result is both uplifting and thrilling for performers and listeners alike. One is left with the clear thought that it is not the doctrine that matters, but Elgar’s heartfelt expression of loss and hope in the face of our mortality. This is what makes this glorious work so inspiring.
The Southampton Philharmonic Choir and SU Phil will be joined by the outstanding tenor JOHN GRAHAM HALL, who has made the title role a specialism of his, the young mezzo-soprano MARTA FONTANALS – SIMMONS will be making her debut as the Angel and bass-baritone NICHOLAS WARDEN will sing the parts of the Priest and Angel of the Agony with the New London Sinfonia conducted by David Gibson.
Tickets on sale online and from the box office (Civic Centre, NorthGuild, Southampton SO14 7LP).
Telephone: 023 8063 2601
Group concessions: 023 8083 3612
Ticket prices: £11.00, £16.00, £21.00, with concessions.
Over 65s – £1.00 discount.
Students, children, job seekers and disabled – half price.
Carers with wheelchair users – free.
Group concessions available prior to the day of the concert – buy 5 tickets and get a 6th ticket free
As part of the overall cost of your booking, O2 Guildhall Southampton have introduced a £1.00 per ticket restoration levy to help maintain and improve the faciltities for customers, performers and promoters.
In addition, booking fees apply to phone orders made via the Guildhall box office and to orders made via the Guildhall website. However, there are no additional fees payable if you:
- Buy your tickets from a choir member.
- Buy your tickets directly from the Guildhall Box Office, in person. You can pay by cash, credit or debit card but cheques are not accepted. You may reserve seats by phone; the Guildhall Box Office will give you a booking reference but payment will have to made, in person, within 5 working days.
- Tickets may also be bought on the door on the night of the concert, subject to availability. But please note that the generous group concession does not apply to sales on the day of the concert!