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2 December, 2020

Anticipating an audience!

Here’s Kate, looking forward to our ‘Renaissance Christmas‘ concerts over the next few weeks!

“How will it feel for us to give the first live, ‘in-person’ concert since early March? Exciting, hopeful, nerve-wracking? I have no doubt the whole experience will be rather overwhelming, but we are looking forward to it hugely.

“After months of online activity, we will give our first concert to an ‘in-person’ audience next Friday, 11th December. Since March, all of our live concerts have been cancelled or postponed. As Christmas approached, it seemed so sad that we would not be spending the festive period packing in carol services and concerts, while worrying how on earth we were going to find time for Christmas shopping. So we launched into action, creating our ‘dream Christmas programme’ based around the service of Nine Lessons and Carols, and incorporating some of our favourite 16th and 17th century seasonal music. With a bit of help from suitably qualified friends, we selected poems and other writings by contemporaneous authors, such as John Donne and George Herbert, to stand in for the traditional bible readings. The result – we hope! – is a hour-long programme that brings to life the familiar Christmas story, showcasing some of the finest Renaissance music and poetry ever written.

“Appropriately enough, our first concert ‘back on the road’ is where the group began many years ago – Oxford. We will perform two hour-long concerts, at 6pm and 8.30pm on 11th December. The audience will be masked and socially distanced, and capacity is very limited. But I have no doubt the atmosphere will be magically intimate. After that we head north to the National Centre for Early Music in York (Sunday 13th) for two performances, one of which will be live-streamed, and back to London for a concert in St Mary Abbots, Kensington on Friday 18th. And we round off the year with a lunchtime performance of our Spanish Nativity programme at perhaps our favourite venue – Wigmore Hall – on Monday 21st December. Lots to look forward to as we gradually emerge from the difficulties of 2020!”

Our first Oxford concert is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 8.30 performance, and for the concert in London on 18th December, via our tickets page. For in-person tickets for York, please click here; for live-stream passes,  click here.

University Church, Oxford (Photo by DAVID ILIFF; License: CC BY-SA 3.0)