Preview: Portsmouth Choral Union and Southern Pro Musica – “Life’s journey”

24 June 2023, St Mary’s Church, Portsea

Portsmouth Choral Union’s summer concert will feature a rare Portsmouth performance and a first Portsmouth performance. 

The rare will be Benjamin Britten’s Cantata St Nicolas.  Written for the centenary of Lancing College in 1948, this cantata tells the life of the fourth-century Bishop of Myra.  It is by turns dramatic, rhythmic and tuneful, and also gives the audience the opportunity to join in with two well-known hymns, ‘All people that on earth do dwell’ and ‘God moves in a mysterious way.’

For the second offering in this concert, PCU will give the first Portsmouth performance of Alec Roth’s The Traveller which has ‘The Ages of Man’ as its theme.  Written in an approachable contemporary idiom, it echoes the rhythmic, tuneful and dramatic elements of Britten’s St Nicolas, and sets a text by Vikram Seth – using a mixture of his own short poems, and translations from a variety of Indian languages and traditions.

PCU are delighted that Castle Primary School Choir will join them to sing the prominent role that children’s voices play in both works. Tenor soloist Nick Sharrat will portray Nicolas in the Britten and The Poet in the Roth, and Sophie Langdon will be the solo violinist. The concert will be accompanied by Southern Pro Musica and conducted by David Gostick.

Tickets for this concert, which is being held at St. Mary’s Church Portsea at 7.30 on Saturday 24th June, are available from choir members, on the door, or online at:

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