Review: “A Hallelujah Christmas” by the Solent Male Voice Choir

Barry Tone writes:

December arrived with its traditional sights and sounds at the thoroughly enjoyable and heart-warming annual SMVC concert at the Portchester Methodist Church on Saturday 1st December in aid of Rowans Hospice in Purbrook.

A full house felt the chill of a Winter Wind sung to a challenging theme by Rachmaninov, heard the Watchmen’s Voices from a familiar cantata by J.S. Bach and enjoyed being stirred by Vivaldi’s popular Gloria.

Then, there was a complete change of mood as Solent Male Voice Choir gave way to youth and glamour in the person of Ciara O’Connor, a delightful soprano who has charmed opera audiences in America, Poland and Ireland.

She won hearts here, too, with a spirited rendition of “I Could Have Danced All Night” which showcased perfectly the power and range of her voice.

Later in the evening the 32-year-old had the audience entranced as, joined by a backing group from the choir, her voice soared thrillingly as she sang the emotive “O Holy Night”.

Other highlights were a festive version of Leonard Cohen’s popular Hallelujah, carols including the jazzy Holly Jolly Christmas and a superb example of festive story-telling by Marion Porter, wife of the Solent’s musical director Geoffrey Porter.

There’s another chance to enjoy this Christmas pot-pourri when it enjoys an encore at The Pallant Centre, Havant on Tuesday, December 18 at 7.30pm.

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