St Cuthbert Oratorio, Will Todd


Durham Cathedral


Saturday, 28 September, 2013


Opera Gold, Orchestra North East

This event, with Arts Council Funding, is planned in partnership with the Lindisfarne Gospels Team. It celebrates the presence of the Gospels in the North East.

This will be the grand final event as the culmination of the celebrations and will take place in Durham Cathedral on Saturday 28th Sept. 2013 at 7.15pm
The event, created by locally-based company IO: InterOpera  will integrate amateur and professional musicians from across 'Cuthbert's' region to perform alongside International soloists drawn from the major UK Opera houses, the Durham Cathedral choir and the specially-formed Combined Choir: Lindisfarne Gospels, under the baton of International conductor Alistair Dawes 

The St Cuthbert Oratorio Text by Ben Dunwell set by renowned Durham- born composer Will Todd, is a lyrical and dramatic work whose text and music encompass the life of Cuthbert, culminating in the founding of Durham Cathedral.

The event will open with THE PRELUDE:
1. Sound Story (4 mins) by sound engineer Neil Combstock  A contemporary soundscape interpretation of the story of the shrine being carried by the monks as they flee the advancing Vikings. The piece begins with the amplified sound of the bells of the St Cuthbert banner. 

2. The Durham Cathedral Choir, conducted by Director of Music, James Lancelot, will perform the Anthem from the West End:  John Tavener: Ikon of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne  (11.03 )

3. Organ solo: Messiaen:  Les Anges (3.30) performed by Francesca Massey.
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4. Schools’ Banner Parade led by the Banner of St Cuthbert carried by John Cuthbert. This will take place during the singing of the Hymn to “ Ring  Cuthbert, Mary, Benedict and Bede” ( 3.44 mins)words Peter Baelz, music: Walter Greatorex, descant Richard Lloyd ) as the choir processes to the Feretory.
The banners will be brought into the performance space to be placed behind the chorus .. (organ extemporisation until  all in place.)

5. New Commission Music: Will Todd, Text: Ben Dunwell.
The Cathedral Choir, under their Music Director, James Lancelot ,will sing the commission which is inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels.( 6-8mins)
Tenor soloist: Austin Gunn

The Commission is based on the pages being displayed from the Gospels:

- The Apostle's Portrait ( St John the Evangelist ) - An Eagle
- The Canon Table , which can be reflected as a form for the words /music being written as an Arch and also using the concept of cross -referencing the Gospels, thus drawing in the whole of the Gospels' content.

                         SEATING INTERVAL : 10 MINS

(During this interval chorus and Orchestra will take their seats).
Orchestra: ONE
Chorus:     Lindisfarne Gospels Combined Chorus

The Lindisfarne Gospels Combined chorus  of 120 – 140 voices (including a semi-chorus )combines voices from across the Region, of all ages and abilities)