Huge congratulations to Olivia Clarke on receiving the prestigious ENO Mackerras conducting fellowship. Olivia sang with FCMG as a child and many of the Senior and Chamber Choir members know her well through Summer School where she has been on the music staff for many years.
The BBC have aired a documentary about English National Opera’s recent staged production of Britten’s War requiem, which featured 40 singers from FCMG. You can watch it on BBC iPlayer until 12th March 2019.
After enjoying a busy and exciting 2018, FCMG celebrated turning 60 with an Anniversary Concert at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday 13th January, singing popular British choral music including a work by FCMG’s original President Benjamin Britten, and two exciting new commissions. Singers from every period of the choirs’ history took part, making the 60th Anniversary Concert a jubilant festival of FCMG and its journey since 1958.
The Intermediate and Senior Choirs both gave world premieres: Joanna Forbes L’Estrange and Alexander L’Estrange’s Winter Songs, sung by the Intermediate Choir, conducted by Rebecca Lodge Birkebæk and accompanied by Jenny Gould; and Alastair Putt’s Under the Giant Fern of Night, sung by the Senior Choir with harpist Catherine Derrick, under the baton of FCMG Music Director Grace Rossiter. The Chamber Choir performed short pieces by Quilter, Grainger and Shearing, and were then joined by a choir of over 70 FCMG alumni for the second half to sing Britten’s A Hymn to St Cecilia and Tippett’s Five Spirituals from A Child of Our Time, among other FCMG favourites.
FCMG are currently singing at English National Opera in a staged production of Britten’s War Requiem conducted by FCMG President Martyn Brabbins.
Performances continue until 7th December 2018. You can get tickets at English National Opera.
“The Finchley Children’s Music Group sing with admirable clarity, accuracy and the crispest of enunciation.”The Arts Desk
“The grouping of the chorus … plus the Finchley Children’s Music Group and additional child actors – is masterly in its variety and conviction.”The Stage
“inspired singing by the chorus and by the Finchley Children’s Music Group “The Independent
“Fine contributions came too from the Finchley Children’s Music Group”Evening Standard
On 10th November 2018, trebles from FCMG joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth for a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera The Silver Tassie.
The concert was broadcast live from the Barbican on BBC Radio 3 and you can listen back to it on BBC Sounds until Monday 10th December 2018.
“Ryan Wigglesworth marshalled the BBCSO (as well as the men of the BBC Singers and the impressive boys of the Finchley Children’s Music Group) in a wonderfully nervy, energised performance, catching the cross-currents of a score that’s never still.”The Arts Desk ★★★★★
“This concert staging of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera based on Sean O’Casey’s play was forcefully conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth and sung by a consistently strong cast.”The Guardian ★★★★★
“Mark-Anthony Turnage’s masterly opera The Silver Tassie, last heard in 2002, made a welcome return as the centrepiece of London’s Barbican Armistice remembrance series, its power to move undimmed and the great arc of its hugely ambitious score vivid in all its clamorous beauty.”Bachtrack ★★★★★
“Act II came across particularly well, as the men of the BBC Singers and the Finchley Children’s Music Group formed the double choir of soldiers, with Turnage having included a children’s chorus to emphasise just how young the generation that served at the front really was.”musicOMH ★★★★★
“…and there was staunch support from Sally Matthews, Brindley Sherratt and Alexander Robin Baker among others – not to mention the excellent BBC Singers and Finchley Children’s Music Group.”The Telegraph ★★★★
“A strong cast ensured that Saturday’s concert performance made its mark.”Financial Times ★★★★
“The vigorous male voices of the BBC Singers and the animated Finchley Children’s Music Group were poignantly juxtaposed with the passing parade of boy stretcher-bearers.”Opera Today