•    Vivaldi Gloria and Mozart Mass, Saturday 13 July 2019 Open or Close
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    Saturday 13 July 7.30pm in Exeter Cathedral

    Vivaldi Gloria in D and Mozart Mass in C minor

    with Southern Sinfonia

    Nigel Perrin conductor

    Sponsored by the Bryan Foster Charitable Trust

    Our summer concert features two of the great masterworks in the choral repertoire.
    Vivaldi’s Gloria in D (RV589), in its combination of exuberant brilliance with moments of sadness and contemplation, is a firm favourite. Highly theatrical, it buzzes with bold contrasts and
    amazing sounds.
    Mozart’s Mass in C Minor (K427) stands alongside his perhaps more famous Requiem as one of the best-loved and greatest works of sacred choral music. The music has been described as having ‘a breathtaking sense of personal utterance’ and some have suggested that it was never completed, as Mozart did not know how to finish a score ‘already beyond perfection.’

    To buy tickets please click the Buy Tickets Online icon at the top of this page.
    Nave £28, £23, £20 (reserved)
    Side aisles*: £14 front, £7 rear (unreserved)
    *many with restricted view
    Special Anniversary discounts for Students and Children: Students £5; Children (under 18 years) £1

    Tickets may also be booked by phone through TicketSource: 0333 666 3366.
    Lines are open 9am-7pm weekdays (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-5pm Saturdays. Calls are charged at national rate and are included in free minutes. There is a fee of £1.75 per transaction for this service.

    Tickets are also available in person or by phone from Exeter Tickets, Dix’s Field, Exeter: 01392 665 885.

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  •    Open Rehearsals: 12 June and 9 October 2019 Open or Close
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    We are holding our next Open Rehearsal on Wednesday 12 June 2019 when we shall be preparing for our Vivaldi and Mozart concert in July.

    We are happy to be flexible about a visit date so, if you are not able to attend an Open Rehearsal, it is possible for us to arrange a visit to an ordinary rehearsal. The autumn term Open Rehearsal will be on Wednesday 9 October 2019.

    For more information about our open rehearsals and to see our special offer for the 2019-2020 season please see this page.

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  •    Choral Workshop 18 January 2020: Verdi Requiem Open or Close
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    Saturday 18 January 2020
    Choral Workshop
    Verdi: Requiem
    Belmont Chapel Exeter, 9.30am - 5.00pm

    Directed by Nigel Perrin, with accompanist Peter Adcock

    Our annual choral workshop is an open invitation for singers from far and wide to join us in a day’s exploration and cameo performance of a masterwork in the choral repertoire. In 2020 we are tackling the Verdi Requiem.

    Price: registration fee £20 (£5 for children under 18 years and students)
    Score: edition to be confirmed
    Score hire is £3, payable at the time of booking.
    We ask for a £10 returnable deposit on the day.
    When booking online, please select the price for your voice part with or without score as appropriate.

    To buy tickets please click the Buy Tickets Online tab at the top of this page.
    Tickets may also be booked by phone through TicketSource: 0333 666 3366. Lines are open 9am-7pm weekdays (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-5pm Saturdays. Calls are charged at national rate and are included in free minutes.
    There is a fee of £1.75 per transaction for this service.
    Tickets are also available in person or by phone from Exeter Tickets, Dix’s Field, Exeter: 01392 665 885.

    Venue: Belmont Chapel, Western Way, Exeter EX1 2DB

    About the day:

    09.30 Registration opens.
    10.00 We start the day with a selection of warm-ups before we turn to the work itself. The proceedings will be interspersed with practice of vocal technique and a plentiful supply of Nigel’s anecdotes.
    11.20 A break for complimentary refreshments, followed by further study.
    13.00 We break for lunch. You’re welcome to enjoy a packed lunch at the venue or forage in the many catering options in the nearby city centre.
    14.15 We resume our study.
    15.40 A break for further complimentary refreshments.
    16.00 Our cameo performance starts.
    17.00 Our day ends.

    Click to see a short video from our 2013 Choral Workshop.

    The Chapel is in the centre of the city. There is no parking at the Chapel itself, but paid public parking is available at Triangle Car Park EX1 2BL behind the Chapel or at Summerland Gate EX1 2LB opposite it. There are Park & Ride services; details are available here.

    Further details:
    t 0845 600 5441 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.)
    e This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Archived Concerts

The Commandant General’s Speech in Exeter Cathedral at the Eternal Voices concert on Saturday 20 November 2010

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Buster Howes and I have the great privilege of commanding the Royal Marines and of saying thank you to the many people who have made this remarkable evening possible.

As ever, one ... if not the star of the show is this sublime old Cathedral Church of St Peter – founded in 1050 ... An enduring, colossal, reassuring, presence in our very active military, operational lives. It marks our departures and celebrates our home-comings from across the globe. And on occasion watches over my Boys as they are carried carefully home, shoulder high, beneath the Union Flag ... or when – as tonight - we
celebrate their memory.

The tribal heart-land of the Corps is in the West Country. The vivid, red earth is deeply engrained in our uniforms. Six of the seven Commando Units of the Brigade, together with its Headquarters and the Centre of Amphibious Specialisation, are here. The crucible of the organisation – the Commando Training Centre is just up the road, on the Exe, at Lympstone, - where no opportunity is lost to go running in all that treacly, estuarine mud!
So Devon is our home and, like it or not, by dint of proximity, if not by blood, you too are part of the Corps Family ... We are your Marines.

Which is why your presence here and support, this evening, is so important.

The Boys … do care deeply that you - and the populace of Britain – care. That you are interested and want to understand what they do – particularly, currently in Afghanistan. They are sensitive to the knowledge that they are not just randomly ‘feasting with
panthers’ - engaged in some lethal but essentially irrelevant struggle, while a preoccupied nation watches the X-Factor on their televisions.

The Royal Marines pro rata have sustained two and a half times as many battlefield fatalities and injuries in Helmand province as any other organisation in Defence; principally because we have been committed to operations in Afghanistan more consistently than any other.

One month ago, 40 Commando, returned home to Taunton from their most recent tour, in Sangin - the most hostile district in the entire country. Twenty one of the Battle Group were killed and 92 were wounded. Those occupying certain outposts confronted a 95%
chance of encountering the enemy whenever they went out on patrol - and on average, they mounted 7 patrols per day. A Rifleman lived with a 1 in 5 chance of being killed or injured over the duration of his 6–month deployment.

Perhaps remarkably, they remain focused, resilient, clear in their purpose and undaunted. Proud of their long history and their Commando legacy, they – to a man – regard themselves as custodians of an heroic tradition and are bound by the brotherhood of a shared ideal and ordeal. They are as jaunty, mischievous, tough and keen to go out on ‘ops’ as ever they were …

And so to my ‘thank yous’; unsurprisingly, it’s quite a long list:

Thank you to:
The Dean of Exeter Cathedral – The Very Reverend Jonathan Meyrick - and the Chapter

Sir Trevor MacDonald – tonight’s compère and narrator

Thank you to Adam Gorb – the composer of Eternal Voices

And to Ben Kaye – the librettist

Thank you to Alison Kettlewell – the solo mezzo soprano in Eternal Voices

And to Guy Fenton – the solo treble – well done Guy!

And to the Exeter Festival Chorus and their conductor Nigel Perrin

And to the organising Committee from the Exeter Festival Chorus, especially the chairman Dr Alastair Logan, Rosalind Beetham and Val Arndt

I would also like to thank the many sponsors and donors whose generosity has underpinned this creative endeavour

And last but not least I would acknowledge:

The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, augmented by musicians from the Royal Marines Band Collingwood - conducted by Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace, the principal Director of music of the Royal Marines.

40 members of this Band will deploy to Afghanistan with the Brigade in April, as ambulance drivers, radio operators and transport coordinators.

This has been a stirring and poignant concert.

There are families of fallen Marines here in the audience tonight. I hope that this musical tribute to your sons, brothers and loved-ones – particularly Eternal Voices, which you have been so closely engaged with - will have helped in the long sense making process associated with your loss and may, in some small way, have salved your grief.

We, in uniform, well recognize the risks and precariousness of our profession and the essentially ephemeral and transitory nature of life. And in consequence, day to day, we try to live with energy and glee, to live on, with a fiercer intensity, on behalf of our lost comrades too …

‘How thin the cloth, how fine the thread
That cloaks the living from the dead;
How narrowly, from breath to breath,
We plait our rendezvous with death.

How swift the tenant flees the gate;
The landlord’s writ, come soon or late,
Foreclosing slum or stately hall,
Hard bailiffs at His beck and call.

How feather-light the feeble spark
That shields us from the greedy dark;
Un-jessed our souls like falcons fly!
How weak the lure, how wide the sky!’

Felix Dennis crystallizes the thought.

Henri Maria Remarque wrote of the power of voices on the Western Front in the First World War:

‘These voices, these quiet words, these footsteps in the trench behind me recall me at a bound from the terrible loneliness and fear of death by which I had been almost destroyed. They are more to me than life, those voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear, they are the strongest most comforting thing there is anywhere, they are the voices of my comrades.’

... ‘Eternal Voices’ ... Thank You.