Orpheus Britannicus Vocal Consort – up close and personal at Trinity Hall College Chapel

Rejoice in the Lamb – Orpheus Britannicus Vocal Consort – Britten, Poulenc and Alain

Trinity Hall College Chapel is intimate. I sat in a pew facing towards the centre aisle and am pretty sure the person sitting opposite me and could have tweaked my nose if they’d felt like it. I have to confess that for tall people, the seating might have been a squeeze. Since I’m a squirt, it wasn’t a problem for me, and the size of the chapel added to the experience. Members of the audience sat next to the singers; I was only around six feet away myself, and the result was immersive. The concert included music by Benjamin Britten that I have loved since I was a child, but it was the first time I had heard it live, and experiencing it in those circumstances was incredible – like being caught up in a sea of music with waves of it tumbling over me. The voices were clear, powerful and captivating. The organ towered above our heads and it was fascinating to watch the conductor, Andrew Arthur.

The college provided excellent programme notes, which put the works in context. The words of each piece were also included (with both the Latin and the English translation where that was required). The organisation was also excellent, with helpful advice from the ticket booking stage to the evening itself.
The tickets included drinks at the Master’s Lodge after the performance, and I must admit I almost ducked out of that bit. I was worried about the idea of waltzing into the (very grand) house of someone I’d never met. But when the Master reminded everyone of the invitation at the end of the concert he sounded so welcoming that I went along after all. It was a cheerful gathering – one where it was very easy to strike up conversation with other concert goers – and I must admit, seeing inside the building was impressive (huge rooms and beautiful furniture). Once I’d got over the fact that the sofas were cream, and I was clutching a glass of red wine, I had a very nice time indeed, and met some lovely people.
Orpheus Britannicus is Trinity Hall College’s professional Ensemble in Residence. They will be performing another concert – The Genius of Arcangelo Corelli – on Saturday 19th January at Church of St Edward, King & Martyr, Cambridge. Further information is available by emailing events@trinhall.cam.ac.uk


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