Andreas Scholl coming to Dorchester

ONE of the world’s greatest singers, the German countertenor Andreas Scholl, will be coming to St Mary’s Church, Dorchester, on 22nd January 2020, as part of his 2020 tour, The Twilight People.

Scholl, who is best known for his artistry in the baroque repertoire, will be accompanied by pianist Tamar Halperin in a programme that treads a path through a wide literary and musical heritage from the past 100 years.

The featured works will include familiar songs such as Britten’s arrangements of The Ash Grove and Greensleeves, Arvo Pärt’s extraordinarily beautiful Vater Unser, and several songs by Vaughan Williams, including his setting of In The Spring by Dorset polymath and dialect poet William Barnes.

There are also some wonderful discoveries and lesser-known works such as Copland’s solo arrangement of the hymn At The River and Beauty Is Life by Joseph Tawadros, which showcases Tamar Halperin’s piano playing as well as Scholl’s sublime voice.

Born into a family of singers, Scholl was enrolled at the age of seven into the boys choir in his home town of Kiedrich. Aged 13, he was chosen from 20,000 choristers gathered in Rome from around the world to sing solo at a Mass held on 4th January 1981. Four years later, he was offered a place at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (whocj normally accepts only post-graduate students), based on the strength and quality of his voice.

In 1993, Scholl caused a sensation when he stood in for René Jacobs  at the Théâtre Grévin in Paris, where he caused a sensation. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 1998 as Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda, a role he reprised at the Metropolitan Opera in 2006. Many of his operatic roles were written for the 18th-century alto castrato Senesino.

He has made many recordings with Harmonia Mundi and Decca – his CDs are among Harmonia Mundi’s best sellers – and has worked with most contemporary baroque specialists, including William Christie and Philippe Herreweghe. He also composes songs and ballet and theatre music, and has his own professional sound studio in Basel, Switzerland.

With a repertoire that ranges over five centuries, Dr Tamar Halperin performs worldwide as a soloist and with various chamber groups. While the focus of her activities is baroque music, she is also an acclaimed performer of classical and contemporary music.

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Photograph by James McMillan/Decca