top of page

Sat, 02 Mar


Chester Cathedral

The Dream of Gerontius

Chester Bach Singers with Chester Philharmonic Orchestra and Cantiones Choir

The Dream of Gerontius
The Dream of Gerontius

Time & Location

02 Mar 2024, 19:30

Chester Cathedral, St Werburgh St, Chester CH1 2DY, UK

About the event

Joshua Ellicott Tenor

Kathryn Rudge Mezzo-Soprano

James Platt Bass

Martin Bussey Musical Director

Performing Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius is a special event for any singer.

It demands a large choir and large orchestra, so the chance to join with

Cantiones Choir, Oswestry and Chester Philharmonic Orchestra to bring

this vivid and compelling piece to life was one to seize on for Chester

Bach Singers. The inspiring surroundings of Chester Cathedral, together

with three top professional soloists under the baton of Martin Bussey

will make the performance on March 2nd 2024 an unmissable musical event

in the city. The work is characterised throughout by Elgar’s gift for

memorable melodies, by vivid orchestral colour and by a sense of drive

and passion.

The poem at the heart of the work is a complex piece of writing by a

leading theologian of the nineteenth century, John Henry Newman,

Cardinal Newman as he became. Elgar received a copy of the poem on which

the work is based as a wedding gift. Its complex subject matter takes

some getting used to at first sight in the early twenty-first century.

Gerontius, sung by the tenor soloist, Joshua Ellicott, prepares for

death and the journey he must make through purgatory ahead of hopefully

being received into heaven. He is supported by the prayers of his

friends on earth and by the Priest, the bass soloist James Platt, as he

starts his journey. In the second half, his soul is supported by the

Angel, sung by the mezzo soprano Kathryn Rudge. He hears demons mocking

his belief but also the angelic choir which provides the climax of the

work, ‘Praise to the Holiest in the height’, before the Angel bids him

farewell on the rest of his journey.

Gerontius is a work which challenges soloists, choir and orchestra

alike, but one which fixes the attention of an audience with an

intensity which few other similar pieces achieve. The chance to hear it

is not to be missed.

Tickets £25/£20/£10/£6 available from Chester Cathedral Booking Office

Share this event

bottom of page