The Pilgrim's Way
7.30pm on 13th December 2019
Passport ready? – Join us on a whistle stop tour along the CAMINO Ways of St. James for a Seasonal Choral Pilgrimage discovering music both rustic and refined in period and imaginative contemporary arrangements, with new CHRISTMAS compositions too.
Time to hit the ADVENT Pilgrim Camino trails with ports of call, and a few detours, along the way.
From far-flung European starting points, we plunder music of the Black Madonna en route. Celebrating a cosmopolitan CHRISTMAS of delights arriving at Santiago de Compostela - the Field of the Star - then out to Cape Finisterre for EPIPHANY – the Edge of the World.
We look out from the Atlantic coast, with its glimmering sea and stars, to the horizon, beyond which we join a lively Montevidean Afro-Spanish émigré Fiesta Carnival.
Our wayfaring companions will also include Italian pastoral rustic Pifferari (the Viva Voce Players) as they take their yearly journey down the Abruzzi mountains into Rome to pay homage to the Virgin and Child.
Back here at home come a-Wassailing in English cider orchards, promoting a good harvest for the coming year, reciting incantations and singing to the trees before swaggering door-to-door singing and carolling and offering drink from our wassailing bowl. Enjoy yourself with others in ‘a noisy, lively way’!
So, pick your preferred route...
Putting VV on the Sheffield Culture Map
7.30pm on 29th June 2019
Samuel Worth Chapel
in creative collaboration with the
Sheffield General Cemetery Trust
Three’s a crowd? Certainly NOT this summer, performing at a new intimate venue with a glorious acoustic.
Only Connect - Sondheim & Ravel in the same programme? Come Into the Woods and commune with the Brothers Grimm, joining Viva Voce in a vibrant Garden of Earthly Delights, linking apparently disparate, challenging and entertaining shards selected from the plethora of tripartite musical creations.
Vivid otherworldly vocal animations bring new and old fine art Triptychs to life with scenes magnified from Bosch to Bacon. This is a match for the Viva Voce mission – never to shy away from visceral emotion, elation, wry humour and technical challenges of versatile programming – to entertain and enlighten.
Headlining the programme are the masterful Chanson trilogies of Debussy & Ravel, taking you to the heart of the sophisticated Parisian intellectual left bank salon. Ours is an informal soirée with refreshments on hand (sans absinthe).
Inspired by texts, the ensemble shines the light on composer ingenuity in emotionally realising the poetry of the timeless Medieval Anonymous, Robert Burns, Andrew Marvell, Charles d’Orleans, the Irish of Raftery and many others – Sacred & Profane.
What better setting then than the newly restored Egyptian stylised Samuel Worth Chapel, at the epicentre of Sheffield General Cemetery, for staging excerpts from Mozart’s Magic Flute - set at the Temple of Isis. This is light-hearted vivacious vaudeville entertainment where dark fantasy, comedy and high drama collide – all relishing the rule of three.
Moments of mindful repose are supplied with a contemporary African-American Prayer Trilogy.
The Viva Voce Players – our very own pit band/String Quartet – will occasionally accompany and provide joyous, tongue in cheek Haydn Minuets & Trios. Yet more threes!
So… rediscover your inner child and join the cast of satyres, centaurs, cunning wizards, hobgoblins, incubus, imps, ogres (and many more) in Elysian fields for a fairy tale ‘mash-up’.
Go on - we dare you!
A Rose Of Such Virtue
14th December 2018
RES MIRANDA –
what a wondrous, marvellous thing!
Of a Rose, is all my song
I sing of a mayden that is makèles
Hail, star of the Ocean!
Many a gaud and glittering toy!
Celebrate the Christmas Season in style with
VIVA VOCE Chamber Choir & Players
In a concert focusing on the plight, joys and tribulations of Mary, from the intimacy of the awesome Annunciation with Archangel Gabriel, to the sumptuous Epiphany visitation of the Kings
Plenty of versatile choral surprises along the way with traditional melodies in new guises.
There’ll be Gallery Quire Carols with an unruly rustic, but sometimes elegantly honed, West Gallery Orchestra
All in the fitting historical surroundings of the illuminated Georgian Upper Chapel.
You can even raise a glass, and your voices, to Sheffield’s ‘Old Foster’ and the like.
GAUDEAMUS – let’s rejoice! &
TRANSEAMUS – let’s be changed, enlightened.
You are certain of entertainment from the profound to the frankly profane!
A celebratory affair for friends and family.
a midsummer celebration
30th June 2018
St Peter's Church
Lined up for your entertainment & delight were…
RITUAL JAANI CUSTOMS
The Baltic St John's Day Jaani Songs of Tormis - lighting the Midsummer Bonfire just after the summer solstice and joyous festivities, as their ancestors have for centuries.
We commune with nature in Gunnar Hahn’s Rondo Lapponico, and some bawdy parish Estonian Wedding Songs of Tormis.
The wonder of the heavens is celebrated with Esenvald’s awesome Stars (with tuned glasses), and movements from the Sunrise Mass of Ola Gjeilo – a mindful odyssey of human enlightenment, including a transcendental violin protagonist.
Add in a seductive Mantyjarvi Lullaby from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and we will be truly chilled out and at one with the elements.
BIRDS 'n' BEES
Frank Martin’s Where the bee sucks from Shakespeare Songs of Aerial - The Tempest...
Madrigalian mayhem from Thomas Vautor – Sweet Suffolk Owl – with an ornithological parliament of Owls, and John Wilbye – Sweet honey-sucking bee...
Trad/Goff Richards – Le Baylere – an evocative song of the Auvergne - ‘breathing in new life, seeing and feeling its native hills, scents and breezes’ (Canteloube).
Ribo/Jorvi - Song of the Birds - melancholic Catalan patriotism –replete with ‘celli.
Drink in the English Pastoral folk idyll of Ralph Vaughan Williams with Rhosymedre and Bushes & Briars. Plus, joyous psalmody, with incorporated English Church Bell Change Ringing, from Mantyjarvi - Psalm 150 in Grandsire Triples (with handbells!).
Liven up proceedings with the South American festive Renaissance splendour of Padilla, and the more contemporary latino rhythmic party ‘mix’ that is Hatfield’s Haupango - Las Amarillas and Piazzolla’s Libertango
Cool choral Jazz for a sizzling summer’s eve, care of Jukka Linkola – Mieleteko (Desire!) ushers us into the court of Venus, Goddess of Love, with a transatlantic vibe, a sultry Summertime of George Gershwin and the sophisticated wit of Cole Porter with Night & Day and Let’s do it, let’s fall in love…
A Baltic Odyssey
Saturday 24th March 2018
Tickets on the door
The good ship Viva Voce set sail on a luxury cruise criss-crossing the Baltic Sea - via Nordic fjords, following tributaries to hinterlands echoing the communal sounds of ageless, deeply ingrained, folksong. Our ports of call exposed the rich Nordic-Baltic cultures with their idiosyncratic customs – A Bridge of Song.
Including gems by...
Tormis | Nystedt | Gjeilo | Mantyjarvi | Nielsen | Esenvalds
A Yuletide Wassail
Thursday 21st December 2017
@ Waitrose (Sheffield) - 7pm - 7.30pm
Then from 7.50pm onwards...
@ The Florentine, Tapton Park Rd
@ The Ranmoor Inn, Fulwood Rd
@ The Rising Sun, Fulwood Rd
In support of
We raised £253.73, which was matched to make a donation of
SYNT-RCGP Faculty (South Yorkshire North Trent - Royal college of General Practitioners)
RCEM (Royal College of Emergency Medicine)
Ranmoor Xmas Handbell Ringers
The Great O's
Friday 15th December 2017
Tickets on the door
Delve into the world of richly illuminated manuscripts with music inspired by:
THE GREAT ‘O’
Advent Magnificat Antiphons
including the eighth Medieval English
O Virgo Virginum
ORNATE illustrations of the
Prophecy | Bethlehem | Shepherds Angels | Christ
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS - ARVO PART - OLA GJEILO - OWAIN PARK
MATTHEW MARTIN - CECILIA McDOWELL - JAMES MACMILLAN
OEUVRE - Repertoire ranging from the earliest intimate plainsong to the most beautifully etched choral sound canvasses.
Bach Mass In B Minor
Sunday 5th November 2017
University of Sheffield
‘A mighty response to life’s terrible silences’
VV join a choral collective project building a cathedral of sound through the
Mass In B Minor - the pinnacle of Bach’s quest for musical perfection.
In collaboration with:
Jonathan Peter Kenny Conductor
English Touring Opera Soloists
Old Street Band Orchestra
Part of Sheffield University's Songmakers epic journey of Song, the chorus, led by Timothy Peters, also includes Octogenesis, and some of Sheffield’s best singers drawn from the Philharmonic Chorus, Bach, Cathedral and University Chamber Choirs.
Fittingly for Bonfire Night there will be solo & choral pyrotechnics a-plenty!
Americas: I Have A Dream
Saturday 20th May 2017
Artistry and culture... Composers covering both the sacred & profane.
Delving into the cultural past and present
In the Beginning Aaron Copland
Reincarnations Op.16 Samuel Barber
Deep River Spiritual arr. Brian Trant
The Battle of Jericho Trad Spiritual arr. Moses Hogan
Alleluia Randall Thompson
Salve Mater Misericordiae Tim Sarsany
Shenandoah American Folksong arr. James Erb
Sleep Eric Whitacre
Sonnet No.LXIV (In memoriam 9/11/01) Dominick Argento
Sure on this Shining Night Samuel Barber
Sure on this Shining Night Morten Lauridsen
Make our Garden Grow from Candide Leonard Bernstein arr. Robert Page.
Diverse choral canvas
Infused with the seductive rhythms and vibes of Latin America
Mingled with rich frontier explorer Shaker culture
Old American Songs Aaron Copland
Long Time Ago
I Bought Me A Cat
At the River
Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 – Aria Heitor Villa-Lobos
Exsultate iusti in Domino Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla
Duerme Negrito Yupanqui arr. Emile Sole
Libertango Piazzolla arr. Escalada
The girl from Ipanema Antonio Jobin arr. A Marshall
Five Choirs: Sounds from Heaven
Sunday 19th March 2017
St Marie's Cathedral
A heart-lifting soundscape of song, with a thought provoking repertoire offering:
Pärt Bogoroditsye Djevo
Penderecki Agnus Dei from A Polish Requiem
Arr. Moses Hogan The Battle of Jericho
Wonderful collaboration with four other Sheffield based choirs. Looking forward to our joint performance of a commissioned piece from Platform 4 composer Jenny Jackson - engaging with the new generation of creative composing talent.
Friday 16th December 2016
pura velut aurum
et canunt angeli
molliter modo natum
- Charles Anthony Silvestri
warm and heavy
as pure gold,
and the angels sing softly
to the newborn babe
- Edward Esch
Midwinter Light And Gold
All are warmly welcome to our showcase performance which truly offers something for everyone.
Repertoire from across Europe from the Medieval, through the traditional ‘re-booted’ to present day challenging cutting edge contemporary choral repertoire.
Ola Gjeilo In the Bleak Midwinter – a contemporary reworking of Holst’s favourite tune...
...And an Old English Carol Jesu, Thou the Virgin born, with shades of Planets' Venus -The Bringer of Peace.
Warlock Corpus Christi – Holy Grail – Fisher King
Kings College Choir inspired
Chilcott Shepherd’s Carol - Atmospheric a simple tune, initially unaccompanied, it is woven into a rich vocal tapestry. The lovely, poignant melody of folk-like simplicity is supported by languid and atmospheric harmonies. The effect is a sublime marriage of poetic imagery and music.
Arvo Pärt – subversive Snare drum, peasant uprising - repetitive incantations and expression of divine joy - dichotomy of the spirit and the flesh / heavenly v Earthly - Pärt's signature minimalist technique
Manz E’en so Lord Jesus, quickly come - from the Book of Revelation - A parental prayer composed at the bedside of a critically ill three year old son who miraculously recovered.
American Southern ‘Shape’ Music: Walker, Ives, Whitacre
Hugo Distler – Op 10 Variations on Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, used as the base for his 1933 oratorio Die Weihnachtsgeschichte (The Christmas Story)
Jacob Handl Mirabile Mysterium – Renaissance expressive chromaticism way ahead of its time.
Kaleidoscopic polychoral splendour of Scheidt & Praetorius In dulci jubilo
So…………. at the most wonderful time of the year, shake those Sheffield Christmas Bells and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Viva Voce!
Saturday 19th November 2016
21 Brown St
Shakespeare 400 * Music of Creative Industry * A Taster of Seasonal Music
Join us at the Persistence Works - the UK’s first purpose-built fine art and crafts studio complex providing a permanent base for over 80 artists. We are delighted to be exploring the acoustic properties of this award-winning and contemporary building, built at and embodying the intersection of culture and industry within Sheffield's old cutlery-making quarter.
At the Yorkshire Artspace* Open Studios event, we will be continuing our musical reflection of the city's rich creative heritage (see past VV@David Mellor events). Come and explore the building and its studios (free entry), and hear an exciting selection of music spanning from the cultural celebration of Shakespeare 400 to industrial and folk songs from round the world.
*Yorkshire Artspace is a charitable organisation supporting artists and craftspeople by providing studio space at affordable rents, while offering a wide range of visual arts events and activities to the community.
Thursday 8th December
Advent & Christmas Music for ‘Friends’
Friends of MuseumsSheffield can enjoy a warm up for Christmas at the Millennium Gallery!
local Made in Sheffield carols
surprising twists on traditional music from across Europe (finding musical Arrivals - Making Sheffield Home).
Cornucopia of Delights
Saturday 2nd July 2016
David Mellor Design
Cornucopia of Delights
Bacchanalian Excess and Escapism
Where Midsummer Madness Meets Midsomer Murder
VIVA VOCE chamber choir, supported by DAVID MELLOR, present
post-solstice mayhem to entertain you, your family and friends at the
DAVID MELLOR VISTOR CENTRE & DESIGN MUSEUM
in Hathersage to mark the opening of their
Summer Sale and the Hathersage Gala.
This is your Invitation (no R.S.V.P required) to a ‘Mini-Glyndebourne in the Peaks’.
Be entertained in the Round factory, terrace and woodland theatre
Entertainment to include......
Music reflecting Craftsmanship & Creative Industries
Shakespeare 400 Celebration in Song– Classic & contemporary settings including lyrics from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest
VIVA VOCE become Shakespeare’s Rude Mechanicals, in a sequel to their botched Midsummer play, with renewed ambition to present a mini Arcadian Opera – a Reduced version of Handel’s Masque: Acis & Galatea with a fittingly rustic Band of Minstrels on hand.
A jealous monster, two lovers, a murder and some supernatural nonsense with a beguiling playlist– what’s not to like!
Ritual Midsummer Solstice Jaanilalud – left-field foot stomping Baltic folk music arrangements.
Great American Songbook Classics
Promenade the grounds, enjoy some retail therapy, a little free punch and some complimentary canapes, and a great afternoon in this architectural diamond of the Peaks – energised by talented artisans, creating beauty in harmony with nature.
Et in Arcadia Ego.......indeed you will be!
Puck & Caliban will be on hand to guide you through the proceedings...
A Mosaic of the Air
Saturday 14th May 2016
Then Musick the Mosaique of the Air,
Did of all these a solemn noise prepare:
With which she gained the Empire of the Ear
Including all between the Earth and Sphear.
Victorious sounds! Yet here your Homage do
Unto a gentler Conqueror than you:
Who though He flies the Musick of his praise,
Would with you Heavens Hallelujah raise.
-Music's Empire, Andrew Marvell
“The Agony and The Ecstasy”
Viva Voce presents an entrancing programme of Love and Loss, with sensual sacred and profane choral music inspired by the Metaphysical poets.
Alongside such masterpieces as Hubert Parry Songs of Farewell and Gerald Finzi three anthems Welcome Sweet and Sacred Feast Op.27, we run the historical gamut of metaphysical musings, including early settings of Elizabethan Madrigalists, and a superb selection of contemporary works by William Harris, Judith Weir, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Richard Rodney Bennett, Jonathan Dove and Lloyd Pfautsch.
All interspersed with solo selections from Benjamin Britten’s stark concentration camp inspired settings of The Holy Sonnets of John Donne Op.35 and Ralph Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel.
Organist: Neil Taylor
Pianist: Chris Tyler
Cellist: Rachel Sever
Pizzetti: Messa di Requiem &
Campra: Messe de Mort
Saturday 28th March 2015
Both these neglected choral masterpieces draw on the Gregorian plainchant tradition, but there the similarity ends.
One is a highly theatrical Pompe Funèbre (Ceremonial Funeral) for choir and small orchestra written by a worldly French composer beguiled by the Opera, bringing him into conflict with the Church he also served.
The other is an unaccompanied version by an uncompromising Italian who rejected opera and was an outspoken critic of modernism.
Each work is a reflective and meditative devotion, yet containing high drama and haunting lyricism.