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"CHROMA, whose accuracy, energy and mastery of various idioms, and sensitivity to the singers and the text, was exemplary"
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"hugely impressive"
   The Times





Anna Meredith in rehearsal for railgun


Clare’s narrative-led concerts at the Kings Arms in Berkhamsted go from strength to strength with French Impressions with an amazing Renié harp piece - now mastered by Helen after a couple more outings in Hadleigh and Norwich; On The Road inspired by Kerouac with plenty of Americana and bluegrass; Folk Tales with classical, folk and gypsy music and In the Bohemian Forest Czech fest inspired by Dvorak’s Silent Woods. Our artist-curated rural concerts are expanding – with Helen setting up a series in Hadleigh Suffolk, and of course we perform regularly for our cherished audiences in Norwich, along with the primary schools programme that happens in Spring.

on the roadhappy audience at the Kings Arms for "On The Road" performed by Matthew Forbes, Simon Hewitt-Jones, Elena Hull, Clare O'Connell and the Kerouac rendered superbly by Trevor Allan Davies

A double helping of Iford treats in June/July (+slices of cake=expanding waistlines!) – starting with La Traviata under the baton of the lovely Ollie Gooch, followed by La Vie Parisienne – our second project this year with Geoffrey Paterson conducting, who we met working on The Opera Group's touring production of David Bruce's Firework Maker’s Daughter.

canterbury highrecording soundscapes for "Britten on the Beach" with Canterbury High students

Then lured to the delights of Deal Festival by Artistic Director Matt Sharp – a funpacked schedule involving creating a soundscore with yr 12 students at Canterbury High School to underscore the dramatised rendition of The Last Voyage of the Lady Dee at our Britten on the Beach performance. The students were gifted instrumentalists and singers who improvised inspiringly to create a great creaking, storm-soaked score. The evening included Mark LeBrocq appearing from behind a fishing boat to sing The Great Bear and Stuart’s very clever reduction of Britten’s Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes for a chamber ensemble of seven.
We were also part of the festival’s opening night shindig which amazingly encompassed Wagner, Britten’s Sinfonietta, Shostakovich and the results of collaborations with young, local non-classical musicians which included bluegrass from The Gentlemen of The Few, jazz and a vocal trio. When not rehearsing for these various pieces we pottered off for some CHROMAtime on the beach, polishing up our pebble-skimming/relaxing in the sun/fish’n’chip eating skills.

britten on the beachappropriately moody sky as we rehearsed for Britten on the Beach at Deal

Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival was a corker this year – Claire on festival photographer duties so able to take in most of the new works on show. CHROMA joined in with Associate Ensemble hat on for the premiere of Tête à Tête’s own production of Kerry Andrew and Tamsin Collinson’s wonderfully evocative Dart’s Love – a chamber opera about wild swimming.

Dart's LoveClaire Wild and Grant Doyle wild swimming - with Rebecca Askew, Hazel Holder and Rebecca Thorn singing the River Dart- "Dart's Love" by Kerry Andrew and Tamsin Collinson

The Bampton production of La finta semplice at St John’s Smith Square saw a little Iford-themed reunion with mezzo Caryl Hughes - our Cinders 2010, tenor Rob Gardiner – Belmonte in Seraglio 2012, as well as Aoife O’Sullivan from Hansel & Gretel 2011. Andrew Griffiths (who we also first met at Iford, on Barber of Seville in 2009) on baton, and joyful it was too!

RAMWorking on Rubens Hernandez' piece - the RAM MA composers at their first workshop with CHROMA in October: Evan Kassof, Freya Waley-Cohen, Liam Mattison, Alice Hunter & Alexandr Brusentsev

Preparations well under way now for the ROH transfer of Will Tuckett's Wind in the Willows to the West End Duchess Theatre for Christmas. After that is our Glass Mountain series, with students at the Royal Academy of Music and Oxford University writing for accordion, clarinet and string trio, plus concerts including that Michael Zev Gordon piece, Ray Yiu’s Les Etoiles au Front (both CHROMA commissions premiered in 2012), Helgi Ingvarsson’s Castle In Air and pieces selected from the best of the RAM MA composers’ works at the Forge Camden and RWCMD Cardiff.

willowsCris Penfold, Clemmie Sveass and Will Kemp return in Wind in the Willows at the Duchess Theatre this Christmas - CHROMA on band duties

We’re also very much looking forward to opera premieres by Elspeth Brooke, Francisco Coll (who we worked with while he was doing his post-grad at GSMD) and Luke Bedford (last worked with in 2005!). The Brooke/Coll premieres in Aldeburgh in March, then Linbury ROH and Leeds. The Bedford is part of the ROH commissions based on theme of Faust (with Matthew Herbert writing the other piece) in rep at the Linbury in April.

See our calendar page for more details, and hope to see you soon!


CHROMA gratefully acknowledges financial support from the PRS For Music Foundation

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