Michael Chance tells of his craft at Martyr Worthy Lectures

The Martyr Worthy lectures are always a delight:  drinks and delicious canapés and an opportunity to meet up with friends local and from afar, followed by a fascinating talk at Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall.

Last night was particularly special with Michael Chance speaking about the craft of a singer.  Michael is in a position to know about this, with the most glittering of musical careers.  He started singing when he was at St George’s School Windsor, then at Eton, before becoming a choral scholar at Kings College Cambridge.  As a counter tenor he made his first appearance at the Buxton Festival.  He then went on to perform at the Sydney Opera House, La Scala in Milan and all the famous Opera Houses of Europe as well as Covent Garden, the ENO and Glyndebourne.

He is now the artistic director of the Grange Festival at Grange Park our very own opera house just outside Itchen Valley Parish at Northington.

It was fascinating to hear Michael’s emphasis on the craft of the singer, the constant effort to improve.  We heard how the dedication of the singer in learning not only how to sing the phrases of an aria, but to do so with meaning, can be transcending for both the singer and the listener, almost, to my view, spiritual!

His talk was interspersed with musical examples and concluded with a recording of his own.  Sublime!

Thank you so much to the wonderful Martyr Worthy ladies Joanna Lang, Verity Coleman, Liz Platt and Gilly Greenwood for putting together this new series of Martyr Worthy lectures.  Thank you also to Beccy Clark our Parish Administrator, Madeline Quest-Ritson our Parish Accountant.  Thank you so much to so many of our wonderful neighbours for organising the car parking, for manning the entrance, for organising and providing the food, and for organising the drinks and to all those who handed round canapés and put out chairs and cleared  up at the end.

These events make a huge difference to us and we are so grateful.

Revd. Alex Pease



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