St Bride's: Music - Lunchtime Recitals


Friday, 9 October at 1:15pm - FREE ADMITTANCE - Retiring Collection


Conductor - Vetta Wise

Pianist - Karen Smith

Rachel Booth
Elizabeth Willmot
Rachel Keal
Maggie Ludlow
Judie Shore
Shirley Smith
Jo Westaway
Anna Winton Mills

Libre Vermell de Montserrat

          O Virgo Splendens

Ralph Vaughan Williams

          O Taste and See

John Tavener

          The Lord's Prayer
          The Lamb

Michael Head

          The Ships of Arcady

Edward Elgar

          My Love dwelt in a Northern Land    
          How Calmly the Evening
          As Torrents in Summer

arr. John Clements

          Blow the Wind Southerly

Seraphim, the inspiration of their Director Vetta Wise, was founded in late 2013 as an all-female ensemble of solo singers, dedicated to the performance of "beautiful sounds in beautiful spaces".  Their concerts in the picturesque rural churches of their area of eastern England have been received with enthusiasm and excitement by reviewers and audience alike.  Hand-picked by Vetta, this ensemble has established a remarkable reputation in less than two years for the range, quality, commitment and atmosphere of every performance.   Singing a cappella  or joined by internationally renowned players like Anna Noakes (flute), Gabriella Dall' Olio (harp), Nathan Williamson (piano) the Norwich Baroque Ensemble and Venetia Antiqua Ensemble,   they have been highly praised for their "heavenly harmonies creating a skilful sound", "compellingly intense delivery" (Operissima) and "really excellent ensemble" (OneSuffolk).  Their repertoire ranges from the Mediaeval to music by living composers, and they have already been honoured with a composition dedicated to Seraphim by Suffolk-based Jonathan Rutherford.  Standing ovations greeted their guest appearances in Venice in May, when they performed a cappella works as well as the rarely-heard Miserere in D by Johann Adolf Hasse in collaboration with the Venetia Antiqua Baroque Ensemble.  In July they presented concerts in Worcester Cathedral and the Malvern area, and they have an exciting year ahead, with diverse concerts in South Africa, Attleborough and Wymondham Abbey. Their sound will always return, however, to fill the beautiful spaces of their local Suffolk, and they plan a day-long musical pilgrimage to some of the historic "Secret Spaces" in the area in Spring.

Vetta Wise trained at the University of Cape Town and the RCM Opera School,  settled in the UK after several years as Chorus Master of Cape Town Opera, Philharmonia Choir of CT Director, and as University lecturer in South Africa. She had established the ground-breaking opera Choral Training Programme for disadvantaged young township singers, and worked with, amongst others, Menuhin, Osawa, Pavarotti, Rutter, Willcocks, the LPO and Birmingham Royal Ballet, winning national awards for her choral work. As well as her Suffolk teaching studio, she currently runs choral workshops and vocal master-classes throughout the UK and beyond; heads Saint Felix Vocal Studies Department; and conducts a variety of choirs. She was Chorus Master for Britten's War Requiem at Bury Cathedral for the Britten Centenary, and frequently conducts massed and community choir performances at festivals, recently including Verdi's Requiem,  Orff's Carmina Burana and Tippett's Five Spirituals for the Great Yarmouth Festival, and Haydn's Creation in Cape Town, both the latter to standing ovations. This year has also included Seraphim's visits to Venice and Worcestershire. Vetta travels regularly to carry out workshops, master-classes and international adjudication duties in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, and is overjoyed to see and to be a small part of the enormous development and achievements of choral and solo opera singers in southern Africa.