The Dream of Gerontius


Sunday 4th June 2023

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Tickets (including fees) from £15.50 to £46; Under 30s and full-time student discount available

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Sunday 4 June 2023 - 6pm

Tuning Up event 5pm in the auditorium - free to concert ticket holders
Eleanor Roberts, the Hallé’s Archivist, on the orchestra’s relationship with Edward Elgar

Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius

Sir Mark Elder

Alice Coote (Angel), mezzo-soprano
Michael Spyres (Gerontius), tenor
Neal Davies (Priest/Angel of Agony), bass-baritone

Hallé Choir, choral director Matthew Hamilton
Hallé Youth Choir and Alumni, director Stuart Overington

Confidently, Elgar wrote on the manuscript of The Dream of Gerontius, ‘This is the best of me’. Despite a shaky start at its premiere in 1900, the work quickly established itself as a masterpiece. Elgar adapted Cardinal Newman’s poem of the death and resurrection of ‘a man like us … a sinner’, creating the work’s dynamic through Wagnerian leitmotifs and superb, varied choral writing. Sir Mark’s personal high spot is Elgar’s masterly control of momentum from the moment when Gerontius’s soul encounters the Angel, to his split-second vision of the Almighty, a huge musical span including two of the work’s marvellous set pieces, the ‘Demons’ Chorus’ and ‘Praise to the Holiest’. Singing Gerontius for the first time in the UK is the American tenor, Michael Spyres, whom Sir Mark describes as ‘an amazing artist’.

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