Last Concert 23rd March 2019




Conductor – Richard Howarth
Leader – Pamela Redman
Chorus Master – Ian Jones
with Cumbria Festival Chorus
Christopher Steele –  Tenor

Venue: Kendal Parish Church

Mendelssohn Symphony No 5: The Reformation
Berlioz – Christopher Steele
with Cumbria Festival Chorus
Te Deum

This is the opening concert of the 2019 Mary Wakefield Westmorland Festival

Christopher took a BSc in Geology before working for the choruses of the Victorian State Opera and Opera Australia. He was awarded a scholarship for postgraduate studies in Opera at the Royal College of Music and went on to study at the National Opera Studio. He then performed as a principal artist in small roles for the ROH, WNO, ENO and Opera North and in leading lyric roles for many national and European touring companies. He also appeared extensively in oratorio including performances in most of the UK’s large concert venues.

Now based in Lancaster, Christopher teaches voice at Sedbergh School and Lancaster Royal Grammar School and is a Vocal Consultant for Lancaster Priory. He performs regularly in oratorio in the North of England and has recently enjoyed giving recitals of classical art song with pianist Peter Noke. He also has a keen interest in the science of voice production, recently leading practical pedagogical workshops for Lancaster Singers and Eversley Choir.

Whilst touring away from home, Christopher spent time developing translations of works he felt needed improvements. After many years of development his own translation of Bach’s St John Passion will be given its UK premiere by The Lancaster Singers in March of this year, in which he sings the role of the Evangelist.

Chris also enjoys the many splendid golf courses located around the Lancashire/Cumbria borders and often wishes he had as much time to devote to his distinctly less professional skills in that discipline!


Cumbria Festival Chorus

Formed in 2015 from an amalgamation of Cumbria Choral Initiative and the Mary  Wakefield Festival Chorus ‘Cumbria Festival Chorus’ engages singers from all over the North-West for major choral projects, for Choral Days with national choral directors and for ‘Come and Sing’ events.

The opening concert, which doubled as the opening concert of the 2016 Lake District Summer Music Festival, was the highly-praised performance in Kendal Parish Church of Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’. CFC seeks every opportunity to encourage and provide platforms for young singers both as chorus members and as soloists and aims to encourage audiences and participants for new or unusual repertoire. All projects are open to singers who, without audition, are able to commit to the rehearsals and performance dates.

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