On Sunday 6th October, St Mary's Church hosted a concert given by The Resurrection Choir of St Petersburg as part of their 60 day concert tour of the UK.
The choir, just 8 voices under the direction of Jurii Maruk treated a full church to a first half of sacred Russian music with different members of the choir taking solo roles. These items were performed with great control, amazing voice production and great passion.
A particular mention to Mezzo-soprano Tamara and Tenor Nikita who produced the most moving of performances.
The final item of the first half, Chesnokov's 'Odyeyaisa svyetom' involved the combined forces of the Russian choir and members of the church choir and local singing friends who had been prepared and rehearsed in advance by Richard Grylls.
The ensemble effect was remarkable - a great experience for both singers and audience.
After an interval with refreshments and the opportunity to buy Russian souvenirs and talk to the performers, the second half comprised folk songs, including Tamara singing 'Those were the days' sung in Russian with the refrain in English, a song with an interesting history but we were later assured, with its origins in Russia!
A light-hearted drinking song featured elder-statesmen contra-basso Anatolii and some of the performers roots in theatre came to the fore in the final duet between Anna and Andreii.
It was all over too soon but after generous applause, the choir returned and Nikita gave a sweet performance of Burn's 'My love is like a red, red rose' in English or more correctly, in 'Auld Scots'.
The choir were hosted by families in the area and shared a meal in the Parish Rooms before heading to their various 'homes'.
It was the greatest pleasure to host these delightful guests and we hope they will return to visit us again in the future!