Saturday, 27 December 2008

Winchester Cathedral Carol Service

It may seem odd to include this as theatre, but Winchester Cathedral carol service is more theatrical than many plays I have seen. I am not a religious chap but this will move the most ardent atheist. Just getting so many people in one enormous building singing the same songs is enough to make the hairs stand on end. Add in the incredible quality of the choir and soloists and beauty and history of the building and it is a sure fire winner - which accounts for its great popularity.

This year we were in the quire stalls. That has it pluses and minuses. You are often very close to the action (at the far end you sometimes don't hear the soloists the building is so large) and you really feel part of it. But for quite a lot of the time the choir disappears from view and the organ is right next to you - which sounds good - but it is very, very loud. This is particularly distracting when it does its own descant. I have enough trouble following a tune when everyone and every instrument around me is also following it.

Nevertheless it was thrilling and I recommend it to almost anyone.

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