Press Release: December 2013

by rob
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Published on: January 23, 2014

Review of Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra concert on Sat 30th Nov 2013

A large and appreciative audience enjoyed last Saturday’s concert by The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra at Coleford Baptist Church. This second concert of their 20th anniversary season saw a departure from their normal repertoire, as they performed the overtures and semi staged scenes from 3 Mozart operas – The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte and Don Giovanni. Joining them were 11 talented young singers from Birmingham Conservatoire. Although the orchestra are used to accompanying individual instrumentalists in the performances of concertos, accompanying singers is, as one member of the orchestra put it, “a very different experience, requiring extreme concentration.”

Ably led by Ros Taunton, the orchestra and singers were skilfully and enthusiastically directed by the orchestra’s regular conductor Thomas Payne. The overtures had an appropriately lively and spirited character and the ensemble was generally tight in the accompaniments, though it was sometimes too loud for voices which have not yet developed their full power. The young soloists singing and acting were impressive, conveying the humour and drama of the scenes. Members of the audience who obviously understood the original Italian lyrics were particularly appreciative.

There was a retiring collection for Great Oaks Hospice; the hospice’s founder spoke about its work during the interval.

The orchestra’s next concert is on 29th March 2014 at Newnham Church. The programme will be Smetana’s ‘Vltava,’ Brahms’s violin concerto with soloist Simon Smith and Dvorak’s 6th Symphony. For further details please visit

By Rosemary Griffiths

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