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Renowned Soloists from English National Opera and Opera North to sing Haydn’s Creation in Keswick

The Creation

[R]enowned soloists Susanna Fairbairn, Richard Phillips and Brian Bannatyne-Scott are joining the 60-strong voices of Keswick Choral Society and the Cumbria Classical Players conducted by Ian Hare to sing Haydn’s inspirational work The Creation, at Theatre by the Lake on 28th April at 7.30pm.

The Creation, Haydn’s choral masterpiece is a story in which all human experience is laid out. A description of Chaos, the appearance of Light, of newly created creatures on land, sea and air and finally, the story of Adam and Eve. For music-lovers and opera fans alike, this will be a tremendously enjoyable musical treat.

English soprano Susanna Fairbairn is a dynamic, award-winning young opera singer and soloist. She enjoys singing music of diverse genres by a wide variety of composers old and new, and has performed on stages all over the world from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to Carnegie Hall in New York. She recently released her début solo CD: Songs of Geoffrey Bush and Joseph Horovitz. Susanna’s forthcoming engagements include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for Opera North, performing the role of Pallas in Arne’s Judgement of Paris for the London Handel Festival and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas for English Touring Opera.

Scottish Bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott has performed worldwide for nearly four decades. For English National Opera, he has sung Pogner (Mastersingers), Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlos), Monterone (Rigoletto) and Commendatore (Don Giovanni). For Opera North, he has sung Simone (Gianni Schicchi), Geronte (Manon Lescaut), Swallow (Peter Grimes) and Varlaam in Boris Godunov. He has sung at La Scala, Milan, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival, Opera de Paris, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires and the BBC Proms.

Recently he has sung in Monte Carlo, Glyndebourne, Beijing and Strasbourg, and will sing Rocco in Fidelio in October in Vancouver. Next year, he returns to Scottish Opera, where he began as a company principal in 1982. Recordings include Messiah (DG), King Arthur (DG), St Matthew Passion (Linn) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Philips).

Richard Phillips studied at Cambridge University, where he played the violin and sang as a Choral Volunteer in the King’s College Chapel Choir under the late Sir David Willcocks and in the University Chamber Choir under the late Richard Marlow.

Richard then went to New Zealand in 1975 to lecture in East Asian History at the University of Auckland and has appeared as a tenor soloist on stage and in concerts all over New Zealand, with a particular interest in the role of the Evangelist and in works with extensive recitative. For the past few years Richard has been deputy music director of the leading Auckland choral group, Bach Musica. Richard also enjoys a wide repertoire of art songs and has been delighted to have had more than ten song cycles written for him by Auckland composers.

Keswick Choral Society is one of Cumbria’s longest established and most successful choirs, and they will be performing with the expert Cumbria Classical Players (led by Mark Wilson), together with continuo player Mike Town, under the baton of Musical Director Ian Hare, who was Cumbria Life Musician of the Year 2017, and is well known having formerly been the Chorus Master of Cumbria Rural Choirs for many years.

A former Organ Scholar of King’s College, Cambridge, he has held posts at Lancaster University and Carlisle Cathedral, and is currently the Director of Music at Grasmere Church. Previous performances by Keswick Choral Society have included two acclaimed performances of Handel’s Messiah at Theatre by the Lake and the ever-popular Festival of Christmas Music in Crosthwaite Church.

Book your tickets online at or by calling their Box Office on 017687 74411.

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