A CELEBRATION OF KATHLEEN FERRIER -
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME :
2012 marks the centenary of Kathleen Ferrier’s birth and in celebration Diana Moore is performing her personally devised tribute throughout the UK, a project first conceived and performed in 2007. Endorsed by the Kathleen Ferrier Society, Diana has drawn on her own research of the Ferrier archives, literature, and interviews, combining excerpts from the celebrated contralto’s correspondence and diary, reminiscences from contemporaries, anecdotes and photographs with performances of the music most associated with her.
Collaborating with BBC Radio 3 presenter Brian Kay, her latest performance as part of the Perth Festival of The Arts was described by The Courier as “One of the most moving and captivating evenings I’ve spent…tastefully produced and impeccably performed”. Impressed by “the rich, velvety mezzo soprano of Diana Moore”, Garry Fraser continues: “Moore’s choice of songs illustrated the versatility of Ferrier, from folk to opera and from oratorio to lieder, and they were all delivered superbly…Each song was sung with the utmost expression.”
Likewise, author of ‘Ferrier – A Career Recorded’, Paul Campion writes: “Diana is tall, with a vivacious personality and fine platform presence, so one felt that something of the Ferrier spirit was present, too.”
Having already performed the programme in Perth, Manchester and the Sage Gateshead to critical acclaim this year, Diana takes her “innovative production” (The Courier) to Milton Keynes in June, followed by three performances in Wales this autumn as well as an invitation to perform at the Kathleen Ferrier Society’s Centenary Weekend in October. With next year marking 60 years since Ferrier’s tragic death, further performances throughout the UK are due to follow.
SOME AUDIENCE COMMENTS:
"As Kathleen Ferrier was my father’s favourite female singer, I grew up with recordings of her, but until I attended your tribute concert I hadn’t really paid much attention to her. I found your concert to be one of the most moving musical events I have ever attended...a performance that was wonderful in every way."
“I attended last night's concert at the SAGE with a little trepidation. I love Kathleen Ferrier's voice and doubted that anyone could do the pieces that she was well-known for justice. Crikey I was wrong!! A wonderful, memorable evening. Thank you.”
“What a great night. I confess the paper tissues were out at the end. I find it difficult to watch most female singers - usually I shut my eyes and just listen but you engaged my attention throughout the evening. I won't rabbit on - you were simply the best. Well done and thank you for coming to Perth.”
"We enjoyed the Kathleen Ferrier recital enormously... and want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to hear this wonderful artiste Diana Moore. We thought she was superb. She has a simplicity, an engaging personality and extreme professionalism - all entirely appropriate for the programme of Kathleen Ferrier's favourite performance pieces - and her voice... that was a joy!"
Paul Campion, Author of 'Ferrier - A Career Recorded'
“One of the most moving and captivating evenings I’ve spent. These aren’t words I’d normally open a review with but in relation to Thursday night’s show in Perth Theatre, they are more than justified. “A Celebration of Kathleen Ferrier” was tastefully produced and impeccably performed, and the tribute to a great singer, who was born 100 years ago and who died tragically young, made for an evening I’ll not forget in a hurry.
Her story is ultimately tragic, but at the same time fulfilling and uplifting, and the character of this extraordinary singer was brought to life by narration from the dulcet tones of Brain Kay and the rich, velvety mezzo soprano of Diana Moore, the inspiration behind this innovative production. Moore’s choice of songs illustrated the versatility of Ferrier, from folk to opera and from oratorio to lieder, and they were all delivered superbly, aided by the excellent dexterity of pianist Christopher Glynn. Each song was sung with the utmost expression, one of Ferrier’s trade marks with the odd touch of humour which was another trait of the late singer.
As her life story unfolded, Kay and Moore added anecdotes and reminiscences from some of the greats of her time, like Bruno Walter, Barbirolli and Gerald Moore, which illustrated the immense regard with which Ferrier was held by her peers. Musically, the show didn’t have a weakness and if pushed for the best moment, I would plump for the two Brahms lieder although The Angel’s Farewell from Gerontius wasn’t far behind.
Ferrier’s superb voice lives on through recordings, and the show finished with an empty stage and her version of Che Faro echoing round the theatre. The uncanny resemblance of her voice to Moore’s added to the emotionally charged atmosphere that ran throughout the evening, as the life – and voice – of a truly great Briton was rightly and royally celebrated.”
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