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JORG DELFOS: Counter tenor

JORG DELFOS: Counter tenor

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Dutch countertenor Jorg Delfos is returning to the island to perform with the Manx Festival Chorus.

Jorg, who performed in Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabeus with the choir in May, was invited back due to his popularity to take part in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio on Sunday.

Manx Festival Chorus chairman Dylis Watson said: ‘This is a rare opportunity to hear an excellent countertenor, imported specially for the occasion in the run-up to Christmas.’

The Christmas Oratorio is intended for performance in church during the Christmas season.

It was written for the Christmas season of 1734 incorporating music from earlier compositions, including three secular cantatas written during 1733 and 1734 and a now lost church cantata, BWV 248a.

The oratorio is in six parts, each part being intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period.

The choir will perform the first three parts in English – The first part (for Christmas Day) describes the Birth of Jesus, the second (for December 26) the annunciation to the shepherds, the third (for December 27) the adoration of the shepherds.

The other soloists are Peel soprano Karen Johnson and Manx teacher Niall Howard-Evans (baritone).

The organist is John Riley.

The choir will perform in a new venue – the Royal Chapel of St John the Baptist, in St John’s.

Dylis said: ‘Yes! The Manx Festival Chorus, now in its 44th year, has gone west.

‘Sadly, parking problems in Douglas have made it difficult for members at St Matthew’s, but rehearsals are now taking place in the church hall in St John’s on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 7.30pm.

‘Parking is easy and the venue is warm and comfortable.

‘New members will be made welcome.’

This choir celebrated 40 years of music-making under the baton of Dr John Bethell in 2008.

Dylis said the Chorus is proud of its soloists, Manx and non-Manx, and, of course, of its singers and accompanying instrumentalists.

Tickets for the concert cost £10 for adults and £1 for children and students.

They are available from Celtic Gold in Peel, Shakti Man in Ramsey and Thompson Travel in Port Erin.

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