Prince of Wales to visit Worcester for Three Choirs Festival Elgar concert

The Prince of Wales is to attend a Three Choirs Festival concert of an Elgar choral masterpiece in Worcester Cathedral on the evening of Tuesday 25 July.

His Royal Highness – who is President of the Three Choirs Festival Association – will hear Lower Broadheath-born Sir Edward Elgar’s stirring oratorio, Dream of Gerontius. The work has been a favourite of festival audiences ever since its first full Three Choirs Festival performance in 1902, when it was conducted in Worcester Cathedral by the composer himself.

This year’s concert, conducted by Music Director of the English National Opera Martyn Brabbins, will be performed by the 150 voices of the Three Choirs Festival Chorus and Worcester Cathedral Girl Choristers, together with the Philharmonia Orchestra. The acclaimed soloists are mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley, tenor David Butt Philip and baritone Roderick Williams.

Michael Clarke, Chairman of the Worcester Three Choirs Festival, said: “We at the Three Choirs Festival are delighted and honoured to welcome the Prince of Wales to this concert. In the heart of ‘Elgar country’, Gerontius is perhaps synonymous with the festival, enduring in audiences’ hearts decade after decade. We are privileged to perform it for His Royal Highness in Worcester this year.”

Dream of Gerontius depicts the journey of a man’s soul into the next world. In turn theatrical and delicate, earthly and ethereal, the dramatic oratorio is widely considered to be Elgar’s choral masterpiece and is performed regularly worldwide.

This year the Three Choirs Festival marks its 302nd anniversary with more than 70 concerts, recitals, workshops, talks and family-friendly events across Worcestershire from 22–29 July. The festival involves more than 500 performers, and is expected to attract around 22,000 ticket-holders to the county. The full programme can be browsed online here.

Although the Dream of Gerontius concert is sold out, tickets for other Three Choirs Festival events can be purchased (subject to availability) here; by calling the main Ticket Line on 01452 768928 or by visiting the festival’s local Box Office at 4, College Green, Worcester (behind Worcester Cathedral). The ticket line and local box office are both open from 10.00am–7.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Image courtesy of Ash Mills.