Come, listen to us!

Our next performances will be three Christmas concerts in December. More information soon.

Summer Concert 30 June 2023

Dido & Aeneas  by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell was written around 1684-85. It is a short opera that was most likely composed for the court originally but due to the death of King Charles II in 1685 any court performance was likely postponed. Therefore, the first performance occurred in a school for gentlewomen in Chelsea, London, in 1689.

The story is based on Greek and Roman mythology and set after the Trojan war, which was probably located in what is now Turkey.  It tells of Aeneas’ tragic love for Dido, the Queen of Carthage. He flees his home after it is sacked by the Greeks. Ahead of him lies a seven year journey to Italy. Fate has decreed he will found a new nation. When Aeneas arrives in Carthage, Queen Dido is mourning her dead husband, a man to whom she swore eternal fidelity. Aeneas falls in love with her and though Dido initially resists him, she too falls in love. All is not well as the sorceress and witches, with a hint of comedy and dancing, remind Aeneas of his fate and that he has to sail away. Seeing Dido’s grief, he says he will stay but she tells him to go and then she dies.

Comedy and tragedy are carefully balanced in Dido revealing Purcell’s sense of drama.

In 2014 the Cecilia Choir performed King Arthur, another semi-opera by Henry Purcell, which was highly enjoyable. This year we will be taking our performance further with staging, minimal scenery and movement with stage direction by Hans van Bemmelen and as usual under the musical direction of our enthusiastic and inspiring conductor Sanda Audere.

Past performances

What Sweeter Music was the title of our Christmas Concerts in 2022. The words are from the beautiful and tender Christmas song written by Robert Herrick (1591–1674) with music composed by John Rutter. The programme also featured pieces by the American Daniel Elder ‘Ballade to the Moon’, Norwegian Ola Gjeilo ‘A Spotless Rose’, British Howard Goodall ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ and Estonian Arvo Pärt ‘Bogoroditse Djevo’. The programme also included some traditional and lively songs such as ‘I Saw Three Ships’ and provided opportunities for the audience to join in the singing of well known carols.

Mozart Requiem & Madrigals was the title of our Summer Concert in 2022. We performed a selection of English Madrigals from Shakespeare’s time along with one of the most famous choral works in the classical repertoire, Mozart’s Requiem. The choir was conducted by Sanda Audere and joined by soloists Bethany Shepherd (soprano), Tim Braithwaite (alto), Stefan Kennedy (tenor) and Jonty Coy (bass), accompanied by organist Wim Voogd and a Viol Consort led by Alex Baker. The concert was held at the historic Lutherse Kerk in Den Haag.

Our last Christmas concerts, The Road Home, took place in December 2019 at the same locations as the planned concerts for 2021. After the Covid-induced stop on most of our activities and all concerts, we are very happy to be able to rehearse for our next concerts again.

Our 2019 Summer Concert, Through Darkness to Light, took place at the Nieuwe Badkapel, Nieuwe Parklaan 90, Scheveningen.

Please find below a picture of the choir and our conductor, just before the concert. Thank you, Hans van Bemmelen.

Cecilia International Choir 2019

Recordings of fragments from some performances may be downloaded by clicking the Recordings page.

A selection of posters from recent years is set out below, most of the artwork was done by Colin Reeves with the most recent posters designed by Annemieke Louwerens. Click on the image for an enlargement.