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New oratorio gets Redgrave debut

PUBLISHED: 17:03 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:49 12 July 2010

A new full scale oratorio composed by Peter Creswell is to be performed at St Mary's Church in his home village of Redgrave.

It is one of the first works of its kind to have been written for a very long time, and Mr Creswell has assembled more than 100 people including eight solo singers and a 40-strong orchestra to perform the work 'David' on Saturday, December 20.

A new full scale oratorio composed by Peter Creswell is to be performed at St Mary's Church in his home village of Redgrave.

It is one of the first works of its kind to have been written for a very long time, and Mr Creswell has assembled more than 100 people including eight solo singers and a 40-strong orchestra to perform the work 'David' on Saturday, December 20.

It tells the story of David's life, starting when he was anointed by Samuel to be King of Israel, continuing with his experiences as harpist to King Saul, his killing of the giant Goliath, the death of his beloved friend Jonathan, his love affair with Bathsheba, and his complicity in the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite.

Mr Creswell said the oratorio is full of memorable tunes, great choruses and emotional arias.

Nineteen-year-old Mary Barclay from Stanton will feature prominently as harpist and top solo clarinettist, and Sara Whymark from Lavenham will play a thrilling solo when David brings back the Ark of the covenant to Jerusalem in a triumphant procession.

The four principle soloists are Julie Roberts, Jennifer Hewes, Gareth Morris and Gavin Horsley. Violinist Geoffrey Barker will lead the orchestra conducted by Mr Cresswell.

Redgrave church became redundant two years ago but has since taken on a new lease of life as a performance venue. The facilities now include a kitchen area, three toilets, cushioning on all seats and heating, as well as improved car parking arrangements.

Last year at Christmas time, Mr Creswell's new Mass in C was performed to a full church of 350 people.

Educated at Charterhouse, he served for seven years as an officer in The Life Guards, then went to Rhodesia in 1969 teach music. He returned to England in 1998, and is the organist and choir master at Fressingfield church. In 2007 he was given a community achievement award by Suffolk County Council.

Tickets for David, priced £15, are available from post offices and shops in Botesdale, Wortham and Redgrave, or telephone: 01379898526.

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