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A Weekend of Music Fit for a King

Fairest Isle - Jewels of British Song
29th and 30th April, Oborne, Dorset

We were extremely pleased to hear from Susanna Stranders, the Artistic Director of Cameratina, that she had persuaded her friend Roderick (“Roddy”) Williams to sing for us this April. Roddy is known to many of us from his recitals on television and in the Wigmore Hall and is one of the most sought-after baritones in the UK.


So you can imagine we were ‘over the moon’ when Roddy broke the news to us a couple of weeks ago that he had been chosen to sing in the Coronation itself just a week later. He will be singing to 80 people in Oborne on the Sunday. He will be singing to 80 million people the following Saturday in Westminster Abbey.


The weekend of music will have a very appropriate focus of British art songs, particularly between the two Coronations of Queen Elizabeth and King Charles. Our opera, A Dinner Engagement, is set at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953., while our recital will include Roddy singing one of his own recent compositions just as he will at Westminster Abbey. We cannot promise any revelations about his programme in the Abbey but there may be tempting clues.

A Dinner Engagement

A comic opera in one act written by Sir Lennox Berkeley.

A Dinner Engagement is a one-hour comedy by Sir Lennox Berkeley.  It proved to be the most popular of Sir Lennox’s operatic works. The opera is a delightful comedy of manners in which impoverished aristocrats The Earl and Countess of Dunmow find they need to entertain foreign royalty in their modest suburban home. Will the dinner make it to the table?


Roddy directs the opera with a cast of six of the UK’s brightest young professional artists and with musical direction from Susanna from the piano. He brings a special insight to the piece as he sang the role of The Earl of Dunmow in the award-winning premiere recording of the piece in 2003 conducted by Richard Hickox.

Saturday 29th April, 5pm.  £40

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An open workshop

In preparation for the afternoon recital

The weekend is completed with a workshop, open to the public, during which Roddy and Susanna will work with a group of the young opera professionals to explore the different approaches that singers take to British art songs. This is part of Cameratina’s ongoing commitment to supporting the development of emerging British operatic talent.


Sunday 30th April, 2pm.  £20

A recital

Roderick Williams & Susanna Stranders with special guests.  

Our recital, Fairest Isle, will focus on British Songs from Purcell, from whom the title is taken, to pieces by living composers. Roderick’s own repertoire will be central to the programme, with pieces taken from his recent recitals at Wigmore Hall.


These songs will be complemented by pieces performed by our emerging stars which have been chosen to reflect their own homes, with Ireland and Scotland strongly represented. A strong British flavour to enjoy as we gear up for our celebrations of the Coronation.

Sunday 30th April, 5pm.  £40

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