Chester Music Society is celebrating its 70th season by presenting a major new choral work from composer Phillip Cooke.
The society, which has been bringing musical performances to the city since 1946, commissioned the new work entitled Noah’s Fire which connects to the Chester Mystery Plays and tells the story of one of the Chester guilds whose float (depicting the story of Noah) is destroyed in a fire.
But rather than admit defeat, the Chester ladies of ill repute come to the rescue and find new materials in return for recognition by the men-folk of the guild.
The work is written in 15 parts for full orchestra and adult and youth choirs. Accompanied by baritone soloist Robert Rice as narrator, the performance will be given by the music society choir and youth choir, under the baton of musical director Graham Jordan Ellis at their forthcoming concert in Chester Cathedral.
Composer Phillip Cooke said: “Noah’s Fire embodies much of what I am striving to do as a composer today: it works with the idea of tradition, with musical associations and ideas relating to local communities.
“It aims to fuse ideas from both the secular and the sacred into something both historical and contemporary. It is a work I’ve been wanting to write for years and is a piece I hope will be as enjoyable to performers and audience as it was for me to write.”
The world première performance will take place in Chester Cathedral on Saturday, November 21 in the presence of the composer and librettist Ben Kaye and many invited guests, including the Sheriff, the Lord Lieutenant, the Dean of Chester and the University of Chester vice-chancellor.
Tickets are available from the cathedral box office on 01244 500959 or by visiting www.chestercathedral.com.