Archive for October, 2015

Review of Ely Sinfonia’s production of ‘Carmina Burana’ Ely Cathedral on Saturday 24th October 2015

October 27, 2015

Carmina Brenda Stewart and Steve Bingham emailEly Cathedral was packed for the production of ‘Carmina Burana’ on Saturday. Steve Bingham, conducted his excellent orchestra, Ely Sinfonia, and the magnificent choirs for this mammoth concert with his usual aplomb, and also managed to save the day at the last minute when the main soloist developed laryngitis. In the true fashion of ‘the show must go on’ a substitute soprano was found for the Carmina Burana, but it was a little late in the day to find someone who had sung one of the major works planned for the first half.

Instead, Steve Bingham and his wife, Brenda Stewart, stepped forward. After Steve conducted the orchestra playing a Verdi’s Overture from ‘La Forza del Destino ((The Power of Fate) played with true Italian passion and gusto, he and his wife entertained us with charming works including duos for violin and viola by Mozart, an amazingly slow tango and four delightfully varied duets by Bartok.

After interval the stage was packed and the audience was eager to hear the primeval rhythms of Carmina Burana. We were not disappointed. The huge choral group was made up of King’s Lynn Festival Chorus, Ely Consort, Ely St. Mary’s Junior School and Ely Youth Choir and they were marvellous. When choir and orchestra were spot on, the effect was sheer magic.

Some of the highlights included the dramatic opening (and closing) number ‘O Fortuna’, Spring: ‘Veris Leta Facies’ (The Merry Face of Spring),’ Olim Lacus Colueram’ (Once I loved on Lakes), ‘Circa Mea Pectora’ (In my Heart) and ‘In Trutina’ (In the Balance). The uninhibited crash of percussion and voices at the opening bars of ‘Fortuna’ wowed us as much as we’d hoped. ’ Veris Leta Facies’ and ‘Trutina’ were quite beautiful and ‘Circa Mea Pectora’ was particularly moving. One of the most spine-chilling sounds of the evening came from Ashley Harries (counter tenor).His resonant, carefully timed lines enhanced the surreal nature of the ‘Olim Lacus Colueram’ perfectly. Elinor Bowers-Jolley, the heroine of the concert standing in as the soprano at the last minute gave no indication of this in her exquisite performance – especially in ‘Trutina’. Baritone Tom Appleton was splendid and really came to his own in ‘Circa Mea Pecta’.

This was indeed a splendid evening. Ely Sinfonia will be next performing Berlioz’s ‘Symphony Fantastique’ and other well known works in their Spring Concert on 12 March 2016.

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Programme for Ely Writers’ Day on 17th October 2015 in Ely Library (Cambs. UK)

October 2, 2015

Here is our Ely Writers’ Day Progamme for 17 October 2015 Ely Library 1000 – 1500

This free event is organized by The Trio of Writers: Rosemary Westwell, Hayley Humphrey and Mary McGuire (pictured)

To book your place (free) contact

The Trio of Writers 1 email

0930 preparation

0945 coffee and networking

1015 Rosemary Westwell introduction, launch of my first whodunit: ‘John’s Shadow’. How to avoid making the mistakes I had to overcome when writing this novel.

1035 Mike Rouse my personal story: what I write, why I write it and how I research it.

1055 Margaret Brown and/or questions and answers for ‘beginners’

1115 Mary McGuire Tips and cheats for the time strapped writer. If you only get a few minutes a day at your writing desk, how can you make them count?

1135 coffee

1155 Sue Burge Mini-workshop – surprise yourself and produce one or two pieces of guided fiction/poetry in 20 minutes!

1215 Mary Nichols practical guidance on writing and presenting a novel followed by short questions and answers

1240 lunch

1335 Hayley Humphrey ‘Nanowrimo – can you write a novel in a month?

1355 James Steller (Scott) How to get the book to paper back without a publisher via amazon print on demand

1415 Stephanie Hale ‘Advice for first time authors: how to find and approach a publisher and prepare your work so that he/she will be interested in your book.’

1435 Question and Answer session

1450 announcement of short story winner by the Mayor of Ely, (First prize £50 donated by North Staffordshire Press)

1500 networking packing up/coffee to Burrows

Please leave feedback, take a flyer and we would be grateful for any donations towards costs (estimated costs per person is about £10)

Some books mentioned are available to purchase now from Burrows Bookshop, 9 High St Passage Ely (just around the corner)

Note: The next Short Story competition: send an unpublished story of 500 words to  by midnight on Friday 26th February 2016

The next Writers’ Day will be on Saturday 19th March 2016 at Ely Library 1000 – 150