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Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus tells all about Haydn's Creation

Posted on 9 October 2019


When Joseph Haydn turned his hand to the greatest story of all time – the creation – his imagination simply bubbled over. Filled with sparkling melodies and blockbuster choruses, singing The Creation on October 25 will be a real treat for the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia.

“I feel like a kid presented with a box of sweets whenever the programme for the new season is published,” said Simon Wood, a bass singer for the Chorus. “The prospect of singing Haydn’s Creation for Paul McCreesh makes this my favourite ‘sweet’ in next season’s box.”

The Chorus performs a broad range of music as part of the Royal Northern Sinfonia family. It is made up of amateur musicians who work to professional standards, and members are drawn from all walks of life from across the North of England.

Alto Doreen Middlemast has been a member for 25 years. “Singing with the Chorus of RNS has been a huge part of my life,” she said. “It is such a privilege to be involved in concerts when RNS are playing to their fabulously high standards of music-making. Singing for and with the best definitely makes you raise your game. It has been especially joyful to sing in our home of The Glasshouse International Centre for Music with its fabulous acoustics in both Sage One and Two.”

Speaking about the upcoming concert, Doreen said, “Haydn gives the Chorus some fabulous moments in The Creation, such as the very dramatic opening when the Chorus sings the words ‘and there was light’ with an explosion of orchestral sound on the word ‘light’. He also provides the Chorus with the chance of singing some wonderfully joyful tunes to get our teeth into and which we can go home from rehearsals whistling.”

Tenor Jon Cooper said, “I’ve only ever sung bits of it piecemeal, so to be able to do the whole thing is a real treat. I’m also looking forward to working with Paul McCreesh again.”

Soprano Katie Hodgson joined the Chorus as a fresher student at Newcastle University. She said, “The Chorus is so different from my previous experiences. I’d never really heard of composers like Haydn before, never mind sung The Creation! It’s going to be great singing it with Paul McCreesh. He raises the bar high and we work hard to meet him and his brilliance. It’s a privilege to be in the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia, performing with a world-class orchestra and world-class soloists at the wonderful Sage Gateshead.”

While classical choral masterpieces form the core repertoire for the Chorus, they are also known to expand their repertoire to film scores, and will be performing the music of Star Wars on 2 & 3 November. Also coming up this season, the ladies of the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia will perform Mahler’s Symphony No.3 with the Prague Symphony Orchestra on 14 November, and then there’s the popular festive offering of Messiah on 14 December, a special Easter performance of Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives on 9 April and the rousing Zadok the Priest conducted by the legendary Trevor Pinnock on 29 May.

If you would like to join the Chorus, we would love to hear from you. Under Chorus Director Hugh Brunt, you will work with many guest conductors as well as RNS Music Director Lars Vogt. Membership is by audition and prospective singers may arrange to attend a rehearsal before auditioning. Email:

“It is wonderful to be able to sing with such a lovely group of people alongside such a fantastic orchestra. The excitement of performing in Sage One at a sell-out performance is like nothing else” – Jon, tenor.