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Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia

Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia is proud to perform a broad range of repertoire as part of the RNS musical family. While classic choral masterpieces form the core repertoire for the Chorus (last season performing Handel’s Messiah), more ambitious programming includes performances of film scores – including Star Wars and Home Alone in recent seasons – and new work.

Recent seasons have included a performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony with Prague Symphony Orchestra, the tour de force that is James MacMillan’s St Luke Passion, and the world premiere of Hollie Harding’s 5 Landscapes for Voices.

Founded in 1973 by Royal Northern Sinfonia timpanist, Alan Fearon, the Chorus has worked with many guest conductors and with every RNS Music Director. They performed for the first time with Lars Vogt in 2016, and he has since conducted them in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Other notable performances include Bach’s St John Passion with Harry Bicket, Cherubini’s Requiem with Karina Canellakis, and Haydn’s Creation with Paul McCreesh.

Catering to a range of musical tastes, and with a singing membership of more than 50 individuals, Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia is made up of amateur musicians who work to professional standards. Members are drawn from all walks of life and from across the North of England.

If you would like to join the Chorus, we would be delighted to hear from you. Membership is by audition, and prospective singers may arrange to attend a rehearsal before auditioning. Email chorusrns@sagegateshead.com.


Tim Burke, Chorus Director

Born in Kingston, British conductor Tim Burke is emerging as an exciting talent amongst the younger generation of conductors, gaining a reputation for expressive and vivid interpretations across a wide range of repertoire.

He learned violin and piano from an early age, sang as a Choral Scholar at HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, and read Music at Exeter College, Oxford, before training as a repetiteur at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and winning the Sir Henry Richardson Scholarship to study at the National Opera Studio.

He went on to join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in 2006, working as a repetiteur for Sir Colin Davis and Sir Charles Mackerras amongst others, and from 2008 until 2013 was Chorus Master at Opera North, where he worked with conductors including Sir Richard Armstrong, Richard Farnes and David Parry.

A passionate believer in the importance of new writing, he has, since 2013, been the Music Director at Tête à Tête, producer of the world’s largest festival of new opera, where he has premièred eleven new commissions, including Kerry Andrew’s Dart’s Love, winner of the Stage Works category of the British Composer Awards 2014.

His opera conducting engagements have further included La Fanciulla del West for Opera Holland Park, Le nozze di Figaro for Scottish Opera, Le nozze di Figaro and Tosca for Welsh National Opera, Christmas Eve for Chelsea Opera Group, The Barber of Seville for Opera North, Die Fledermaus for Riverside Opera, Patience for English Touring Opera, People Watch for Streetwise Opera, La traviata for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Dr Ferret and the Bad Medicine Roadshow for the Opera North Youth Company, Tell Me The Truth About Love for Streetwise Opera and Wonderland Restored for Opera North’s Big Sing. He has also conducted Les enfants terribles for the Royal Ballet at the Barbican Hall and Will Tuckett’s The Wind in the Willows for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

His work on the concert platform has included The Night Before Christmas and Rachmaninov’s Vespers at the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds, St Nicolas, Messiah (excerpts) and Der Ring des Nibelungen (excerpts) with the Orchestra of Opera North, the Opening Gala of the Bradfield Arts Festival 2015 with members of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the 2017 Summer Prom with Royal Northern Sinfonia and Opera Classics, Summer Classics with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, the Great Song of the North with Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland and RNS @ Wylam (Music by John Adams, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman) with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

His recent engagements have included Jules Maxwell’s The Lost Thing for the Royal Opera, London, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Pierrot Lunaire for the Manchester Collective, The Gondoliers and The Yeomen of the Guard for the National Gilbert and Sullivan Company, Will Todd’s Wonderland Restored for Opera North’s Big Sing, The Emperor of Atlantis for Bold Tendencies and Façade with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

The World How Wide

Find out more about Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia’s exciting digital commission for 2020.

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