Review: TWSO & Cantando Choir ‘The Power of Two’

Who: TWSO and Cantando Choir: The Power of Two

When: Saturday 11 November

Where: Activate Church

Work: Bizet and Mendelssohn

Conductor: Rupert D’Cruze, Soloists: Elaine Wogan (soprano), Sarah Court (alto), Kolitha Jayatunge (tenor) and Jarvis Dams (bass), and boy soprano, Matthew Colvin.

Reviewed by Andrew Buchanan-Smart


The Power of Two worked in this instance as it not only brought two organisations artistically together, it also brought together their respective audiences which created a full house, and that is what everyone likes to see.

The TWSO opened with Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suite No 2, is a favourite amongst regular concert goers for its very memorable tunes and colourful orchestration. Generally, the ensemble acquitted themselves well, with the flutes excelling in their challenging parts. The string tone could be developed a little more and intonation throughout was on occasion was unreliable.

Part 1 of Mendelssohn’s Elijah was where the Cantando and the TWSO joined forces. This is a challenging work where tempi considerations are often at the forefront of the conductor’s mind. Either too fast or too slow the work presents difficulties for either the orchestra or the choir, therefore the art of knowing the tempi that works best for the combined ensemble is crucial. It was pleasing to hear that Rupert D’Cruze accommodated tempi generally worked very well. Jarvis Dams (Elijah) had by far the major part and his lustrous baritone hues were sustained throughout.  Elaine Wogan (Widow and Angel 2) gave a strong and colourful performance, Sarah Court (Angel 1) provided that rich velvety timbre that pleased, and Kolitha Jayatunge (Obadiah and Ahab) performance was finely articulated with clear diction and Matthew Colvin sang the role of the Youth. As an SATB quartet the ensemble worked well. The Cantando Choir met their challenges, although at times lacking colour, the intent was there and came up with a creditable performance nowhere more so than in their final dramatic Chorus.


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