Unique chance to catch a special vocal talent locally

the King's singers'Photo: Marco Borggreve
the King's singers'Photo: Marco Borggreve

A SINGER with a pedigree to die for and strong Harrogate links has two concerts coming up in the area this month.

For many years, Stephen Connolly sang bass and co-directed the internationally-acclaimed vocal ensemble, The King’s Singers.

Serving the groupfrom 1987 – 2010, he has the distinction of being one of the longest serving members in the vocal group’s history.

Stephen grew up in Leeds, developing a love of singing as a chorister in the choir of Leeds Parish Church under Simon Lindley, and at Lawnswood School where he was a direct contemporary of Thom Meredith, who is one of the directors of Harrogate Festival Choral Course.

At school they performed together regularly, singing Victorian ballads and duets and sharing the stage in productions of Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan and Offenbach’s Orpheus inthe Underworld.

In 1984, they went their separate ways with Thom continuing his studies at Brasenose College,Oxford, and Stephen being awarded a scholarship to London’s Guildhall School of Music where he studied singing with Rudolf Piernay until, at the age of 21, he joined The King’s Singers and embarked on a remarkable career performing in excess of 120 concerts worldwide each year for almost a quarter of a century.

Now, 27 years later, they can revive their musical partnership in An Audience with Stephen Connolly.

This promises to be a wonderfully entertaining evening where Stephen recounts, in anecdote and song, his life inThe King’s Singers.

The event takes place at Queen Ethelburga’s College near York, at 7.30pm on Sunday, August 28.

Tickets (£12.50 including a champagne reception) are available on the door and in advance from Alan’s Gallery, 19, Kirkgate, Ripon or directly (until August 22) from Sue Rosborough, HFCC, Lakeside House, 97 Bar Lane, Ripponden, HX6 4EX (please enclose a stamped addressed envelope for return of tickets).

Stephen will also be the bass soloist in the performance of Belshazzar’s Feast by the Harrogate Festival Chorus and Orchestra in Ripon Cathedral on Monday August 29 at 7.30pm.

Tickets, priced £15 (£12.50 concessions) are available as above.