Coronation baritone Roddy is looking forward to some “absolute bangers” at Shropshire music festival

Roddy Williams
Roddy Williams

Tickets to this year’s festival, from May 17 to 21 at St John the Baptist Church in Whittington, are selling fast.

The organisers say only a handful of seats are left for the Sunday afternoon concert, featuring internationally-renowned baritone Roddy Williams, who is one of the three soloists at King Charles III’s coronation just two weeks beforehand.

Mr Williams says he is looking forward to performing at two of the concerts in Whittington; in particular the Schubert songs which comprise the second half of the Saturday evening concert and he describes as “absolute bangers!”

In a world where classical chamber music is often branded as stuffy, or only for a certain type of audience, how absolutely refreshing to hear one of the world’s premier performers, espousing the virtues of this music with such enthusiasm and relating it to modern audiences.

Mr Williams said: “Devotees of high art song might at times feel themselves to be part of a tiny clique; even those who love classical music in general can sometimes be put off by the idea of listening to hours of song in someone else’s language.

“They can feel themselves to be on the outside looking in.

“However, Jeremy Sams’ English translations of Schubert cycles remove a significant obstacle. English-speaking audiences can experience these wonderful songs and understand the narrative plainly in real time.

“And the story is universal; a tale of youthful love and longing, of a loss of innocence, of betrayal and heart-ache. It is the stuff of popular song and Schubert’s music is full of popular, youthful energy.”

He adds: “After having performed on such a large, high-pressured stage as at Westminster Abbey, it’s going to be an absolute delight to bring chamber music back to an intimate setting. We can dispense with the fanfares, the pomp and the circumstance and make some new connections over this beautiful music.”

Shropshire Star