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Orchestra of the Swan return to Warwick Hall – with Roderick Williams OBE

For their third and final concert of the season at Warwick Hall, Orchestra of the Swan return to Warwick Hall on Thursday, 27 June – featuring the talented Roderick Williams OBE.

Roderick Williams is one of the UK’s most sought-after baritones, a global recitalist, opera singer, and a hugely respected composer. 

As a baritone, his opera engagements have included major roles at some of the world’s leading opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Dutch National Opera, Dallas Opera, the Bregenz Festival and Oper Köln.   

He has also been involved in many world premieres such as Alexander Knaifel’s Alice in Wonderland, several operas by Michel van der Aa, the title role in Robert Saxton’s The Wandering Jew, and the UK premiere of Sally Beamish’s Judas Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment. 

In particular, Roderick is known for his singing of Mozart, Bitten and Baroque repertoire. 

However, Williams’ expertise extends beyond singing – he is also a talented composer who has recently taken up the role of Composer in Association of the BBC Singers. Williams was also personally chosen by King Charles III to produce one of the twelve new pieces for his Coronation last year. 

William’s undoubted talent has been recognised by stellar awards - including winning the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Singer of the Year award in 2016 and being awarded an OBE for services to music in June 2017. 

After two mightily impressive performances by soloist Xuefei Yang and Jeneba Kanneh-Mason at the previous two Swan concerts this season, we are wholly excited to welcome Roderick to Warwick Hall this June. 

‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ 

Love, loss, deception, obsession, beauty, innocence and understanding; all human life is here. 

In addition to the professional Swan Orchestra and Roderick Williams OBE, Rebecca Miller will appear as conductor. Rebecca is Principal Conductor of the Bishop's Stortford Sinfonia, Principal Conductor of the Royal Orchestral Society, Director of Orchestras at Royal Holloway University, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra of the Swan. She was also most recently Chief Conductor of the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra from 2019-23. 

The concert will feature Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod (Tristan and Isolde); Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, Puccini’s Crisantemi and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K.550. 

Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, based on the 12th-century romance by Gottfried von Strassburg, is widely considered to be the pinnacle of the operatic repertoire. Its themes of obsessive love, jealousy and deception are miraculously rendered by Wagner’s use of chromaticism, orchestral colour and harmonic audacity.  

Mahler’s musical debt to Wagner is apparent in his use of vivid orchestration and melodic daring. His collection of songs known as Rückert-Lieder use the words of German poet Johann Michael Friedrich Rückert (1788 – 1866). Although not originally intended as a song cycle, they are however connected by common themes of love, artistic inspiration, isolation, acceptance and understanding. 

Mozart’s  Symphony No. 40  seems to encapsulate his distinctive complexion; otherworldly innocence combined with an intuitive knowledge of the human condition. His tragically premature death at the age of thirty-five leaves us continually wondering not only ‘how?’ but ‘what if? 

We encourage all families to get a ticket for the concert – with a host of iconic pieces, Roderick Williams OBE as baritone, Rebecca Miller as conductor and the Swan Orchestra, the final Swan concert of the season here in Warwick is sure to be another spectacular night. 

The concert starts at 7.30pm, and tickets can be purchased from the Bridge House Theatre website. 

Photo credit: Theo Williams