Tag Archives: music

Crimes Against Taste Return to Sheffield

‘Tenor and Baritone’

A Musical Comedy exploring the hilariously tragic lives of two aspiring opera singers.

Saturday 4th June @ 7.30pm in Sheffield Library Theatre

Tickets £9 in advance (including booking fee)  / £12 on the door

Graham Neal (tenor) and Jon Openshaw (baritone) are budding young opera singers dreaming of superstardom, but when their grumpy accompanist (Robert Webb) brings them down to earth with a few home truths, they are forced into a rethink… perhaps more diversity could hold the key to success…?

The show features two professional opera singers performing music as diverse as opera (mainly with the mick taken out of it) Flanders and Swann, Tom Lehrer, Dolly Parton, Rap and Pop wrapped up in a hilarious story line. You will laugh until you cry – and there really is something for everyone!

Crimes Against Taste are one of the UK’s finest (and only) classical-comedy-cabaret-crossover-acts! Here’s what the audience and reviewers have had to say about them:

“Absolutely brilliant”

“Witty and fun evening”

“…exemplary renditions of many of my comedy favourites… I’m already looking forward to your next performance”

“.. a lewd sense of humour can lurk beneath the proper exterior… The performance was slick and well-paced … murmurs of approval heard from the outset and some extremely positive audience feedback at the end”



Trailer of our previous show, ‘Tales of Lust, Love and Heartbreak’ :www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRLTY-QQdk


St George and the Dragon

This Saturday is St George’s Day and Bel Canto will be celebrating the day in style.

There are two main items in the concert: Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and my new Dramatic Cantata – St George and the Dragon.

cover 2The Messa di Gloria was written when Puccini (1858-1924) was still very young, this piece shows the exuberance of youth, with a fair amount of skill, and is just plain fun. Puccini composed the Mass as his graduation exercise from the Istituto Musicale Pacini and It had its first performance in Lucca on July 12, 1880. Apparently it is not a true “Messa di Gloria” as these only had Kyrie and Gloria, but Puccini had already written a Credo (performed in 1878) and so perhaps, having written a new Kyrie and Gloria, decided to use the existing Credo, add a quick Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei (and these movements are really quite short) to complete the mass. The music is unashamedly operatic in nature, and those who know Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle will immediately recognise some of the styles. It is a great piece to perform and even better to listen to.

Alongside this work, you’ll be able to hear the first outing of my new dramatic cantata St George and the Dragon, written specially for the occasion. This witty telling of the story of our Patron Saint’s encounter with a Dragon features the choir as the concerned villagers, a heroic tenor (David Watkin-Holmes) as St George, a baritone solo (Peter Taylor) as the King of the town plagued by the Dragon, and a soprano soloist (Clare Wheat) as his slightly ditzy daughter, destined to be fed to the Dragon.

The words have been written by my ever-supportive parents, and the Cantata is accompanied by piano (the marvellous Jonathan Gooing) and percussion. The choir and soloists have enjoyed learning it, and the performance promises to be a great success.


Not the Eurovision

The Sterndale Singers innovative concert this Saturday, 16th May is an original alternative to the Eurovision Song Contest with music from 20 of the Countries which compete in Eurovision, presenting our own version of the competition. The programme, which as you will imagine is a real smorgasbord of musical delights – as varied a programme as you could wish to imagine – includes genres as varied as Renaissance polyphony from Italy and Spain, Folk Songs from all sorts of obscure places, exciting arrangements of texts by Shakespeare by a variety of composers, and, to use a slightly hackneyed phrase, in this plethora of musical styles, there really should be something for everyone. In addition there is the added excitement of watching and listening to the choir get to grips with at least nine different languages. “Why not twenty different languages?” we hear you cry. “that would really be fun!”. Fortunately many of our European composers write in English or Latin.

As well as supping on wine, cocktails or soft drinks, whilst listening to the music, audience members will be given the chance to vote for their favourite numbers during the evening – so if you have always wanted to shout “nul points” this will be your chance.

Here is a preview from Classical Sheffield


Further information is available from the choir’s website and on their facebook page and tickets can be ordered in advance through these.

As Summer Fades – the Proms Loom

As memories of the summer holiday and its highlights (York Minster, St Jean de Cole in the South of France, an outing to Chester Zoo) fade, my attention turns to forthcoming concerts, or which there are two right at the beginning of term.

On Saturday 30th August I will be accompanying an extraordinary young lad as he raises money for a new cello. Talented eleven-year old Callum Hilton will be performing on piano and cello at 7.00pm at the Upper Chapel, Surrey Street. For more details see this article in Classical Sheffield.


Then, there is the exciting Proms in the Peaks on Sunday 7th September in Losehill Hall YHA, Castleton raising money for Weston Park Cancer Charity – a cause for which the word “worthwhile” seems somewhat inadequate. This concert, for which I am Artistic Director, features Bel Canto, international Soprano Deborah Norman, international tenor John Hudson, Junction33 Dance Band, and Dancedaze – an amazing group of young Street Dancers, many of whom have just become champions in the United Dance Organisation World Street Dance Championships which took place in Glasgow during August.

The concert features music as wide ranging as Hallelujah Chorus and Carmina Burana, Les Miserables and La Boheme, Glen Miller and Street Dance, so there really is something for everyone.

The concert starts at 2.30pm, with the ground open for picnic lunches from 1.00pm.

Tickets are available here. Numbers are limited, so get yours now to avoid disappointment!



A South American Odyssey

Sheffield Sterndale Singers “A South American Odyssey” Saturday 17th May 2014, 7.30pm Holy Trinity Church, Millhouses

The Sterndale Singers “South American Odyssey” on Saturday 17th May at Holy Trinity Millhouses certainly promises to be an interesting and exciting musical evening. An exciting programme of South American music from the 15th Century to the present day, including Ramirez Missa Criolla, solos from internationally acclaimed soprano, Cristin Wismann, fun percussion and guitar accompaniment – much enjoyment to be had!

The first part of the concert is music from the 15th Century to the present day, including composers such as Juan Arañés (1580-1649), Bocanegra (c. 1631), Gaspar Fernandez (1570-1629), Juan Garcia de Zéspedes (1619-1678) and Juan Gutierrez de Padilla (1590-1664). In the second half of the concert, moving to the 20th and 21st Centuries, we will be singing motets by Fernando Moruju and Dante Andreo, finishing the concert with the acclaimed Missa Criolla by Ariel Ramirez. The South American music of the 15th and 16th centuries has a distinct flavour, perhaps more lively than European music from this period, and the selection being sung on Saturday is varied and exciting.

To complete the evening, and provide suitable accompaniment for these works, the Sterndale Singers are being joined by a select band of guests: the percussion section is led by local percussionist Dominic Ridler, and local guitarist Danny Naylor is providing a further South American flavour. The tenor soloist for the Ramirez is Argentinian Ernesto Correa, and the programme will be completed by a selection of Argentinian, Cuban and Venezuelan songs sung by Soprano Christin Wismann accompanied by Helen Glaisher-Hernández.

American soprano Christin Wismann is a graduate of the Julliard School of Music, and has performed worldwide on the recital, concert and operatic stage. She has been acclaimed as an ‘eloquent soprano’ (New York Times) with a ‘strong gleaming voice’ (Opera News) and a ‘compelling presence’ (Denver Post), and has garnered awards in prestigious competitions such as the National Opera Association, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Gerda Lissner, the Jose Iturbi Foundation Competition and was a national semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions representing the New York region.  It was during her time at the Met competition that she was filmed for the documentary The Audition, which was broadcast internationally.

Helen Glaisher-Hernández is an Anglo-Spanish concert pianist, musicologist, pedagogue and curator who combines her two great loves music and hispanicity as a specialist in Iberican (Iberian & Latin American) repertoire. She studied tango piano at the Conservatorio Nacional Superior in Buenos Aires and then completed an MMus in Piano at Trinity College of Music. Helen is known for the authenticity and cultural grounding of her interpretations. She has given the UK premiere of numerous pieces by Latin American composers such as Villa-Lobos, Guastavino, Vitier, Hernández, Camargo Guarnieri and Carreño, including a special commission by Ricardo Lorenz for Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room and has performed across other major UK venues including the Barbican, Fairfield Halls, St James’s Piccadilly, St John’s Smith Square and St Martin-in-the-Fields.

With such a star-studded cast, this concert will be well worth hearing.


Sheffield Sterndale Singers “A South American Odyssey”

Saturday 17th May 2014, 7.30pm

Holy Trinity Church, Millhouses

Tickets £12.00; Concessions £10.00; Students: £5.00; U 12s free available on the door.


Songs of Lust, Love and Heartbreak return to Sheffield

Crimes Against Taste are returning to Sheffield on Friday 2nd May with their acclaimed show:

“Songs of Lust, Love and Heartbreak”.

For those who missed the show in February, or would like to see it again, join us on

Friday 2nd May in the intimate setting of the

S1 Arts Space, 120 Trafalgar Road, S1 4JT (just by Devonshire Green)

for an evening of very funny songs and gags.

Watch our trailer (recorded live at the last show) for a taste of what to expect, and if you do, please “like” and “share” it.

You can also see more about the show on our facebook page, where you can also “like” us. 

There are many people who have not yet heard of Crimes Against Taste, who deserve to know about us come to be entertained and laugh a lot. Please share the event and our page among your music and comedy loving friends.

Advance tickets for the show are £10.00 (bought from me or Pete Taylor) £9.90 on the web (here) or £12.00 on the door.

Numbers are limited, so please do buy yours soon.

Hope to see you there.


Carmina Burana this weekend


27-DSC_5867Bel Canto’s concert on Saturday promises to be a great evening out. The marvelous choir from St John’s School Mexborough, some amazing percussionists, and the superb Bel Canto joining together for Carmina Burana, and as an added bonus, Flanders and Horovitz’s entertaining Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo. Pianists Jonathan Gooing and Nigel Gyte, with Soprano Clare Wheat and Baritone Peter Taylor complete the musical line-up.
7.15 at St Margaret’s Church, Swinton. Not one to miss!