Andrew Foster-Williams. Photo © Paul Foster-Williams

Andrew Foster-Williams. Photo © Paul Foster-Williams

Demand for tickets to the 2015 Southwell Music Festival (27-31 August) has been intense but seats are still available.Organisers are particularly keen that the public does not miss out on a special performance of Mendelssohn’s great oratorio Elijah at the heart of this year’s Festival (Southwell Minster, Saturday 29th August).

Elijah will be performed by a professional choir and orchestra comprising some of the best young professional musicians at work in Britain today, conducted by the Festival’s Founder and Artistic Director Marcus Farnsworth.

The brilliant line up of soloists is led by Andrew Foster-Williams – recently described as “one of the handful of leading bass-baritones of his generation” – who sings the title role.

The soprano soloist is Sarah Tynan, the mezzo Madeleine Shaw, and the tenor Nick Pritchard – all among the best of the new generation of British singers. The treble soloist is Southwell Minster chorister Ethan Wood.

Those who attended Haydn’s The Creation at last year’s inaugural Festival will recall the visceral power of the combined body of singers and players. The performance was variously described by audience members as ”electrifying”, “fantastic” and “triumphant” and caused the visiting Sunday Times critic Hugh Canning to tweet that it would not have been out of place on the London concert stage.

Next month many of the same musicians return to the relatively intimate surroundings of the Minster’s Norman nave as part of a larger, 80-strong body of performers for Mendelssohn’s dramatic oratorio. It should be quite a night.

Tickets for Elijah are available from the Minster shop on 01636 812933.