Music As You Like It presented by the Merbecke Choir
Join us for a summer’s evening of Shakespeare settings, from Vaughan Williams’ Three Shakespeare Songs to Frank Martin’s Songs of Ariel.
With texts taken from The Tempest, As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s Lost and more, Southwark Cathedral is the perfect setting to experience Shakespeare’s words anew. Come along and view the Shakespeare window and statue, read about the history of Shakespeare and Southwark, and enjoy your favourite speeches as they inspired generations of composers.
The Merbecke Choir is a group of around 25-30 singers who sing a wide range of music to a high standard. The choir is mostly made up of people in their twenties and thirties, who meet to rehearse every Tuesday during term time. It is a regular contributor to the liturgy at Southwark Cathedral, notably at the monthly service of Compline and Eucharistic Devotions. It also performs regular concerts, usually one a term, has toured abroad and in the UK and has released a CD, Under the Shadow of Thy Wings.
In 2003, Southwark Cathedral founded the Merbecke Choir to be a place for boys and girls who left the Cathedral Choirs to explore a wide range of repertoire under expert tuition. The choir has grown since then and has a broad mix of ages and backgrounds, though former Cathedral choristers remain very welcome.
The choir is a staunch supporter of new music, having commissioned several new works, as well as being adept in the performance of Renaissance polyphony. They have performed for HRH Princess Alexandra, the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and contributed to Her Majesty, the Queen’s, Christmas Broadcast recorded at Southwark Cathedral in 2006.
The choir’s current director of music is Emily Elias.
The Choir is named after the Tudor composer, John Merbecke (1510-1585), who composed one of the most popular settings of the Book of Common Prayer Communion Service. Merbecke with three other companions was tried for heresy in 1543 in the Retrochoir at Southwark, which was used for this purpose at the time. He was found guilty and condemned to be burned at the stake. However, his sentence was commuted by Bishop Stephen Gardiner, the then Bishop of Winchester, who decided that as a mere musician Merbecke ‘knew no better‘ and so was released to continue his music making.
Event organiser is Southwark Cathedral
Disclaimer: All information was correct when the listing was prepared. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.