Beatles, Bach, and Bayrakdarian headline packed 2015-16 Peterborough Singers’ season

The Beatles and Bach may not seem to have a lot in common at first glance, but to Syd Birrell, artistic director of the 100-voice Peterborough Singers, both are masters of melody whose works he is thrilled to present to Peterborough audiences in the upcoming 2015-16 season.

Add to that list world-famous soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, who will headline this year’s version of the ever-popular Yuletide Cheer concert, as well as a roster of first-rate solo talent for the annual Handel’s Messiah concerts – and you have a truly extraordinary season that music lovers won’t want to miss.

Right now, choral music aficionados can save up to 20% off regular ticket prices, as well as secure reserved seating at concerts, by locking in and purchasing series tickets of two, three, or all four concerts.

Series 2015-16

The Singers’ season kicks off on November 28 with Yuletide Cheer, featuring Bayrakdarian, who will sing crowd favourites such as “Ave Maria,” “Gesu Bambino,” and “O Holy Night.” Bayrakdarian and the Singers will be accompanied by the virtuosic Venabrass Quintet and anchored by organist Ian Sadler.

In addition, as Birrell, explains, “We have commissioned Bayrakdarian’s husband, Serouj Kradjian, “a keyboard acrobat” and well-known Canadian composer, to write a song for Isabel and The Peterborough Singers that reflects her Armenian roots and her life journey.” That original composition will debut at Yuletide Cheer.

The season continues on Dec. 13 and 14 with a beloved Christmas tradition – Handel’s Messiah. The Messiah stands the test of time and, with each retelling, wraps audience members in the wonderful embrace that is the human experience, joining together voices, music, and spirit.

“Handel’s Messiah hits emotions in a different way each year; no matter how many times you climb this mountain the view from the top is life changing,” says Birrell.

The Singers switch gears in the New Year, putting their unique spin on the unforgettable melodies, lyrics, and English charm of the four lads from Liverpool, presenting Beatles 3 on Feb. 27. Twice before the 100+ members of the Singers have brought the Beatles to Peterborough to rave reviews. Again this year, audience members will be given the privilege of hearing original choral arrangements of beloved Beatles classics.

“I have to say it is great fun to be arranging my own versions of Abbey Road songs for the choir,” says Birrell.

The season wraps up on May 14 with the power and pathos of Bach’s great oratorio – St. John Passion. Unapologetically extravagant, the Passion is an artistic and spiritual journey. To breathe life into this great work the Singers have recruited exceptional solo talent, and will be accompanied by the Talisker Players.