an Opus Anglicanum sequence of words and music
Saturday 3rd September 6pm

Richard Stephens (organ) with Opus Anglicanum: An English Music

It was Richard Stephens who suggested this sequence initially. One of the greater delights for those who live in Chipping Campden is Richard’s playing Sunday by Sunday of the French repertoire and the works of J S Bach. In April 2015 we gave a performance of Dupré’s Vespers with the organ versets played by Richard.

Some time in March RichardJ.S._Bach_by_August_Weger mentioned that he had always wished to play some of the preludes from JSB’s Orgelbüchlein with a group of singers who would perform the chorales themselves before he played the relevant prelude. So it was that this sequence came about. The notion to use it as the context for readings from the Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggested itself some time later. Both Bonhoeffer and Bach are profound Lutheran theologians in their respective disciplines. Readings from Bonhoeffer’s works and from his letters from prison are placed as staging posts through the recital of Bach’s music. It makes for a moving sequence.

The evening concludes with the recitation of Comd-bonhoeffer_nb_weihnachten-1940-in-ettalpline, enhanced by Tallis’s verse for the hymn ‘Te lucis ante terminum’ and by Byrd’s ‘Ave Maria’. Compline is followed by a final chorale prelude, ‘Nun ruhen alle Wälder’, and by the audience joining the singers in the chorale sung in English to the poet laureate Robert Bridges’ ‘The duteous day now closeth’, his 1899 translation of Paul Gerhardt’s original text.

RICHARD STEPHENS is organist at St James’s Church in Chipping Campden. He initially studied organ with Robert Joyce at Llandaff Cathedral, subsequently with Lukas Foss and Alec Wyton in New York; and then with Martin Neary and Thurston Dart in London. Prior to a career of teaching, playing and choir directing in London, Shropshire and Derbyshire, he studied in Paris with the legendary French organist, Marie-Claire Alain.

TICKETS £10, under-18 £1 at

Photo: Christmas night 1940 in Ettal. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Barbara Dohnanyi, Christoph Dohnanyi, Klaus Dohnanyi, Eberhard Bethge.
DATES AHEAD further info at
Saturday 24th September 7:30 pm
Botley Music, All Saints Church, Botley SO30 2EA

Saturday 8th October at 6 pm
Mercers’ Hall, Ironmonger Lane, London EC2V 8HE

Saturday 5th November 10 am to 4 pm
Chant workshop: ALL HALLOWS music of the Saints
Sarum College, 19 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EE

Saturday 12th November 6 pm
Concert: THE GREAT AND WIDE SEA – Ancient Mariner & Sea Psalm
Bristol, The Lord Mayor’s Chapel

Saturday 19th November  6 pm
Concert: THE GREAT AND WIDE SEA – Ancient Mariner & Sea Psalm
Bosham Church PO18 8LY

Saturday 26th November 10 am – 5 pm
Worcester Lodge, Didmarton GL9 1AH
Chant workshop: ADVENT ‘Waiting’

Saturday 10th December 6 pm    
Concert: CHRISTMAS CONCERT St James’ Chipping Campden GL55 6JG
Monday 12th December 7:30 pm    
Concert: MEDIAEVAL CAROLS Wells Cathedral, Wells BA5 2UE
Friday 16th December 7:30 pm    
Concert: MEDIAEVAL CAROLS Bath – Prior Park College Chapel BA2 5AH 

Saturday 17th December 7:30 pm    
Concert: FIGGY PUDDING Haslemere Museum GU27 2LA

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Saturday 8th October at 6 pm
in the Mercers’ Hall, Ironmonger Lane, London EC2V 8HE

LYNNE PLOWMAN COMPOSES 10 short pieces for the new Opus Anglicanum sequence
Lynne Plowman is composing 10 pieces of incidental music for a complete reading of Coleridge ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. Lynne was awarded the British Composers Award 2003 for her opera ‘Gwyneth and the Green Knight’; she has been commissioned by Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, and the London Mozart Players.
Her work for Opus Anglicanum will refer to the ten engravings by David Jones for the Rime, published by Douglas Cleverdon in 1929. Some of these were seen at our concert in February as part of the David Jones exhibition in Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.
Zeb Soanes, OA’s narrator, will give a performance of the entire work, enclosed and punctuated by Lynne Plowman’s music.

SALLY BEAMISH ‘Sea Psalm: the sinking of HMS Duchess 12th Dec 1939′ a 20-minute setting of the psalm ‘They that go down to the sea in ships’ during which a spoken narration recites the eyewitness account from the only surviving officer of the destroyer HMS Duchess. Sea Psalm is an OA commission from 2008

THE PREMIERE WILL BE Saturday 8th October at 6 pm
in the Mercers’ Hall, Ironmonger Lane, London EC2V 8HE

The Mercers’ Company is the Premier Livery Company of the City of London and we are extremely fortunate to be given the privilege of using their Livery Hall.
The concert will be preceded by a wine reception.
Places are limited and the Mercers require that all bookings need to be made before Sunday 2nd October.
Tickets are £20 and you need to to BOOK NOW for this most special event.


Bach Orgelbüchlein RICHARD STEPHENS – organ chorales sung by OPUS ANGLICANUM
3 readings from Bonhoeffer, read by ZEB SOANES followed by Monastic Compline

Saturday 3rd September 2016 6 pm
St James’s Church, Chipping Campden GL55 6JG

In March 2015 Opus Anglicanum collaborated with Richard Stephens, the organist at St James’s Church in Chipping Campden, in Marcel Dupré “Vêpres du commun des fêtes de la Sainte Vierge, Op.18” . Richard initially studied organ with Robert Joyce at Llandaff Cathedral, subsequently with Lukas Foss and Alec Wyton in New York; and then with Martin Neary and Thurston Dart in London. Prior to a career of teaching, playing and choir directing in London, Shropshire and Derbyshire, he studied in Paris with the legendary French organist, Marie-Claire Alain.
Taking up a suggestion of his OA again collaborates with him for this project. Each piece is preceded by a reading of a translation of the first verse of the chorale, then by the singers performing one, two or three verses in Bach’s harmonisation, followed by the organ Chorale prelude from Orgelbüchlein. The evening concludes with Monastic Compline and a final Chorale in which the audience is invited to sing.
This very special concert explores Lutheran chorales both as sung texts and as subjects for Bach’s inventive preludes, and is punctuated by three readings from the Lutheran pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
£10 at the door.

For the full diary ahead see below.

All good wishes
John Rowlands-Pritchard
15th July 2016

EVENTS up to December 17th

Fri 22 July David Jones Conference York University YO1 7EN

Sat 3 Sept St James’ Chipping Campden GL55 6JG
Concert: BACH ORGELBÜCHLEIN with Richard Stephens (Organ)

Sat 24 Sept Botley Music SO30 2EA

Sat 8 Oct Mercers’ Hall, Ironmonger Lane, London EC2V 8HE
Concert: SEA CONCERT – Ancient Mariner & Sea Psalm

Sun 23 Oct  Two Moors Festival Dulverton TA22 9BU
Chant workshop with OA.

Sat 5 Nov Sarum College, 19 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EE
Chant workshop: ALL HALLOWS music of the Saints

Sat 12th Nov venue tba
Concert: SEA CONCERT – Ancient Mariner & Sea Psalm

Sat 19th Nov Bosham Church PO18 8LY
Concert: SEA CONCERT – Ancient Mariner & Sea Psalm

Sat 3rd Dec Worcester Lodge, Didmarton GL9 1AH
Chant workshop: ADVENT waiting

Sat 10 Dec St James’ Chipping Campden GL55 6JG

Mon 12 Dec Wells Cathedral, Wells BA5 2UE

Fri 16th Dec Prior Park College Chapel, Bath BA2 5AH

Sat 17 Dec Haslemere Museum GU27 2LA

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Great singing and terrible singing………Opus A meets Florence Foster Jenkins


Zeb cuts the Droitwich Concert Club cake celebrating their 250th concert, on 19th March when we sang for them a programme ‘Merrily sing our Harvest Home’.



Cooper Hall, Frome, Somerset
Saturday 16th April 10 am – 4 pm

Chant workshop: THE SONG OF ANGELS

Cooper Hall, Jacks Lane, Frome BA11 3NL
£45  & 01373 471854

688px-Meister_von_Mileseva_001A day in the inspirational space that is Cooper Hall, putting together chant about angels as guardians, warriors, messengers and healers, for a concluding presentation. The music ranges from the earliest 8th and 9th century masterpieces of the Latin repertory, to rhythmic chant from the later middle ages. It includes a beautiful piece from Anglo-Saxon England about Dunstan in Somerset, listening to the angels on the Mendip Hills.
Established in 2012 by singer and performer Morag McLaren, The Cooper Hall Foundation is a Charitable Trust which provides educational and performance opportunities for creative projects. Cooper Hall is within the grounds of Selwood Manor, a private home in the Somerset countryside near Frome. 
£45 inclusive of refreshments through the day, and a hot, home-cooked lunch. & 01373 471854
Benslow Music Trust, Hitchin

Benslow Music Trust
Monday 25th April – Thursday 28th April

Chant workshop: A SONG OF LOVE

Benslow Music Trust, Hitchin SG4 9RB
banner_ils_violin & 01462 45944

I encourage readers to consider booking for Benslow Music Trust residential course on Gregorian chant. It is warmly recommended as a rewarding opportunity to dedicate time to experience Gregorian Chant. Benslow is a very special place, and offers a tradition of hospitality and friendship for music makers of every sort. The Chant course will be one of a number happening in this beautiful house with enjoyable meals and accommodation. 
Our focus this year will be on chant from The Song of Songs and related material. As a contrast we shall investigate a 13th century dramatised reading of the Annunciation story from Padua. Both subjects are of great interest with a rich variety of music from the chant repertoire.

Strode Theatre, Street, Somerset
Thursday 5th May 7:30 pm

in aid of Opus Anglicanum Trust

Strode Theatre, Church Road, Street, Somerset BA16 0AB
£9.50 01458 442846

Michael Kuhn, Chairman of the OA Trustees writes:

11059479_1585923471667558_1228773252876289378_oAt the same time as promoting the OA Kings Place concert I was preparing to deliver my film ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ to the distributor. It stars Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant (I had not worked with the latter since making ‘4 Weddings and a Funeral’ and ‘Notting Hill’).

The script came in to me from an agent. Like most people, I knew vaguely of this New York socialite of the 1930s/’40s. She ran music clubs for ladies who lunch, and was well known in that city before deciding in her seventies that she had a marvellous coloratura voice and hiring Carnegie Hall to give a concert. The ensuing concert has gone down in history as one of the great car-crashes of all time and her recordings have sold millions.

I had to buy the script before getting the cast sorted. This is normal, except this was not a part for Judi Dench or Maggie Smith or Helen Mirren. Only Meryl Streep would do, and I didn’t know her. I did know Stephen Frears, the eminent film director. I sent it to him and almost immediately he said he would do it if I could get Meryl. I rang her agent and a week later she said yes. My average time for getting a movie from page to screen is 8 years. This took 2. Hugh Grant plays her manager/”husband” – brilliantly in my view. We then had to find someone to play FFJ’s put-upon accompanist. We discovered an exceptional comedian in a very successful American sitcom (“Big Bang Theory”) who was also a wonderful pianist –Simon Helberg.

Well, rather like the scare of promoting OA at Kings Place, I had the scare of putting together this movie. I hope and pray it will turn out as well. I count on you all going to see it and yet again preventing my children from ending up in the workhouse.

I can’t help but finish by recalling the text I got from Simon Helberg after his first trip to New York to meet with Ms Streep to plan the music in the film: “Dear Michael. When you sent me to meet Meryl Streep, I didn’t realise you meant THAT Meryl Streep! Simon”

Michael Kuhn, QWERTY Films (Chairman of Opus Anglicanum Trust)


Didmarton, Gloucestershire
Saturday 14th May 10 am – 5 pm

Chant workshop: TONGUES OF FIRE

Worcester Lodge, Didmarton GL9 1AH
£25 (u-18 £5) here

Those who came to the October workshop day in this most delightful and interesting place will surely wish to come again. Worcester Lodge is an 18th century Banqueting House on the Badminton estate. We shall be studying and singing some of the glorious chant for Pentecost – which is the following day. This includes the great poem of Venantius Fortunatus which is used as the hymn ‘Salve festa dies’ with its exhilarating refrain.
£25 (u-18 £5) morning and afternoon refreshments and a bread & cheese lunch included. 
Please book in advance at (preferred) 
or cheque ‘Opus Anglicanum’ by post: 
36 Berrington Road, Chipping Campden GL55 6JA

Wells, Somerset
Saturday 21st May 5pm


St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells BA5 2AW
£10 here

To welcome, Andrea Gabrieli and Mozart; followed by William Cornysh: ‘Ave Maria mater Dei’; Henry Purcell in bucolic and in pastoral mood; Gordon Crosse: ‘Spring Awakening’ for narrator and singers; recollections of music in Cornwall from Evelyn and Maisie Radford, and the Padstow May Song in an arrangement for us by Peter Nardone; William Byrd: ‘Ave Maria, gratia plena’; music hall ‘Henery the Eighth’;  Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson, Sir John Squire, John Arlott, and Edward Lear. To conclude, Handel “Halleluja”

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Droitwich Concert Club, Saturday 19 March 7:30 pm
Merrily sing our Harvest Home

Methodist Church, Worcester Road, Droitwich WR9 8AN
£15 (u-17 £5) at the door & 01905 779736

Droitwich Concert Club is to close after forty-three years. The Club has given superb service to the comm4985_full_570x468unity, promoting chamber concerts of the highest quality. In common with other music clubs, choral societies and indeed other types of local clubs and churches the present committee has not been succeeded by younger people. There is a variety of reasons for this and it is a sad fact, one which impinges on the continuance of OA as much as anything. We have been to Droitwich three times: first in 2009 when we performed ‘The Seeds of Love’; secondly in 2011 when we performed ‘Love Song’ as a St Valentine’s Day concert; and finally this year, when we shall perform a concert specially put together on the theme ‘Our Harvest Home’.

This is a mix of pieces to make a convivial evening’s entertainment, the various components drawn from our recent repertoire though with additions. One of these is Henry Purcell’s bucolic ‘Your hay it is mow’d’, from his opera ‘King Arthur’ – one of a number of special arrangements for us by our very own Stephen Burrows. The festive theme is kept up with a late nineteenth century description of the Padstow May Day ceremony, and Peter Nardone’s arrangement for us of the song which has long been in our folk-song programme ‘The Seeds of Love’. Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Butterworth lead on to another new arrangement from Stephen, of the wonderful music hall ‘I’m Henery the Eighth I am’, and the delightful 18th century ‘Sally in our Alley’.

SONY DSCThe first part concludes with Gordon Crosse’s 2010 work for us, ‘Spring Awakening’, a 20-minute work with a substantial role for the narrator using the episode of Bottom’s Dream from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

A second part commences with another of Stephen’s arrangements, Henry Purcell’s ‘Nymphs and shepherds, come away’. The ensuing theme is feasting, from Surtees, Samuel Johnson, Dickens, Squire and Lear, with appropriate musical comment to help it along. The concert ends with the famous ‘Hallelujah’ chorus – without kettle drums and trumpets but with great eclat and hilarity, as we performed it last summer to conclude our ‘Royal’ concert in Stavelot Festival, Belgium – where it received an ecstatic ovation. What will happen this time remains to be seen and heard.

Come one, come all, and join the party for Droitwich Concert Club.

Saturday 16th April 10 am – 4 pm
Chant workshop: THE SONG OF ANGELS
Cooper Hall, Jacks Lane, Frome BA11 3NL
£45  & 01373 471854

Monday 25th April – Thursday 28th April
Residential chant workshop: A SONG OF LOVE
Benslow Music Trust, Hitchin SG4 9RB & 01462 45944

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I will sing……….

to all who came to our London concert in Kings Place
read a review here

Saturday 27th February 2016

St Mary’s, Charlcombe BA1 8DR  – 10 am – 4 pm
The day will be PICT0682in this delightful and secluded church, the oldest in current use in Bath 
“We took a charming walk to Charlcombe sweetly situated in a little green valley.”
(Jane Austen 2 July 1799)
A day of chant, an entertaining, informative and enjoyable experience structured around the monastic hour services. Using at first simple recitation in English it includes also some of the rich heritage of more adventurous Latin chant.
The focus is on the Italian poet Venantius Fortunatus, his devotion to Queen Radegund, and works composed by him for her and the Holy Cross Nunnery Poitiers.
Experience and sing Gregorian chant in a friendly context.
Booking online at  £20/ u-18 £5


Dorchester Arts, Dorchester, Dorset
Come and sing, or just listen…..
Sunday 6th March 2016
plus optional CHANT AFTERNOON WORKSHOP688px-Meister_von_Mileseva_001

Dorchester Town Hall – Gregorian Chant Workshop: 2pm – 4:30
Holy Trinity Church – Concert: 6pm
Celebrating angels as invisible companions and guardians, as spiritual warriors, muses of creativity and as messengers, heralds, and healers. Music composed for OA by Howard Skempton and Diana Burrell, with chant of the night office for St Michael and All Angels, together with Russian Orthodox chant, works by Palestrina and Byrd. The narrated text is from Spencer, Suso, Eliot, Spenser, and Traherne.

Chant Afternoon: a rewarding and enjoyable time exploring Gregorian chant about Angels. Everyone is welcome, singers and non-singers alike, and you have the opportunity to work with OA, performing chant items in the evening concert and joining in the sung recitation of the concluding Compline.

Booking online at Dorchester Arts
Combined workshop and concert: £20/ £5 U18.
Workshop: £15/£5 U18.
Concert only: £10/£5 U18.


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If only I’d known it was on…..

KINGS PLACE London N1 9AG Wednesday 10th February 2016 6:30 pm
AN ENGLISH MUSIC  – the isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs
A showcase of Opus Anglicanum commissions from recent years from Gordon Crosse, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Diana Burrell, Sally Beamish, Judith Bingham, and Owain Park. With opening items from Purcell and Byrd for each part, the readings are from Shakespeare, Robert Burton, Siegfried Sassoon, Edward Elgar, John Milton, and Masie and Evelyn Radford’s ‘Musical Adventures in Cornwall’.

resizedimage380570-MarkWigmoreHandUpSONY DSC14469e04-5b99-4681-8fc2-d892f82322c52b185e_81bc6d526ac74f008c198702b2de3776.jpg_srz_400_300_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzHoward~Skempton~$28Photo~by~Kate~Vandyke$29OP-225x300Bingham Patrick DouglasHamilton 300dpiLARGEDiana Burrell

6:30 pm St Pancras Room MEET THE COMPOSER hosted by Mark Swartzentruber
Cheryl Frances Hoad, Howard Skempton, Diana Burrell, Sally Beamish, Gordon Crosse and Judith Bingham discuss their work in a public forum with questions from the audience.
followed by the concert at 7:30 in Hall One
Gordon Crosse ‘Spring Awakening’ with narrator 2010
Cheryl Frances-Hoad ‘In the crypt of the wood’ 2015
Howard Skempton ‘And there was war in heaven’ 2006
Diana Burrell’s ‘Sing, friends, to the honour of the Lord’ 2014
Sally Beamish ‘Sea Psalm’ with narrator 2008
Judith Bingham ‘In Mary’s Love’ 2012
Owain Park ‘Fantasia on Children’s Songs’ 2013

KINGS PLACE 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.
£13.50 – £19.50
Box Office 020 7520 1490


PALLANT GALLERY CHICHESTER Saturday 6th February 2016 3 pm
DAVID JONES July 1916 The Battle of Mametz Wood from ‘In Parenthesis’
£15 (Friends £13.50, Students £10) Pallant Gallery 01243 774557
(see last posting for details)

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WELLS CATHEDRAL Friday 22nd January 2016 6:45 pm
MEDIAEVAL CHANT £15.00 from the Cathedral Shop 01749 672773


CONCERT OF MEDIAEVAL CHANT – The Candlemas Vespers & Procession
One of the annual series of Wells cathedral promenade concerts which take place in January when the nave is cleared of chairs and the architectural space is revealed in its true nobility.
Our annual concert of mediaeval cathedral chant – Vespers sung in the Quire, followed by music for the ceremony of the blessing of candles and the procession. We are joined by the cathedral servers with candles and incense, and a feature of this popular concert is that the audience is welcome to accompany the singers as they move all around the cathedral.
£15: cathedral shop 01749 672773 & at the door.


PALLANT GALLERY CHICHESTER Saturday 6th February 2016 3 pm

DAVID JONES July 1916 The Battle of Mametz Wood from ‘In Parenthesis’
£15 (Friends £13.50, Students £10) Pallant Gallery 01243 774557
This was a huge success when we gave the first performance at the (very special) Ditchling Museum in November in the context of their delightful David Jones exhibition. It was a great evening altogether with a party after the concert and talks by two experts in David Jones: Ewan Clayton and Dr Hope Wolf.

If the afternoon at Pallant is anything like, it will be a memorable event. ThePallant exhibition of David Jones work has the advantage of the collection from Kettle’s Yard Cambridge, which is closed for building work all year. This includes the iconic ‘Vexilla Regis’,  the inspiration for our eponymous commission from Cheryl Frances-Hoad.
You are urged to come to this very special concert. The synopsis follows…….

Our sequence follows the narrative of Part 7 of David Jones’s ‘In Parenthesis’.The poet’s voice is that of Jones himself, ‘Private 25201 Ball’, who combines a running commentary on the action entwined in a fragmentary dream like way with his own thoughts.
Owain Park’s Sequence: In Parenthesis brings together snatches of tunes referred to by David Jones in the course of the poem, including Welsh and English songs and hymns, music hall and soldiers trench songs.
The Dedication is to English and Welsh companions and to the enemy themselves,‘against whom we found ourselves by misadventure’. Part 7 is prefaced by a quotation in Latin from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, as declaimed during the Holy Week liturgy, here sung in a setting by Palestrina.We find the narrator himself ‘all gone to pieces’ as the company move into the front line to wait for the advance, during which time they are shelled and sustain casualties and deaths. As they go into the attack the ‘genuine’ Welshmen of the company sing Jesu lover of my soul. Jones describes his immediate companions, Londoners as much as Welsh, as they move across terrain that reminds him of southern English Downland. Men are killed around him and the bombardment continues; he recalls biblical, legendary and historical warriors. He sees to his front ‘the dark wood’.
Folk songs quoted in the poem, High Germany and John Barleycorn (‘the gentlemen must be mown’), are sung here together with the elegiac Banks of Green Willow by George Butterworth, himself killed during the Battle of the Somme about a month later, in August 1916
As they enter the thickets and saplings of the wood the platoon Captain is killed.There is close fighting.The poet looses a hand grenade; an enemy soldier is badly wounded and cries out the names of two girls and of the ‘parish priest of Burkersdorf in Saxe Altenburg’. Schubert’s song Death and the Maiden is sung.
German soldiers are taken prisoner as the fighting continues; the company digs in.The poet prays to the Mother of Christ in the figure of the Dolorosa as she stands beneath the Tree of the Cross. Josquin’s setting of the text is sung.
The action continues as it gets dark, and by midnight men of both sides are seen lying dead in the wood. Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s In the crypt of the wood takes its title from this section of the poem and sets various texts for the image of the Tree, composed with inspiration from David Jones’ drawing in Kettle’s Yard Cambridge Vexilla Regis.
The poet is wounded in the legs, and crawls back. He passes many dead. He deliberates whether or not to leave his rifle and eventually does so. He ends with words from the Chanson of Roland:“the man who described these things was a part of them; those who were not there themselves can know nothing of what it was like.” 
Following the poem is a page of fragmentary quotations one of which, Agnus Dei, is sung here from Palestrina’s Requiem.

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HASLEMERE MUSEUM Saturday 12th December 2015 7:30 pm
FIGGY PUDDING £15.00 from the Museum 01428 642112
Haslemere Museum, High Street, GU27 2LA
Figgy Pudding001 Figgy Pudding has appeared annually with its ever varying elements over the whole course of our twenty-seven year existence. Recently we have commissioned a new carol each year, this year from Cheryl Frances-Hoad. Cheryl has been commissioned this year also by the Proms and by the BBC Music magazine, along with her many other compositions and projects in opera and chamber music. Her music ‘In the crypt of the wood’ was our commission from her earlier this year and has been performed in our sequences ‘The Tree’ and in ‘David Jones: In Parenthesis -1916’ Her carol for us ‘Bright and Morning Star’ uses a text from Bede and his commentary on Revelation.
Traditional English carols in arrangements by Vaughan-Williams begin and end the sequence. The text of comprises delightful as well as humorous poems and observations in a context of well known carols and music hall song to celebrate the time of Christmas and Midwinter. Two tunes arrive thanks to our recent David Jones sequence about the 1916 Battle of Mametz Wood: “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”, and “I do like a s’nice s’mince pie”, both mentioned in In Parenthesis, and both being heard in Owain Park’s ‘Fantasia on songs of In Parenthesis’. Robert Graves, also of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, similarly recollects hearing the latter sung “to concertina accompaniment. The tune of S’nice s’mince Pie ran in my head all next day, and for the week following I could not get rid of it.” And there is a wine and smince pie interval at Haslemere! And all concludes with spoken and sung blessings on one and all for Christmas and the New Year.

WELLS CATHEDRAL Monday 14th December 2015 7:30 pm
MEDIAEVAL CAROLS £20 from the Cathedral Shop 01749 672773
intro_eOpus Anglicanum’s Mediaeval Carols has been presented in Wells Cathedral annually for about twenty five years and over that time has employed various elements including mediaeval and early renaissance music for the Nativity; even including on occasion full length liturgical drama – an early form of religious opera in unaccompanied chant. One year our Mediaeval carols was broadcast on Radio 3. In the anniversary year of Britten’s birth the readings were the poetic texts he had used in his Ceremony of Carols; last year a 10th century text from the English theologian Aelfric was used. This year Bede’ s commentary on Revelation, Hildegard of Bingen on the Angels of the Nativity, employing her typically strong imagery, a 15th century Homily on the Nativity, and St John’ s vision of the Holy City are brought together to give a narrative framework for the music.
Along with some of the canonical 15th century English Mediaeval Carols as collected in John Stevens’ Musica Britannica volume, there are some unusual chant items, three mediaeval Christmas songs from ‘Piae Cantiones’ and two substantial works of 15th century Renaissance masters. Josquin des Pres sets the whole of the first chapter of St John’s Gospel with sublime and mesmeric music. Jacob Obrecht was both a priest and a musician, and the texts for his amazing ‘Factor orbis’ are thoughtfully comprised from the liturgies of Advent and Christmas. In places there are five texts being declaimed independently and concurrently, making for a magisterial sermon in music. Both of the two parts end with repeated exclamations of ‘Noë’ , which rejoice with gravitas and profundity.

CHIPPING CAMPDEN Tuesday 15th December 2015 7:30 pm

A meditative first part is of Mediaeval Carols and a narration from the middle ages, followed after the interval by music from the above Figgy Pudding entertainment. For Campden Music subscription series,

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Thank you for your continuing interest in the Opus Anglicanum project. Please do email if you have any questions or observations.
with all good wishes
John Rowlands-Pritchard

We had a good reception for our recent concerts:
LIGHT in Dorchester in the rare and splendid Dorset County Museum was a delightful evening, greatly appreciated by the audience which included science students from The Thomas Hardye School, who gave a presentation for International Year of Light immediately before our performance. We return to Dorchester on 12th March 2016 for an open chant workshop day concluding with a concert by the group THE SONG OF ANGELS – workshop participants join the group in the concluding item, a recitation of Compline.
THE WEALD in Haslemere featuring the narration of Hilaire Belloc’s The Four Men was most enthusiastically received. Zeb’s portrayal of the four characters was masterly. An early repeat would be a pleasure for us, though sadly none is booked. We return to the delightful Haslemere Museum with Figgy Pudding on Saturday 12th December.

david-jonesDAVID JONES -The Battle of Mametz Wood 1916
The next new sequence will be at Ditchling in East Sussex, where Eric Gill had his fabled community in the first part of the 20th century. Amongst them was for a time David Jones, artist and poet. His poetic writing ‘In Parenthesis’ narrating his service in the Royal Welch Fusiliers as a private soldier during WW1 was written in the 1930s.
The final section describing the battle of Mametz Wood in which he was wounded, forms the text for our sequence of music by Palestrina, Josquin, Schubert and folksong.

In addition there are two important Opus Anglicanum commissions: david-jones-1347672792_bOwain Park is composing a Fantasia around the many various hymns, Welsh and English songs, and soldiers trench and music hall songs mentioned in the course of ‘In Parenthesis’. Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s ‘In the crypt of the wood’ takes its title from ‘In Parenthesis’ itself and sets various texts for the image of the Tree, composed with inspiration from David Jones’ drawing in Kettle’s Yard Cambridge ‘Vexilla Regis’ (right). Her composition was first performed in Chipping Campden in March this year in our sequence ‘The Tree’, and was repeated in Wells Cathedral for the same sequence in April.

Concerts & workshops now booking:

Saturday 31st October 2015 (All Hallows Eve) 10 am – 5 pm Badminton
Worcester Lodge, Badminton GL9 1AH
SING GREGORIAN CHANT choral workshop
An enjoyable day’s experience of Gregorian Chant open to everyone
The day will conclude with an informal performance, a sequence of chant for All Hallows (All Saints)Nearly booked up, limited availability
BOOKING: £25 (£5 u-18) at

Saturday 14th November 2015 6 pm Ditchling Church, East Sussex
DAVID JONES – The Battle of Mametz Wood 1916
Reading from David Jones ‘In Parenthesis’
Palestrina, Schubert, Josquin
New works by Owain Park & Cheryl Frances Hoad.

Sat 12th December    FIGGY PUDDING – Haslemere Museum
7:30 pm     £15/ £5 u-18 book directly with the museum 01428 642112

Mon 14th December    MEDIAEVAL CAROLS Wells Cathedral
7:30 pm    £20 in advance only Cathedral Shop 01749 672773

Tues 15th December    CHRISTMAS CONCERT Chipping Campden St James’s Church
01386 840435     (if available)


Fri 22nd January    PROCESSION OF CHANT FOR CANDLEMAS Wells Cathedral
6:45 pm    Promenade Concert £10 Cathedral Shop 01749 672773 & door

Sat 6th February    DAVID JONES – Chichester Pallant Gallery
3 pm    01243 774557

Weds 10th February    AN ENGLISH MUSIC – King’s Place, London N1
7.30 pm    £13.50 – £19.50

Sat 27th February    CHANT WORKSHOP – Charlcombe, Bath

Sat 5th March    CHANT WORKSHOP Newport, St Woolos Cathedral
    for RSCM South East Wales

Sat 12th March    CHANT WORKSHOP – Dorchester St George’s Church
10 am – 5 pm
7.30 pm    THE SONG OF ANGELS (concert)
from Dorchester Arts

Sat 19th March    MERRILY SING OUR HARVEST HOME Droitwich Concert Club
7.30  £15 (£5u-17)

Sat 16 April Cooper Hall, Frome  CHANT WORKSHOP DAY

Mon 25th April –    RESIDENTIAL CHANT WORKSHOP Benslow Music, Hitchen
Thurs 28th April    all information & booking 01462 45944

Weds 13th July    FORTUNATUS – London, Queen Mary Campus London University

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