At Temple Winter Festival sacred and traditional texts spring to life in song, and this annual event attracts some of the biggest names in choral music.
The festival opens (10 Dec, 7:30PM) with the Temple Church Choir and Temple Singers directed by Roger Sayer in Christmas music and carols, from the imposing 'Three Kings' and joyful 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day' to the schmaltzy 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'.
Next come the impeccable ORA Singers (11 Dec, 7:30PM), under Suzy Digby, in another programme of seasonal music, ancient and modern, including 'Adam Lay Y Bounden and the Magnificat' by Last Night of the Proms composer Roxanna Panufnik. Earlier that day (1PM), as a perfect respite from Christmas preparations, Sansara and Tom Herring give a lunchtime concert of Christmas music.
Temple Choir open Temple Winter Festival on 10 December. Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke
Another lunchtime oasis (12 Dec, 1PM) comes in the form of an uplifting organ recital by Roger Sayer, with music by Mendelssohn, Brahms and others. And if Christmas is just starting to feel more expensive than ever, take heart: this concert is free.
The Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips, one of the country's leading vocal ensembles, include a new work by Culture Whisper favourite Nico Muhly in their concert (13 Dec, 7:30PM), alongside masters of the choral tradition that Nico loves: Palestrina, Byrd and Praetorius.
The festival concludes (14 Dec, 7:30PM) with an unmissiable performance of Handel's 'Messiah' by Collegium Musicum of London and Temple Players under Greg Morris, with a really interesting line-up of soloists: Grace Davidson (soprano), James hall (alto), James Way (tenor) and William Thomas (bass). This one is sure to sell out very quickly. Book now to take part in this great musical narrative journey.
|What||10-14 Dec: Temple Winter Festival, Temple Church|
|Where||Temple Church, Temple, EC4Y 7BB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Temple (underground)|
10 Dec 18 – 14 Dec 18, six performances, times vary
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|