BFC Christmas Concert

The Christmas Concert was our final event of 2018. It was nearly sold out and, judging by the reception from the audience, was a great success.

We performed the winning carol in our carol competition - Now Well May We Mirthes Make. American composer Ross Jallo found the 15th century text in a search of the archives of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and gave it a new and hauntingly beautiful setting.  Ross was unable to travel from his home in Iowa, USA, but conductor James Morgan sent him a video of the applause from everyone in the Dome.

Every year we invite members of the audience to put names in the hat to come up on stage and conduct the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. The chosen person on this occasion was a lady with a most energetic conducting style, which appeared to be based on Strictly Come Dancing! She received a huge round of applause.


Video of the 2017 Christmas Concert



BFC at 50!

Brighton Festival Chorus was founded for the 1968 Brighton Festival by its first Music Director, Laszlo Heltay. The choir's first performance, Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer himself, brought overnight success. 2018 therefore marked our 50th birthday, so what could be more fitting than to have performed Belshazzar's Feast once again in this year's Brighton Festival, some 517 concerts later!

To celebrate our anniversary year we engaged in a whole series of celebratory events, concerts and special performances. We performed a concert of Easter music, two major concerts in the Brighton Festival, a concert in France, a Brighton Philharmonic concert, a performance of Britten's War Requiem in Coventry Cathedral, and Verdi's Requiem in the Royal Albert Hall. Our final concert for 2018 was our family Christmas concert in the Brighton Dome.

See our Performances > Forthcoming page to find out what we are performing, where, and when.

You might also have a look at our  Performances > Archive page to see what we have been doing for the last fifty years!

Our Music Director, James Morgan, said "The 50th anniversary is a marvellous opportunity to lay down a marker for where we are now as a chorus, and where we want to be in the future - creating performances of the highest class with fantastic orchestral partners, often presented in a new and innovative way - inspiring new audiences to engage with our work."

Photograph: Brighton Festival Chorus by Summer Dean


Churchill in Coventry


2018 also marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, and we were involved in two performances of the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten. The first of these was on Saturday May 12 in this year's Brighton Festival, with the Britten Sinfonia and Orchestre de Picardie, conducted by Arie van Beek. On Wednesday November 14 we performed it again in Coventry Cathedral, where the first performance took place on 30 May 1962. The War Requiem was commissioned to mark the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, which was built after the original 14th century structure was destroyed in a WW2 bombing raid. We joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Coventry Cathedral Chorus, and our old friend, conductor Paul Leddington Wright.

We performed the Duruflé Requiem in July 2018 as part of the Festival de St Riquier in the Baie de Somme in France. As the piece was written during the Second World War, it seemed to maintain the wartime theme.

Photographs: Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the ruined nave of Coventry Cathedral by Captain Horton, War Office official photographer; Coventry Cathedral by David Iliff