71st Season of Public Concerts   2017- 2018


Bude Music Society

President : Allan Schiller



Sunday 21st January 2018                                               

“A Winter’s Tale”

Shelley Coulter -Smith - Mezzo-soprano, Darren Jeffery - Bass-Baritone, & Anthony Seddon - piano

Over 100 people filled the Minstrels Music Centre for the Bude Music Society concert on Sunday 21st January. On a truly miserable afternoon, 'A Winter Gala' of light-hearted songs was presented by international, South Petherwin-based opera singers Shelley Coulter-Smith (Mezzo-Soprano), her husband, Darren Jeffery (Bass-Baritone) and Anthony Seddon, accompanist. The wide variety of music performed really lifted our spirits and enthralled the capacity audience from beginning to the end.


Part one of the diverse programme included music from Mozart and Handel to Wagner and Tchaikovsky; the second half brought a lighter note from John Ireland, Michael Head, 'Les Misérables', Ol’ Man River and Spamalot! The works were introduced by the soloists in a way that was often amusing, apt and particularly relevant for songs that were less well-known. The soloists' rapport with the audience was excellent and this made the performances exciting and, in some cases, very moving.


The singing was miraculous from the outset, with amazing florid runs, soft reflective passages, sensitive phrasings and crystal-clear diction. There was a truly wonderful variety of moods, thoughtfully chosen and contrasted, in four languages and all sung from memory. Each song and phrase was acted out; this brought the performances alive and one almost forgot the challenges that the singers faced with dynamics, phrasings, ensemble, balance, and breathing.


None of this would have been possible without the sensitive accompaniment provided by Anthony Seddon. He appeared at ease throughout, embracing the very wide range of styles and and so prompt in tempi and dynamics. The ensemble and balance were responsive throughout the concert.


As part of Bude Music Society’s commitment to encourage young, local performers, Jodie Desousa sang three songs accompanied by Penny Barclay. Here is a real talent: Jodie has a natural flair for performance and such an exciting Soprano voice. She combined with Shelley in a Handel duet as her final piece, responding musically throughout. Well sung indeed.


Our thanks must go to Bude Music Society for arranging this amazing concert and of course to all the performers! How lucky we are to have such distinguished soloists living in North Cornwall and contributing to our local music groups and musicians.

                                                                                       David Robinson