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Holy Week Festival Q+A: Patrick Allies, Siglo de Oro

Posted on 28 February 2020

What inspired the programme you’re bringing to the Holy Week Festival? Tell us a bit about the music and what we should listen out for.
We’re performing an amazing eight-part mass setting for Easter by the late Renaissance composer Hieronymus Praetorius. It’s effervescent music. We’ve contrasted it with a series of motets for Holy Week by Praetorius’ contemporaries that strike a more plangent tone.

We hope that the Holy Week Festival will encourage all sorts of people to come and try something new. How did you first get into choral music?
By singing it. Give it a try! Being part of a choir, at any level, is such a thrill, and great fun.

If you met someone with no knowledge of classical music at all, which piece from your programme would you recommend they listen to first, and why?
Tulerunt Dominum meum, the piece that the Praetorius mass is based on. It tells the story of Mary Magdalene finding Christ’s body missing from his tomb, and it’s very dramatic!

Tell us about a highlight of your musical career so far.
The exciting news for Siglo de Oro is that we’ll be making some big debuts this year: we have our first concerts in the US and Germany coming up, and then our debut at the Wigmore Hall on October 31st.

This year’s festival has a mental health and wellbeing focus, does music have a role in this for you? And do you try and bring this to your performances in any way?
Music is a balm for me in difficult times, as I’m sure it is for lots of people. Musicians don’t save lives in the same way as doctors do, but we do still have a great responsibility to people that come to our concerts in search of some respite from the world. If we do our job right, we can provide that when it’s needed!

Quickfire round:
John or Matthew Passion? John
Allegri or MacMillan Miserere? MacMillan
A=440 or 415? 415
Christmas or Easter? Don’t make me choose
Pancakes or Easter eggs? Eggs!

Siglo de Oro are performing as part of the Holy Week Festival on Sunday 5th April, 3.30pm at St John’s Smith Square.

EasterHoly Week FestivalPatrick AlliesSiglo de OroSt John's Smith Square