This event was the most ambitious and the most successful event we have held,  We were joined  by  the Billericay Choral Society, members of the Southend Philharmonic Orchestra, and the following individual artists some of international repute.


Mezzo Soprano

Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling

Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling

Alexandra trained with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London
and as well as obtaining both Batchelor and Master of Music Degrees has also studied at the GSMD Opera Course (2001-03) and with the Zürich Opernhaus Studio.
Alexandra has performed these operatic roles:
Baronessa La Pietra del Paragone - Zürich Opera House Studio Bühne, April 2004
Die Dame Die Zauberflöte für Kinder - Zürich Opernhaus, Jan. 2004
Maid Fedora - Zürich Opernhaus, Dec. 2003
Susanna Susanna (Händel) - Guildhall School Opera Course, London, April 2003
P'ess Laoula L'ètoile - Guildhall School Opera Course, London, Nov. 2002
Giunone Orfeo - St John's,Smith Square, Guildhall Early Opera, London Oct 2003
Fortuna L'incoronazione di Poppea, St. John's Smith Square, April 2002
Chorus Glyndebourne Festival 2003 (cover of 1st Cretan Woman, Idomeneo)

Alexandra was the winner of the Miriam Licette Scholarship Competition Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

Alexandras reviews include:
"…she displays dazzling coloratura in the title role of Handel´s Susanna" The Metro
"…thanks to the wonderful singing and acting in the title role of Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling…..she is destined for stardom, and soon." Michael Tanner, The Spectator
"…she sings with bright lyricism and communicative words" John Allison, The Times
"…she became a star……she had the audience at her feet…." Opera Now
"..intensely and movingly sang by Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling…."
"…She rose movingly to grasp the starring role…." Peter Grahame Woolf, Opera Reviews
For more about Alexandra and to listen to her sing visit her website HERE
(If you do not have broadband it may take a minute or two to load)


Valdimar Hilmarsson

Valdimar Hilmarsson

Valdimars musical education and training include:

1995-1999 New Reykjavik School of Music
1999-2001 Guildhall School of Music and Drama
2002-2003 Guildhall School of Music and Drama Opera Course
2004-2006 Mozarteum Opera Course, Salzburg, Austria
Delia Lyndon, Drama. London
Andrew Sinclair Mozart Resetative, London

His Concert work includes:
Faure - Requiem Amici Singers, London
Haydn - Nelson Mass Southend, conducted by Sir David Willcocks
Mozart - Coronation Mass Southend, conducted by Sir David Willcocks
Evening of Opera Arias Tour of Iceland with pianist Catherine Milledge
Operatic Aria Recital Pescara, Italy
Duet Opera Recital Egham, Surrey

His Operatic repertoire include:
MOZART Le nozze di Figaro Figaro (Iceland)
MOZART Le nozze di Figaro Antonio (GSMD)
MOZART Don Giovanni Masetto (Iceland)
HANDEL Susanna Chelsias (GSMD)
SULLIVAN Yeomen of the Guard Wilfred Shadbolt (BYO)


Ruth Gomme

Ruth Gomme

Ruth was a choral scholar at Queens' College, Cambridge, and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Her extensive choral experience includes work with the BBC Singers, The Sixteen, the Cambridge Singers, The King's Consort and the Monteverdi Choir.
As a soloist Ruth has toured Europe, the Middle East and Japan, and made a number of visits to Mexico, where she has appeared at the International Cervantino Festival and the National Early Music Festival, as well as giving a series of recitals in and around Mexico City. Her versatility as an oratorio soloist has given her the opportunity to perform with choral societies all over Britain, in repertoire ranging from the 16th century to the present day. Particular favourites include the St Matthew Passion with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, Carmina Burana at the Barbican, Bach's Magnificat in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Fauré's Requiem with the London Festival Orchestra.

As one half of The Regency Duo, Ruth performs regularly with the fortepianist Jean Phillips, presenting musical entertainments of the Georgian period in country houses, concert halls and private homes. She is also the soprano with the ground-breaking vocal quartet Operantics.


Philip Eve

Philip Eve
Philip lives and teaches in Canterbury, and frequently appears as Tenor Soloist with Music Societies throughout the UK. He sang in the Glyndebourne Chorus from 1991-1996, and from September 1996 spent a year working at La Scala, Milan. Other opera companies he has worked with include L'Opéra National de Lyon, ENO, Welsh National Opera, Garsington Festival Opera, Scottish Opera and Longborough Festival Opera, as well as taking part in productions with the Salzburg Osterfestspiele in Salzburg and Tokyo. Philip also organises and performs in a twice-yearly Song Recital series to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society - the next concert in this series will be on Sunday 22nd October, during the Canterbury Festival.
For more about Philip and to listen to him sing click HERE

Musical Director

Ian Walker

Ian Walker
Ian Walker
Ian started directing amateur choirs after leaving South East Essex VI Form College where he studied music under Gerwyn Parry. Gerwyn introduced Ian to choral singing and the Verdi Requiem was one of the first works that Ian took part in as a chorus member and subsequently as a cellist in the orchestra, so the performance tonight will bring back many happy memories.

Ian has been actively engaged in the performance of live music as an orchestral member, singer, soloist, musical director and concert organiser. Most musical activities have been concentrated near home in South East Essex.

Recent performances have included a wide range of popular classical music, including Bach St Matthew Passion with the Eastwood Chorale, Handel's Messiah and Vivaldi Gloria, plus requiems by Mozart and Faure. Ian likes to explore less well known music and directed a performance of Gounod Messe Solennelle and Bizet Te Deum with Billericay Choral Society this year. Ian regularly directs more popular repetoire such as songs from the Sixties and Seventies and music from stage and screen (Les Miserables Oklahoma, West Side Story, Phatom of the Opera Rent, Hunchback of Notre Damme and many more).

On stage, Ian has participated with 'Rainbow' a local all singing and dancing group in a performance of 'Lust' and previously as a Panto Dame with general audience acclaim agreeing that 'he has ankles to die for'. On a more serious note, Ian has sung with and conducted the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir and has directed a number of musicals for local societies including Ingatestone, Rayleigh and Benfleet. Ian has also participated in Southend Philharmonic Orchestra concerts as player, conductor and organiser since the age of 13. Ian has been musical director of the Eastwood Chorale for over 15 years and is enjoying his first year with Billericay Choral Society.

On behalf of all performers this evening Ian would like to thank you for coming to experience the performance of one of the most magical works ever composed. Your comments and suggestions for future performances would be warmly received.


Richard Brittain

Richard Brittain
Richard developed a keen interest in music, playing the recorder, piano, guitar, and then later, the violin when he started learning in his final year at Junior School. In 1972 Richard became a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music and went on to win the Ian Stowsker Violin Prize in 1977 whilst in his final year at Westcliff High School for Boys.

In 1977 Richard became a full time student at the Royal College of Music and studied for the B.Mus. (Hons.) Degree in conjuction with the University of London. He was awarded the A.R.C.M. Diploma in Pianoforte in 1979. Graduating in 1980, Richard continued studying at the Royal College on a Violin Performers course during which time he gained a Diploma on the Violin and an Advanced Certificate in performance. He has studied the Violin at the R.C.M. with Barbara Lyle, Jack Steadman and John Ludlow, and the piano with Deidre Doyle and John Barstow.

Richard became a qualified teacher working for the London Borough of Redbridge in 1982. After that he joined the peripatetic instrumental teaching team for Essex County Council. Between 1988 and 1998 he worked in a number of different proffessional and managerial roles with Essex Music Services.

Following the creation of the Unitary Authorities of Southend and Thurrock, Richard was appointed Head of Music Services for Thurrock Borough Council in May 1998.

Richard has been leader of the Southend Symphony Orchestra since 1982 and, in addition to leading for many Operatic and Choral societies, has played as guest leader for the Southend Philharmonic Orchestra and the Essex Symophony Orchestra.

Several solo performances have included the Bruch, Mendelssohn, Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4, the Schumman, Saint Saens 2nd, Rachmaninovs 3rd Piano Concerto and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, in addition to solo recitals. More recently Richard has undertaken numerous engagements with the Bergonzi String Quartet.