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Friday 21st June - Prelude

For our Prelude evening on Friday 21st June, we are asking people to get dressed up for the occasion and enjoy concert pianist Duncan Honeybourne and then either side of the break, classic opera pieces and some lighter pieces from internationally renowned tenor John Hudson. 

All those attending will be given a complimentary glass of Prosecco on arrival and a light supper during the interval.

Duncan Honeybourne

Duncan Honeybourne enjoys a colourful and diverse career as a pianist and in music education. Commended for his “gripping performances” (The Times), “glittering performances” (International Piano) and “great technical facility and unfailing imagination” (Musical Opinion), he is best known for his interpretations of 20th and 21st century British piano music.


Following concerto debuts at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and the National Concert Hall, Dublin, in 1998, he gave debut recitals in London, Dublin, Paris, and at international festivals in Belgium and Switzerland. His debut recording was described by Gramophone magazine as “not to be missed by all lovers of English music”, whilst BBC Music Magazine reported: “There are gorgeous things here. Hard to imagine better performances.”


Duncan has toured extensively in the UK, Ireland and Europe as soloist and chamber musician, appearing at major venues and leading festivals and broadcasting frequently for the BBC and radio networks worldwide. He has premiered more than 70 new piano works written for him by composers including John Joubert, John Casken, Sadie Harrison and Cecilia McDowall, plus the Andrew Downes Piano Concerto at Birmingham Town Hall in 2009. He has also revived many forgotten scores by composers of earlier generations and has made premiere recordings of piano music by Baines, Bainton, Gurney, Armstrong Gibbs and Walford Davies. Many appearances on BBC Radio 3 have included the complete solo piano music of Ruth Gipps across a week of programmes for the composer’s centenary, as well as numerous first broadcasts of contemporary and forgotten works. He gave the world premiere of two rediscovered piano preludes by English romantic Susan Spain-Dunk in a recital broadcast live from St David’s Hall, Cardiff in 2021. Recent recordings include two new albums on the Prima Facie label of British piano sonatas and, with cellist Joseph Spooner, sonatas for cello and piano.


Duncan Honeybourne teaches at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Academy, the University of Southampton and Sherborne School, and gives masterclasses, adjudications, lecture recitals and workshops. He is Founder/Artistic Director of the Weymouth Lunchtime Chamber Concerts.

John Hudson

John Hudson.jpg

John Hudson studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and in 1992, he spent a year with the chorus of Welsh National Opera and in 1993 was offered a principal contract with English National Opera for whom he made his acclaimed début as Macduff (Macbeth). There, he sung the roles of Rodolfo (La Bohème), Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Alfredo (La Traviata - production by Jonathan Millar), des Grieux(Manon), Leicester (Mary Stuart) and Licinius (La Vestale), Nadir (The Pearl Fishers), Ernesto (Don Pasquale), Steersman (The Flying Dutchman), Tamino (Magic Flute), Duke (Rigoletto), the title role in Ernani, Pinkerton (Madam Butterfly), Don José (Carmen), Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana), Cavaradossi (Tosca) and Radames (Aida).

He returned to WNO to sing Alfredo, Don José and concert performances of extracts from Madam Butterfly. In 1999 he made his debut with Scottish Opera singing Rodolfo. He returned for Don José, Manrico (Il Trovatore), Duke (Rigoletto), Radames (Aida) and Cavaradossi. He has sung Turiddu and Don José at the Royal Albert Hall for Raymond Gubbay Productions, as well as the role of Don Jose in their recent production of Carmen at the 02 Arena, Rodolfo, Dick Johnson (La fanciulla del West) and Pollione (Norma) for Grange Park Opera, Turridu and Erik for Dorset Opera and the title role of Andrea Chénier for Opera Holland Park. Abroad, he has sung Alfredofor Auckland Opera in New Zealand, the title role of Ernani and Jacapo Foscari (I due foscari) for the Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands, Don José for West Australian Opera in Perth, and Aben (La Dona Branca) for Lisbon National Opera. He has also toured in the eponymous role of Puccini’s Edgar. His first Calaf was performed in Hong Kong.

He has made concert appearances all over the world. He also appeared on BBC 2's television programme Viva la Diva with Lesley Garrett. He took part in the 50th birthday celebration for the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

Future engagements include a concert tour of Sweden. He has also launched a new venture “An Evening with Mario” based on the life and work of Mario Lanza.

If pushed for his favourite role (apart from appearing at Chesil Rocks obviously, Ed) it comes down to two – Cavaradossi because “Tosca is the best opera ever written” and Don Jose, because “It’s a great acting role and it’s good for tenors to play baddies every now and then!”

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