Review: Darren Jeffery (bass-baritone) with Anthony Seddon (piano) in the Hayward Theatre on Friday 7th March 2014.

Darren Jeffery is undoubtedly ‘one of the finest Bass-baritones of his generation’. Since many of us knew him as a young lad at the King’s School who had a good singing voice, he has managed to maintain his very pleasant personality, while establishing himself with a highly successful career as a singer. He has sung at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, English National Opera and Glyndebourne and is obviously very much in demand. We were fortunate indeed to have him visit us here in Ely.

Darren filled the theatre with his rich well-rounded tone. His amazing breath control, his sense of phrasing and his wonderful sense of humour and engrossment in the roles he portrayed made his performance spellbinding. He sang an array of songs by a variety of composers that included Handel, Ireland, Massenet, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Puccini, Martini, Keel, De Curtis, Jennings/Horner and Claude-Michel Schönberg. 

His generosity included offering students from the King’s School Ely a spot in the programme and Emily James, Lucy Pearce, Matt Diss, Emma Jones and the King’s Barbers certainly acquitted themselves splendidly.

Darren was accompanied by Anthony Seddon who unerringly reflected the spirit of the songs perfectly. 

Highlights for me were Schubert’s ‘Ständchen’, Mozart’s ‘The Catalogue Aria’ from ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘My Heart will go on’ by Jennings and Horner. Darren’s warm tone, smooth lines and powerful support brought these songs alive. If he could be persuaded to make CDs of popular music I am sure he would soon be sold out. His two encores for the concert were justly deserved and demonstrated Darren’s delightful wit and wonderful talent again, ending this glorious evening in a most fitting way. .

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