BESPOKE OPERA WEEKENDS
november 2016 THE CHESTER GROSVENOR HOTEL Friday 18 to Sunday 20 The venue
With its elegant, half-timbered façade and its opulent interior, the ﬁve-star Grosvenor Hotel is an historic Grade II listed landmark at the heart of Roman Chester, standing alongside the iconic Eastgate clock. Dating from 1865, the building is owned by the Duke of Westminster and features 68 guest rooms, including 12 suites, a ﬁtness centre and spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Enjoy a weekend of luxurious living, haute-cuisine and the ﬁnest music in one of Britain’s most historic towns.
KEZIA BIENEK MEZZO SOPRANO
Kezia trained at the Brit School for Performing Arts in Gloucestershire from the age of 16, before moving to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London as an undergraduate. She has just completed the opera course at the Royal College of Music and last summer sang in her ﬁrst season with the Glyndebourne Festival chorus. Kezia has had professional engagements at the Wexford Festival in Ireland and with English Touring Opera, and has covered the role of Carmen for Scottish Opera. She was awarded a bursary from the International Opera Awards for two years running. ED BALLARD BARITONE
Born in London, Ed began singing as a chorister at the Temple Church and was awarded a choral scholarship to Clare College Choir and Kings College Cambridge, where he read History. He was a featured soloist in the 2009 BBC television broadcast of Carols from Kings. Ed has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where he was the recipient of four prizes and awards. He sang the title role in Massenet’s opera Werther for English Touring Opera’s autumn 2015 tour, following which one critic wrote: ‘It’s worth the entire ticket price just to hear Ed Ballard’s magniﬁcently sustained, sensitive, near-insane Werther.’
Chester is brimming over with history, from its ancient city walls and its splendid Cathedral to its magniﬁcent Roman Amphitheatre, the largest in Britain, dating from the 1st century ad. Our Bespoke Opera concerts will tap into Chester’s Ancient Roman heritage with music from Bellini’s Norma, one of Maria Callas’s most famous roles, which tells of the doomed love aﬀair between the high-priestess of the Druids and a Roman consul. We will feature songs and arias that celebrate Chester’s long-standing association with the animal world, with its famous zoo, its falconry and its superb racecourse, the Roodee, dating back to the early 16th century.
0844 815 9833