SOPRANO Tracie Penwarden and bass-baritone Jolyon Dodgson share the stage on Saturday (January 25, 7.30pm) with conductor Ian Thompson and Kendal South Choir, performing a programme of harmonious and heavenly French music at St Thomas’s Church, Kendal.

At the heart of the concert is Gabriel Faure’s Requiem.

His pared down orchestration countered the grand operatic fashions of the day (such as the Brahms and Rossini masses Kendal South Choir has recently performed) harking back to Gregorian chants and a purer tone of church music.

The choir will also perform Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine and Cesar Franck’s setting of Psalm 150 and Panis Angelicus.

The concert opens with a section of Hector Berlioz’ The Childhood of Christ, which includes a beautiful soprano aria and the choir singing The Shepherds’ Farewell. There will be the Benedictus, a delightful duet, from the superb, but little known Christmas Oratorio by Saint-Saens, plus fine organ solos from Hugh Davies.

Jolyon Dodgson said he was delighted to be singing once again with his good friend Tracie Penwarden and old friend and colleague Ian Thompson.

He added: “Ian and I have been professional colleagues for ages. We have sung together on the same concert platform since at least the late 1970s and latterly, since he came to live amongst us, have become very good friends. Our professional partnership has taken a new turn since Ian has begun to do more conducting than singing and once again we find ourselves working together. The Fauré (Requiem) is a work I have sung - and indeed conducted - many times, all over the world but, like the Messiah, one never tires of it."

Tickets are available from choir members or Turning Point, 121 Highgate, Kendal.

Meanwhile, Kendal South Choir welcomes new members, especially tenors and basses, to join rehearsals in February.