FURNESS Bach Choir gave its performance of Haydn's Creation with full orchestra at the Victoria Hall, Grange-over-Sands, writes ALAN BOLT.

As a visiting choir, it drew a good audience to hear this popular work, and many of its regular followers made the journey to join the locals. The choir was in top form and returned to the practice of drawing most of the soloists from its members. Naomi Marczak sang the part of Gabriel; her lovely voice was a joy to hear, and showed what talent is in the choir. Her performance of the aria With verdure clad was one of the evening's highlights. Ron Eadington was in good form and his arias, as Raphael, were dramatic and expressive. The choir sang the fugual parts of the choruses with exceptional clarity, and the balance between the parts was excellent. I have never heard the word 'Light' performed with such emphasis, as all the brass, wind and strings join the singers at full power!

Nick Hardy, as Uriel, sang the aria Now vanish with appropriate feeling, for the choir to follow with Despairing, cursing rage. The trio of these three soloists sounded fine in the interludes that give the choir their opportunity to sing The Heavens are telling. This fine chorus ends the first part.

Part 2 describes the creation of birds and animals ranging from lions and whales to "the creeping worm." Domestic animals - sheep and cattle - are made, and then, finally, man. It contains fine arias for all three soloists, who brought the drama of creation to life.

We have to wait until part 3 to hear the other choir members, Ciara Preston Myakicheff as Eve and Mark Horsley as Adam. Ciara's beautiful silvery tone provided the other highlight of the evening in her duets with Mark. Her words "Ye purling fountains" showed the beauty of her singing as she joined Adam in their duets and they sang with drama and conviction. This series of duets between Adam and Eve is followed by the final chorus. Throughout the performance the orchestra played well and some of the solo passages deserve mention.

Furness Bach Choir and its musical director Marco Bellasi is to be congratulated on giving the audience such a fine performance of this popular work, and I am sure they enjoyed it as much as I did.