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The Dream of Gerontius

Huddersfield Town Hall

5th April 2025, 7:30 pm

The Dream of Gerontius is reckoned by many to be the Great English Oratorio. Elgar avoided the use of that term, maybe because the subject matter of oratorio is almost always heroic, whereas Gerontius is intensely personal and introspective. The music spans every mood from intense prayer to one of the most extraordinary drama; the moment in which the soul goes to God is cataclysmic. Elgar’s direction here is simple: ‘For one moment mist every instrument exert its fullest force’.

Recording history

Gerontius had its first performance in Birmingham in 1900. It was not an immediate success; the choir and orchestra were under-prepared for such a demanding work. The first complete recording came in 1945, as England emerged from war. It was, of course, by the Huddersfield Choral Society with Sir Malcolm Sargent conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; the combination of forces that defined the Choral’s Golden Age of recording.

HCS has recorded the work four times and now it is time for a new live recording of this work, which has been so important to the emergence of HCS as champions of Elgar’s music; one that will stand alongside those historic performances. We are delighted to be working with the Hyperion Label, which does not yet have a Gerontius in its catalogue.


Priority booking for Friends of HCS go on sale at 9am on Tuesday 30th July.

Individual tickets go on sale to the general public at 9am on Tuesday 13th August. 

If you’d like to consider buying a season ticket, visit our Season Ticket page.

Orchestra of Opera North

  • Martyn Brabbins
  • This performance is being recorded live for the Hyperion label
  • Karen Cargill
  • David Butt Philip
  • Roland Wood
Ticket Prices

From £11.00

Key People

Artistic Advisor

Martyn Brabbins

Martyn Brabbins is Music Director of the English National Opera.

Operatic Soprano

Karen Cargill

Karen Cargill is a Scottish operatic mezzo-soprano singer. She has performed with the Metropolitan Opera and at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Operatic Tenor

David Butt Philip

An alumnus of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, David's recent debuts include roles such as Stolzing Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Wiener Staatsoper; Florestan Fidelio and Prince Rusalka at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


Roland Wood

Roland made his debut for Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2000 before going on to be Company Principal at Scottish Opera and English National Opera. He has now performed with all of the UK's leading opera companies.

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