Press Release

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Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo

Roderick Williams, baritone
City of London Choir
Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor

Catalogue Number: ORC100293

Release Date: Apr 12th

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A characterful journey with the upcoming EP, “Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo,” features an uplifting collaboration between baritone Roderick Williams, the City of London Choir, and conductor Hilary Davan Wetton.

Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo
Joseph Horovitz

1. Introduction
2. The Lord looked down
3. The People of Fun City
4. Then Japhet, Shem And Ham
5. It looks like rain
6. For the floodgates of Heaven were opened
7. Forty days and nights
8. For the Lord closed the floodgates
9. Father Noah please open the porthole…
10. Ten the Lord looked down
11. Oh what a wonderful scene

Roderick Williams, baritone
City of London Choir
Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor

“Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo” by Jospeh Horovitz unfolds a playful adaptation of the Biblical tale of Noah. With a libretto by Michael Flanders, the cantata weaves humour and whimsy into the narrative, chronicling a close reading of the Old Testament story and featuring a delightful array of musical styles, from Latin-American samba rhythms to swaying ocean waves.

The City of London Choir, renowned for its beloved Christmas family concerts, sought to expand its repertoire for children beyond the holiday season. Inspired by childhood memories of singing “Captain Noah & His Floating Zoo,” the arrangement became an ideal choice. The choir presented this lively piece in June 2021, marking a return to live performances post-Covid restrictions. The success of the concert prompted the desire for a new 21st-century recording of “Captain Noah,” fittingly coinciding with the choir’s 60th anniversary and the final project led by conductor Hilary Davan Wetton, retiring in July 2023.

City of London Choir
The City of London Choir has been singing in the heart of London since 1963, and has been described by The Times as a ‘leader among non-professional choruses’. The choir regularly promotes its own concerts in London’s finest concert halls, with leading professional orchestras, instrumentalists and soloists, as well as performing each year for a variety of other promoters in major venues. The CLC sings regularly at Cadogan Hall, the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
The CLC enjoyed the inspirational direction of Hilary Davan Wetton for 34 years, and made a number of recordings under his baton with considerable critical success including Vaughan Williams’s An Oxford Elegy with Jeremy Irons, Finzi’s Requiem da Camera and In Terra Pax with baritone Roderick Williams, Beethoven’s Der glorreiche Augenblick and The Nation’s Favourite Carols with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The choir is a registered charity whose object is to nurture a love and understanding of music among its members and audiences, and is committed to creating opportunities for children and young people both to perform and to attend concerts, notably through its Young Apprentice Bass and Tenor Scheme.

cityoflondonchoir.org

 

Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor
Hilary Davan Wetton has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a conductor of both choral and orchestral ensembles. Principal Conductor of City of London Choir from 1989-2023 and Artistic Director of the Military Wives Choirs since 2019, he was also conductor of Guildford Choral Society 1968-2008, Artistic Director of the Leicester Philharmonic Choir from 2009-2018, and Founder/Conductor of the Holst Singers 1979-1993. Currently Associate Conductor of the London Mozart Players, he was Principal Conductor of the Wren Orchestra of London for 10 years, and Artistic Director of Milton Keynes Orchestra 1975-2008. He has worked with most of the major London orchestras as well as orchestras in Europe, Australia and the USA, and has an extensive and highly acclaimed discography. He has been awarded honorary degrees by the Open University and De Montfort University, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
The recording of Captain Noah & His Floating Zoo is the Hilary’s final project with the City of London Choir after 34 years as its Principal Conductor.

www.hdw.co.uk

 

Roderick Williams, baritone
Roderick Williams is one of the most sought-after baritones of his generation with a wide repertoire spanning baroque to contemporary. He enjoys relationships with all the major UK and European opera houses also performs regularly with leading conductors and orchestras throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. Festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Melbourne. As a recitalist he is in demand around the world and appears regularly at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw and Musikverein and at song festivals including Leeds Lieder, Oxford Lieder and Ludlow English Song.
Roderick Williams was awarded an OBE in June 2017 and was Artist in Residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 2020-22, Artist in Residence at the 2023 Aldeburgh Festival and Singer in Residence at Music in the Round. He was also one of the featured soloists at the coronation of King Charles III in 2023.
As a composer he has had works premièred at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, the Purcell Room and on national radio. In 2016 he won Best Choral Composition at the British Composer Awards and from 2022/23 he holds the position of Composer in Association of the BBC Singers.

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