Choirs sing of St Nicolas and the pickled boys

As if singing all those Christmas church services wasn’t enough, the boys of Romsey Abbey choir will be joining Romsey Singers for their annual “Feast of Christmas Music”, to be on Friday) at 7.30pm in the Abbey.

Benjamin Britten’s St Nicolas, was written for an adult choir and boys’ voices, and is a rather operatic tale of the life of the real Santa Claus - St Nicolas, the seventh century bishop of Myra.

It features the story of the “pickled boys”, which does not fit the cosy image of Santa Claus.

Legend has it that an evil shopkeeper killed three young boys, sliced them up and put them in a pickling barrel. He was going to sell them as pickled pork but Saint Nicholas realised what had happened and the sign of the cross over the barrel and out jumped the boys alive and well!

As well as this Britten centenary anniversary performance, there will be a tribute to the composer John Taverner, who died earlier this year, and features and a generous mixture of Christmas choral music, with opportunities for the audience to join in.

Romsey Singers regularly pack the Abbey for this concert, but there is space for unreserved seating at £10. The event begins at 7.30pm.

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