Suzi Digby and Ora

To listen to this show, you must first LOG IN. If you have already logged in, but you are still seeing this message, please SUBSCRIBE or UPGRADE your subscriber level today.

Program: #17-34   Air Date: Aug 14, 2017

For 25 years Suzi Digby has been a champion of choral artistry for young people, from schools, with the Voices Foundation, to the London Youth Choir. Now, with Ora, she celebrates music old and new; Suzi joins us this week.

NOTE: The remarkable Suzi Digby is our guest for this program:

Suzi Digby OBE was born in Japan and lived in Hong Kong, Mexico and the Philippines before settling in London & Cambridge. She is an internationally renowned Choral Conductor and Music Educator. She has trailblazed the revival of singing in UK schools and the community over two and a half decades. Suzi founded and runs the following influential National arts/education organisations: The Voices Foundation (the UK’s leading Primary Music Education Charity); Voce Chamber Choir (one of London’s finest young Chamber Choirs); Vocal Futures (Nurturing young [16-22] audiences for Classical Music); Singing4Success (Leadership and ‘Accelerated Learning’ for Corporates) and The London Youth Choir (a pyramid of 5 choirs, 8-22, serving all ethnic communities in London’s 33 boroughs). February 2016 saw the public launch of her professional vocal consort, ORA (commissioning international choral works as ‘reflections’ of Renaissance masterworks). ORA’s debut album came in top of the new entries Classical Music charts in the UK and the second album is released this month on the Harmonia Mundi label.

This year she received an honorary degree from University of Aberdeen.

Suzi is a visiting Professor at University of Southern California (Choral Studies).

As a conductor, Suzi’s 2011 debut with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Vocal Futures’ Bach’s St Matthew Passion) was met with outstanding critical acclaim: “Choral wizard”, “The mother of all music”, The Telegraph; “Sensitive and accomplished conductor”, Musical America; “A serious force for good within Britain’s music education system”, New Statesman. Suzi annually conducts 2,000 voices in the Royal Albert Hall in a scratch Youth Messiah. Last year, this was awarded Best Classical Music Education Initiative Nationwide by popular Classic FM vote.

In 2014, she launched one of the finest professional consorts in California, ‘The Golden Bridge’, which commissions Californian composers to reflect masterpieces of the English ‘Golden’ Tudor Age and of the European Renaissance.

I. Refuge from the Flames (Ora/Suzi Digby). Harmonia Mundi CD HMW 906103.

Refuge from the Flames

Following the stunning success of their best-selling debut, Suzi Digby’s crack vocal ensemble ORA presents their new album: ‘Refuge from the Flames’. Dedicated to the legacy of Girolamo Savonarola, 15th century Dominican and religious reformer, this new CD further showcases ORA's commitment to bringing together Renaissance choral masterpieces and commissioned reflections from contemporary composers. ORA bring a wealth of experience that gilds these pieces, both new and old, into the lustrous works of art they truly are.

“We begin and end this second ORA album with two contrasting settings of the Miserere mei (Psalm 50, Vulgate). Over the centuries this text has inspired reflections by many Christian writers, none more influential than those by Girolamo Savonarola, and we have devoted much of this album to his extraordinary legacy. Central to the recording is Savonarola’s meditation on the psalm, 'Infelix Ego', written shortly before his execution. We present it here in William Byrd’s justly famous setting, and in a newly commissioned masterpiece by the Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds.” Suzi Digby OBE [artistic director & conductor].



Composed By – Gregorio Allegri


Lesu, Sommo Conforto

Composed By – Giovanni Animuccia

Words By – Girolamo Savonarola


Alma, Che Si Gentile

Words By – Girolamo Savonarola


Che, Fai Qui, Core?

Words By – Girolamo Savonarola


Ecce Quam Bonum

Composed By – Luca Bettini


Letamini In Domini

Composed By – Philippe Verdelot


Infelix Ego

Composed By – William Byrd


Infelix Ego

Composed By – Eriks Ešenvalds


O Quam Dulcis

Composed By – Jean Richafort


Tristitia Obsedit Me, Magno

Composed By – Claude Le Jeune

11 Ecce Quomodo Moritur 1:47

Tristitia Obsedit Me, Amici

Composed By – Jocobus Clemens non Papa*



Composed By – James MacMillan (2)


II. Many Are the Wonders (Ora/Suzi Digby). Harmonia Mundi CD HMM 905284).

Many are the wonders

Launched at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, and with an appearance on In Tune, earlier this year, ORA'S third album for harmonia mundi pays tribute to the particular golden age of Thomas Tallis.

"The opening years of the 21st century can justifiably lay claim to being a new golden age for choral music. I wanted to embark on a series of recordings to reflect this and to showcase some of today’s best contemporary composers, placing their works in direct relief with masterpieces from previous ages. This recording, the second in our ‘Renaissance gems and their reflections’ series, looks at the music of Thomas Tallis, and we are delighted to have commissioned a number of talented composers to offer their personal reflections on his works. I hope that these new pieces, like Tallis’ originals, will find their way into the repertoire of other vocal groups, delighting audiences both now and in the future." Suzi Digby OBE


Videte miraculum


Archbishop Parker's psalme 150

Burton, K:

Many are the wonders 


O light of Light


Reflection on Thomas Tallis’ if ye love me 

Roth, A:

Night Prayer


O sacrum convivium


Man blest no doubt

Let God arise

O sacrum convivium

If ye love me

Why Fum'th in Fight?

O come in one to praise the Lord

Videte miraculum

Loquebantur variis linguis

E'en like the hunted hind

Expend, O Lord

O nata lux de lumine 5vv

Te lucis ante terminum

Why brag'st in malice

God Grant we grace (Tallis Canon)

Veni creator: Come Holy Ghost

Why Fum'th in Fight?

ed. John Milsom

God Grant we grace (Tallis Canon)

arr. Bob Chilcott


Composer Info

Gregorio Allegri, Giovanni Animuccia, Girolamo Savonarola, Luca Bettini, Philippe Verdelot, William Byrd, Eriks Ešenvalds, Jean Richafort, Claude Le Jeune, Jocobus Clemens non Papa, James MacMillan, Andrew, Allain, K. Burton, Escott, Ferko, A. Roth, Stucky, Tallis,

CD Info

CD HMW 906103, CD HMM 905284