1920s and 1930s
Even before Webster Booth joined the D'Oyly Carte Company at the age of twenty-three, he was approached by an oratorio agent and had sung the tenor solos in oratorios in various parts of the country. Although he had such great success as a duettist with Anne Ziegler, oratorio was his first love and he was very good at it. His recording of Why does the God of Israel Sleep? from Handel's SAMSON is a revelation.
I have listed known performances below, but there must be many more to add. If you know of any, please get in touch with me.
OPIEROS concert party (Tom Howell) 1928-1930
Opieros was a concert party presenting operatic excerpts at park pavilions and piers. Webster's first appearance with them was in Glasgow in the summer of 1928.
PROMENADE CONCERTS 1932 season
Beethoven Choral Fantasia. The work required two tenors: Webster Booth and Parry Jones, conducted by Sir Henry Wood.
JUDAS MACCABEUS 1933
Somewhere in Wales.
Webster was tenor soloist. Incomplete information from his score.
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC CONCERT January 17 1935
Choral Symphony (Beethoven)
Janet Hamilton-Smith, Margaret McArthur, Webster Booth, William Parsons and the BBC Chorus, conducted by Felix Weingartner.
GALASHIEL'S CHORAL CONCERT 5 December 1935
Galashiels Choral Society, conducted by Robert Barrow.
Concert versions of Gounod's FAUST and THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
Garda Hall (soprano), Webster Booth (tenor), George Baker (baritone), orchestra conducted by Herbert More.
THE BBC CHORUS
BOLTON CHORAL UNION
BURNLEY MUNICIPAL CHOIR
GOLDSMITHS CHORAL UNION, London
THE HALLÉ ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS
HUDDERSFIELD CHORAL SOCIETY
THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY
THE ROYAL CHORAL SOCIETY
WEST BROMWICH CHORAL SOCIETY
Webster appeared as soloist with the above societies. He also sang at St Helens Co-op Buildings before the war.
MESSIAH Good Friday 1936
Royal Albert Hall
Webster sang his first Albert Hall Messiah, conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent.
Dr Malcolm Sargent (later Sir), who conducted so many oratorio recordings and performances in which Webster was the tenor soloist.
HIAWATHA May 1936
Royal Albert Hall
The production was done in full traditional costume. Webster, with Harold Williams.
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA February 11 1937
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY'S CHORAL CONCERT
Belshazzar's Feast (Walton)
Mass in C minor (Mozart)
Isobel Baillie, Elsie Suddaby, Webster Booth, George Hancock and the Huddersfield Choral Society, conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent
THE CREATION 31 March 1937.
Lawson Memorial Hall, Selkirk
This information was taken from Webster's own score of The Creation, in which he listed all his concert dates for this work. He did not list the other artistes or the conductor. Years later my parents attended Lawson Memorial Church when they lived in Selkirk in the late '60s and early 70s.
THE CREATION 6 November 1937
Drill Hall, Lernly Choral Union.
This information is from the same source as the above. I tried to find Lernly on a map without success. Webster was ill and therefore unable to sing from November 14th until the end of February 1938. This was one of his last concerts before his illness.
PROMENADE CONCERTS 1938
Leslie Ayre in his book, THE PROMS (Leslie Frewin, London, 1968) stated that Webster made his Prom debut in 1938, but in Webster and Annes autobiography DUET (from which much of the information for this article is gleaned) Webster himself said that he was first engaged for a Promenade Concert in 1932 to sing in Beethoven's Choral Fantasia.
THE CREATION Wednesday, 9 November 1938, 7.30 pm
Town Hall, Birmingham
Birmingham Festival Choral Society
Norah Gruhn, Webster Booth, Norman Walker, City of Birmingham Orchestra, conducted by Harold Gray.
This performance was broadcast. Information from Webster's score.
'The Creation', Birmingham, November 1938
THE MESSIAH Saturday, 17 December 1938
Queen's Hall, London
Joan Hammond (soprano), Muriel Brunskill (contralto), Webster Booth (tenor), Norman Walker (bass), The London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Opera Choir, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham
MESSIAH Thursday, December 22 1938 at 7.30
Free Trade Hall, Manchester
Isobel Baillie, Muriel Brunskill, Webster Booth, Keith Falkner,
The Hallé Chorus, The Hallé Orchestra, conducted by
Reserved seats 8/6. 6/-. 4/6. 3/6. 3/-. 2/6. 2/- Admission 1/-
MESSIAH 23/24 December 1938
Webster, Joan Hammond and other soloists, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham
CONCERT May 1939
Mansion House, Dublin.
Webster was guest artiste at a concert broadcast on Radio Eireann.
PROMENADE CONCERTS 1939
Conducted by Henry Wood
Tuesday 12 September (This concert did not take place because
of the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939)
Il mio tesoro (Don Giovanni)
Webster Booth, Solo bassoon Archie Camden, Piano Myra Hess
1940s and 1950s
Webster and other soloists, conducted by Malcolm Sargent.
MESSIAH 22 December 1940
Webster, conducted by Malcolm Sargent.
That night bombs destroyed the Free Trade Hall. The hall had not been used for the Messiah performance because the large glass windows could not be properly blacked out.
DREAM OF GERONTIUS Saturday May 10 1941
Interior of the Queen's Hall
Webster, Muriel Brunskill, Ronald Stear, Royal Choral Society and London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent.
Bombs destroyed the Queen's Hall later that night.
Sir Henry Wood looking at the destruction of the Queen's Hall
WAGNER PROGRAMME Summer 1941
London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Sargent.
Webster sang The Prize Song and Lohengrin's Narration.
MESSIAH 23 April 1943
Good Friday 3 pm
Webster Booth, Isabel Baillie and other soloists, conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent
CONCERT, 15 November 1943
Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow
Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Lamond (piano) with the
National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Julian Clifford
CONCERT 16 November 1943
Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow
Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Mark Hambourg (piano) with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, conductedby Julian Clifford.
MESSIAH Sunday in November 1943
Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Huddersfield Choral Society, Anne Ziegler, Webster Booth (and other soloists) conducted by Malcolm Sargent.
Webster and other soloists. During the interval he and others were presented to Queen Elizabeth and Princess Elizabeth.
HENRY WOOD PROMENADE CONCERT
CONCERT VERSION OF FAUST CHRISTMAS 1949
West Bromwich Town Hall, presented by West Bromwich Choral Society.
Anne and Webster sang the roles of Marguerite and Faust.
THE CREATION 3 December 1952
Broadcast on BBC Home Service (from Webster's score)
THE CREATION 4 December 1952
Broadcast on BBC Third programme (from Webster's score).
THE CREATION 29 April 1953
Royal Choral Society (Sir Malcolm's birthday) (from Webster's score)
HIAWATHA 29 April 1955 (Sir Malcolm's 60th birthday)
Jennifer Vyvian, Webster Booth, John Cameron, Royal Choral Society, LSO, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent
HENRY WOOD PROMENADE CONCERTS (sixty-first season)
13 August 1955 at 7.30 pm
Royal Albert Hall
Webster Booth (HIAWATHA'S WEDDING FEAST - Coleridge-Taylor, Song Cycle: TO JULIA - Quilter (arr Sargent)),
Peter Katin (Piano) The BBC Choral Society (Chorus Master: Leslie Woodgate), The Royal Choral Society, The BBC Symphony Orchestra (Leader: Paul Beard), conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent.
1955 Promenade Concert
Jeannie C 2006