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X Factor star brings talent to cathedral

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

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Chart-topping X Factor star Jonathan Ansell is to give a one-night-only performance in Wells Cathedral – and the Mid Somerset Series has three pairs of tickets for readers to see the production and meet Jonathan in person.

One year after millions saw him swallow the bitter disappointment of failing the TV auditions for his dream role as the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, the X Factor pin-up is to play the Messiah after all.

Jonathan, whose hugely-successful pop opera boy band G4 sold 1.5 million albums after coming second on X Factor, has landed the part of Christ in a prestigious new production to be given its world premiere in the pious splendour of Wells Cathedral on April 13.

The tenor is to star in Omega and Alpha, the first new English oratorio to be staged since Paul McCartney's classical epic was performed in Liverpool Cathedral 30 years ago.

Jonathan said he was "gutted" when he was beaten in last year's televised race to play Lord Lloyd Webber's Jesus but is now "thrilled" to be playing him with the backing of the 120-voice Castle Cary Choir and 49-piece half-symphony orchestra in the cathedral.

Omega and Alpha is written by Castle Cary composer Martin Emslie.

He was taught to know a good voice by Lord Lloyd Webber's father William when he was principal of the London College of Music back in the 1970s.

Jonathan, 30, said: "I am delighted and honoured to be playing Jesus in Martin's exciting new production of the Messiah story.

"I'm told that the acoustics in Wells Cathedral are spectacular.

"I cannot wait to give full vent to my voice in such an esteemed venue."

The oratorio, which will be premiered to an audience of 1,000, will also showcase the acclaimed talents of Castle Cary mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons, who will play Mary Magdelene. Marta, aged 26, has received rave reviews in the classical world after her roles as Hansel in Humperdinck's opera Hansel and Gretel and Holst's the Coming of Christ at St John's in Smith Square, London.

We have teamed with the production to give away three pairs of tickets to the oratorio's full world premiere to our readers.

In order to win a pair, answer the following question correctly. What was the name of Jonathan Ansell's first solo album?

The first three correct answers drawn will get top seat tickets to the production, as well as meet Jonathan and his co-stars at a champagne reception in the cathedral after the performance. Competition closing date is January 25.

Send your answer to Jonathan Ansell Competition, Mid Somerset News & Media, Southover, Wells BA5 1UH. Our usual terms and conditions apply.

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  • missy8005  |  January 25 2013, 4:25PM

    Its a shame the competiton ends today considering this was only printed yesterday, snail mail is not that fast :(