Halifax musician takes to the stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall

The performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at London's Royal Festival Hall
The performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at London's Royal Festival Hall

Deaf Halifax musician Paul Whittaker has described his signing performance at the Royal Festival Hall as “a wonderful and memorable evening”.

Paul, who has lived in Rishworth for the last 12 years, was born deaf, and started signing major music shows such as Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon in 1992.

The performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at London's Royal Festival Hall

The performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at London's Royal Festival Hall

He became the first person to sign a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Friday.

He signed Miessa Solemnis with the Bach coir, who came up with the idea of having the concert signed in order to reach new audiences.

He said: “It was a wonderful and memorable evening. I did put myself under a lot of pressure to do a good job, and was a bit insecure at the rehearsal, but just decided to relax and enjoy the evening performance - which I did - and it went so well.

“The audience response was incredibly positive and I’m delighted to say that another choir has been in touch to ask me to sign their own performance of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis in London next June.

Dr Paul Whittaker OBE

Dr Paul Whittaker OBE

“The highlight of the evening, for me, has to be seeing the entire choir sign (in harmony) the opening of the “Credo” section of the piece. It looked magnificent and so powerful. A treasured memory.”