A choir is making its long-anticipated return to the stage after nearly two years.

Furness Bach Choir, based in Ulverston, will be performing Handel’s Messiah next month after a long absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The choir, like all music ensembles, was ‘badly affected’ by the coronavirus crisis – and is hoping for a good turnout to attend its upcoming performance.

Alison Bolt, of Furness Bach Choir, said: “Like all music ensembles, Furness Bach Choir was badly affected by lockdown over the past couple of years; however, we are now at last able to put on a concert.

“We will be performing probably the best-loved of all choral works, Handel's Messiah, on Sunday, December 5 in Ulverston Parish Church.

“We felt that this would be a suitably uplifting work to perform, especially in the run up to Christmas, and we are hoping for a good audience.

“Not only were we unable to meet during lockdown, we also unfortunately lost our musical director, the young and dynamic Marco Bellasi, as he decided to make his career in Australia in order to be nearer to his elderly parents.

“As a result we were left without a conductor, but we are grateful to local singing teacher Clare Eccles, who has nobly stepped in to tide us over until a permanent conductor can be found.

“She will be conducting the performance of Messiah on December 5, and the concert will be accompanied by organist Colin Dean, trumpeter Kim Moore and timpanist Martin Chadderton.

“The soloists will be Naomi, Marczak and Cathy Styles (soprano), Amy Holyland (alto), Cameron Mitchell (tenor) and Ron Eadington (bass).”

The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets are available from Sutton's Bookshop in Ulverston or by phoning Alison on 01229 837680.

The venue is only able to accommodate 140 people in the audience, so it is advisable to book in advance to ensure admittance.

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door, however, once those have gone, people will have to be turned away.