We are very sad to have to record the tragic news that one of our early Caritasians, Matt Barnaville, has died in an avalanche whilst skiing in Switzerland.
Caritasian Peter Wagstaff, a close friend of Matt has this to say:
“Matt adored skiing more than anything, and spent most of his life since leaving university in the Alps. It's small consolation to those that loved him, but there's no doubt in my mind (since he said so himself) that a short life of adventure was preferable to a long one of comfortable safety. He certainly brought a long life's worth of joy to the world in a short time, and I know he treasured his time in Caritas.”
Matt sang with Caritas in 2013, taking part in four events that year including our inaugural concert at Ewenny Priory. He was a talented, versatile musician who had a fine light tenor voice which he used to great effect as a soloist and within choirs and ensembles. More recently, he was beginning to fashion what would have surely been a successful career singing pop ballads, usually accompanying himself on the guitar.
Memorable moments with Caritas include his fine rendition of ‘Total Eclipse’ from Handel’s ‘Samson’ at St Michael’s Chapel, Llandaff, (which you can hear below) and his stylish contribution to a quartet in a concert at St German’s Church in June 2013 with Helen Pugsley, Amy Blythe and Stephen Hamnett in Purcell’s Funeral Sentences; it is so poignant, of course, that this piece should stand out in our memory of Matt as a singer.
Matt was a delightful friend and colleague who brought happiness, fun and laughter to everyone who knew him. I personally consider it a great privilege to have known and worked with him.
All of us at Caritas send our warmest wishes and condolences to Matt’s family and friends at this very sad time.
Lindsay Gray, Director, Caritas Consort
Photo: Helen Pugsley and Tabitha Rodway singing with Matt in a Caritas concert at St German’s Church, Cardiff, in June 2013.