Paul Nolan was born on the New South Wales North Coast. He has been involved with musical theatre and choral groups on the NSW North Coast and in Sydney.
Paul has had poetry published in various periodicals. He is trained in classical piano and has a Bachelor of Music from the UNSW.
Who better to give Sydney some previously unheard Baroque music from Spain in vivid premiere this spring than the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra? Their latest instalment in this year’s diverse set of concert formats is MEDITERRANEO. It is a joyous return to instrumental playing alone without stage production. Led and inspired by charismatic Spanish violinist Daniel Pinteño, the orchestra and soloist took us on a vibrant tour of Baroque music from the Mediterranean.
At the conclusion of an extensive national tour and series of masterclass dates, popular violinist Ray Chen and pianist Julien Quentin still shone like quite an unparalleled pair of diamonds on the City Recital Hall stage.
Sydney Ray Chen fans were entertained with absolute fireworks in solo and other violin works from the early twentieth century and beyond. The chosen works could only have made their intended virtuosi dazzle the audience at each premiere with stunning bravura and elevated musicianship. The world premiere Australian work by Matthew Hindson in this Musica Viva concert was given similar treatment, its intensity comprehensively explored with the fresh and exciting chamber music flair this pair also brought to the rest of the programme. Continue reading MUSICA VIVA : RAY CHEN & JULIEN QUENTIN @ CITY RECITAL HALL→
The audience at the ABC Centre’s Eugene Goossens Hall were treated to an all-Russian programme from TMO for its Met Concert #4. Titled ‘Fever’, It presented works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by three giants of the Russian music scene . From the evening’s striking opening chord, it was clear that the Russian music would be celebrated with focussed energy, interpretative skill and frisson by the Australian artists.
Joining this busy Australian orchestra as soloist was pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Through her recording, broadcasting, editing and concert work , Tamara-Anna has proved herself over and over to be one of this country’s great musical humans. Who better to join the joyous musical souls of the large-format TMO to clearly present the heat and diverse complexities of the programmed Russian music. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : MET CONCERT 4 @ THE ABC CENTRE→
DANCE CHANT : CELEBRATING ROSS EDWARDS was a supremely entertaining event which was significant on several levels. The evening celebrated the unique voice and a portion of the prolific output of this composer in his 75th birthday year. And who better to deliver this tribute concert than Sydney Chamber Choir, which has enjoyed a productive and close relationship with Edwards and so many Australian composers in the past.
‘Dance Chant’ also fused together two of Sydney’s popular performing groups; Synergy Percussion and Sydney Chamber Choir shared the stage to deliver special soundscapes in a small sampling of Ross Edwards’ output. There were also no less than two world premiere works from new Australian composers amidst the six works from 1980 to 2009 and six other composers. Continue reading DANCE CHANT : CELEBRATING ROSS EDWARDS @ CITY RECITAL HALL→
This early music concert in the wonderful surrounds of St Mary’s Cathedral’s Crypt provided an exciting opportunity to hear a legendary part of J S Bach’s output in a freshly-realised version. It also displayed the research skills, musicianship and contagious enthusiasm of historically informed performance expert Madeleine Easton and fellow instrumentalists.
Easton, the artistic director and founder of the Bach Akademie Australia, was joined by four other early music performance colleagues. These were namely Neal Peres Da Costa (harpsichord), Daniel Yeadon (cello), Mikaela Oberg (flute) and Rafael Font-Viera (violin).
Playing Rachmaninoff, Janaček, Liszt and Australian composer Elizabeth Younan, pianist Joyce Yang displayed her refined musicianship and dazzling technical prowess across a varied programme. What is so striking and rewarding about the purity of this performer’s musical maturity is her innate sense for accurately communicating the emotional and structural architecture of works in a strikingly direct manner to the audience.
Bravura passages amongst the beautifully bold and searching statements in Yang’s pianistic voice were delivered in stunningly smooth swoops. They maintained at all times a fresh and sizzling spontaneity in the environment of her eloquent storytelling. There was a high level of clarity and straight forward carving out of landmark classics from the repertoire in this concert. Works on the programme which are more rarely heard on stage were equally accessible and given clear performances to those hearing them for the first time. Continue reading MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS JOYCE YANG @ CITY RECITAL HALL→
The chance to hear or view any of international vocal sensation Sumi Jo’s many award-winning recordings is always a thrill. The opportunity to see this soprano live complete with a stunning range of dresses and her seasoned acting skill intact is a pure entertainment delight.
Sumi Jo illustrated her tremendous range, singing in five languages throughout the concert, and presented arias from her coloratura repertoire alongside Korean classical songs, a Baroque vocal piece by Purcell and duets from operetta as well as a wonderfully characterised performance with baritone Jose Carbo of Gershwin’s ‘Bess, you is my woman now’.
Opera Australia’s current new production of Verdi’s Aida delivers a satisfying amount of traditional drama and tension we hope for in Verdi’s structure and score. The arresting design in this production makes use of a refreshingly new visual element for the opera stage. A more traditional set design is replaced with projection technology onto moveable vertical panels to create and decorate all required scenes.
Musically, Verdi’s score is preserved with immense energy and beautifullyvaried nuance by conductor Andrea Battistoni. In front of the vibrant animation of the video backdrop, arias such as ‘Celeste Aida’ from Riccardo Massi as Radamès indicate early that the calibreof operatic storytelling will be high and as vivid as the set projections from video designer D-Wok in Giò Forma’s fluid set design.
Dramatic focus and stirring atmospheres are constantly supplied from principals and chorus. They deliver intense exchanges in scenes dealing with crises of the heart, countries at war, jealous lovers or jubilant victory. Some very full stage moments are augmented further by extra animated screen figures behind and at the side borders of tableaux. Continue reading OPERA AUSTRALIA : AIDA @ DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND THEATRE→
Above : Giorgio Carduro as Enrico and John Longmuir as Arturo with the Opera Australia chorus. Photo: Prudence Upton Featured image : Jessica Pratt as Lucia and Michael Fabiano as Edgardo. Photo credit: Prudence Upton.
Opera Australia’s current production of the Italian opera Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti is a focussed and brooding affair. It is a triumph of the genre’s potential for tension and emotional tortures packaged in a visual, vocal and atmospheric spectacle. This is a co-production with Houston Grand Opera, where it was first performed in 2011, and Teatro La Fenice. The opera is performed in a revival production with hypnotic tableaux and a rich musical interaction between orchestra and powerhouse voices.
It is a dark and dramatically delectable serving up of Donizetti’s streamlined retelling of the grisly tale of feuding Scottish clans and a manipulated female caught in the centre of family machinations. Such ominous themes and tales are taken from Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘The Bride of Lammermoor’ from 1819. Salvatore Cammarano’s opera libretto was first heard in Donizetti’s work in 1835 and are here chillingly realised on our 2018 stage. Continue reading OPERA AUSTRALIA : LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR @ THE DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND THEATRE→
Any concert event from The Marais Project is joyous as well as being a richly educational and diverse entertainment. ‘A Bass Affair’ at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music celebrated this tradition and historically informed performance goals. Gambist Jennifer Eriksson once more assembled early music performers of high calibre and nicely contrasted music from the seventeenth and eighteenth
The music was presented for us using a wealth of timbres from the combination of guest Tim Blomfield’s bass violin, Jennifer Eriksson’s viola da gamba, Josie Ryan’s soprano voice, and from Tommie Andersson playing no less than two lutes, baroque guitar and theorbo.
This concert showcased the precision and expressive power of The Metropolitan Orchestra Strings, both on their own and in collaboration with successful tenor Daniel Belle. The flexibility of TMO strings and this singer enabled the programme to shift smoothly from a late nineteenth century work for strings through to popular opera and musical theatre pieces delivered with a comfortable cabaret feel.