Immerse yourself in the Sounds of the Australia at Sydney Opera House this July, as Australia’s leading choirs for young people come together to celebrate 30 years of Sydney Children’s Choir.
The one night only gala concert kicks off the week-long Gondwana World Choral Festival, which is set to be the greatest gathering of international choirs in Australia this century. More than one thousand young singers from some of the world’s finest choirs will converge on Sydney to join in song on 15 – 21 July 2019.
Described by ABC Classic as “a jewel in the crown of Australian music-making”, Sydney Children’s Choir is a national treasure. Gondwana Choirs’ Artistic Director Lyn Williams AM founded Sydney Children’s Choir in 1989 and gave life to a new and distinctly Australian genre of choral music. Continue reading SOUNDS OF AUSTRALIA @ CONCERT HALL SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE→
Lose yourself in the mesmerising Sounds of the World gala concert, as the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall plays host in July to the greatest variety of children’s choirs ever heard under one roof.
The one-time-only concert is part of the Gondwana World Choral Festival, which is set to be the greatest gathering of international choirs in Australia this century. More than one thousand young singers from some of the world’s finest choirs will converge on Sydney from 15-21 July to sing together in celebration of the 30-year anniversary of Gondwana Choirs.
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES kicks off with the monumental Millennial megahit, Frozen, then proceeds to navigate a course of varying degrees of nostalgia, mingling classical compositions used in movies and music written specifically for film.
A first section marries Mozart and Williams that incorporates Wolfie’s Requiem pieces used so dramatically in Milos Forman’s film version of Amadeus to John William’s choral cuts from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Private Saving Ryan, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Amistad.
Under the sub title, Religion – for better or worse, the programme then launched into Introitus from Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen, used in the film Angels and Demons, followed up by On Earth As It Is In Heaven from Ennio Morricone’s sensation score for The Mission. As fine as these selections were, under such a moniker, I yearned for the choir and orchestra to tackle Ave Santani the Oscar winning score for The Omen by Jerry Goldsmith. Continue reading MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES: SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS→
Sydney Chamber Choir
Sam Allchurch Conductor
The Muffat Collective
Williamson Love, the Sentinel
Williamson Symphony for Voices
Weir The Song Sung True
Weir A Blue True Dream of Sky
Weir Love Bade me Welcome
Handel Dettingen Te Deum
Handel Zadok the Priest
The concert will feature Masterworks from two Masters of the Queen’s Music, plus two of Handel’s grandest royal works.
The first non-Briton to hold the royal appointment, Malcolm Williamson brought a larrikin spirit to the role. ‘Most of my music is Australian,’ he said, ‘not the bush or the deserts, but the brashness of the cities. The sort of brashness that makes Australians go through life pushing doors marked pull.’ His Symphony for Voices is a visionary work that explores the spirituality of the Australian landscape.
Current Master of the Queen’s Music, Scottish composer Judith Weir, offers a more intimate musical experience, drawing on writers as diverse as Shakespeare, e.e. cummings and Edward Lear. Music and poetry intertwine in a rich tapestry of choral colour.
George Friedrich Handel was never actually Master of the King’s Music, but as Composer to the Chapel Royal he wrote the most famous regal music of all: Zadok the Priest, which has graced every British coronation since Handel composed it for King George II in 1727. His Dettingen Te Deum is on an even grander scale: bold, triumphant and utterly thrilling.
Saturday June 1 @ 7.30pm at the Great Hall, University of Sydney
The Opera House Concert Hall lends itself quite well to a transformation into a vast cavern. The opening of this performance found the audience in an enormous cathedral cave bathed in an eerie light ..the massive organ pipes were stalactites and the doughnuts enormous shimmering droplets of water.
It was a perfect setting for Antony Pitts XLX Mente Cordis Sui (in the imagination of their hearts).. a 50 part motet . From the dark recesses of the transfigured hall..north south east west and central..came 100 voices, choristers discerned only by their illuminated song sheets, their voices an array of Gregorian style chants in a multiple of directions.
The motet was a sound bridge between Bachs Magnificat and Mozarts Great Mass. Pitts is an Australian composer with a provenance of international performed works, and this composition was specifically commissioned by Brett Weymark , conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Philharmonia choirs. It was a world premiere.
Bachs Magnificat in D major is one of the cornerstones of the church’s choral liturgy. “My Soul doth magnify the Lord”. Also called the Song of Mary now that she is to be the mother of Christ, and of the humility she feels that she has been chosen. And it is an affirmation of the power and the glory of god written by a penitent and humble Bach.
And then came the Mozart Great Mass in C Minor.
From the opening Kyrie to its final Hosanna this was a full-throated adoration of The Creator and His Servant Christ.
Soprano Sara Macliver and Mezzo soprano Anna Dowsley sang their heads their heads off. Mclivers voice soared to effortlessly to fill the entire auditorium .Following her so did Anna Dowsley. It was an outpouring of faith and religiosity… captivating in its intensity.
The 150 plus choir was a wall of sound. Visceral. Alive. Sensitive to all the nuance and subtlety of the mass.
It was a huge conglomeration of Capella and Choristers and Florian Lohmann conducted it all with verve and precision…to be met at the end with a thunderous applause.
This was music from a time when God was in his Heaven and all was right perfect and secure on Earth.
It was also a rare moment in the choral history of Sydney. The concert took place on Sunday 21 April, 2019 at the Sydney Opera House.
The joy of singing and the magic of Christmas was on full display on Friday 7th December at Sydney’s Opera House. The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (SPC) performed a heady program of Christmas classics conducted by the Music Director, Brett Weymark. It was a magical evening of carols, music, readings and lots of wonderful entertainment ushering in the festive season.
In the very capable hands of long time Artistic and Music Director Brett Weymark the 500 strong choir consisted of the Sydney Philharmonia Chamber Singers, VOX, Symphony Choir and the Christmas Choir (apparently they had only 6 weeks to rehearse). Accompanied by the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra and supported by two outstanding guest soloists Kerrie Anne Greenland and Teddy Tahu Rhodes presented a great collection of music spanning centuries including famous songs from stage and screen and so much more.
The evening opened with a tongue in cheek introduction by ‘Her Majesty- The Queen’ and the deep resonant sounds of the Concert hall organ and horns which heralded ‘The many moods of Christmas Suite 1’ sung beautifully by the choir singing ‘Christ is born today’.
There was a wonderful balance between Orchestra and Chorus throughout the concert.
Audience participation was strongly encouraged by Weymark commencing with ‘Silent Night’ which celebrated its 200th birthday year this year and continued with other carols. These included ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, ‘Good king Wenceslas’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Joy to the world’, ’The First Nowell’ ending with a very joyful and prestissimo ‘Deck the Halls’. Its increasing fast tempo ended nicely with a slower paced finale. Continue reading SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIR : CAROLS AT THE HOUSE→
Get ready for the ultimate Christmas music event at Sydney Opera House this December, when two of Australia’s favourite performers, Helpmann award winners Kerrie Ann Greenland and Teddy Tahu Rhodes, join the combined Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for their much-loved Carols at the House.
A highlight of every Sydney-based music lovers’ calendar, this inimitable biannual program brings all the joy and magic of the season, presenting rarely performed arrangements of Christmas carols for large symphony orchestra and chorus, and filling the Concert Hall with the power of 500 virtuoso singers from the combined Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
There’s something for everyone in this glittering program: from Bach’s monumental Christmas Oratorio to timeless classics such as Amazing Grace and Silent Night,the ever-popular Sleigh Ride and White Christmas, plus select Broadway favourites and a dash of Australia’s own.
Highlights are sure to be the world premiere of a newly commissioned Christmas carol from Sydney composer Luke Byrne, showcasing the power of the full Sydney Philharmonia chorus and orchestra; alongside a final Centenary Year tribute to Leonard Bernstein, with a duet performance of his acclaimed Take Care of this House, from the musical, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, performed by special guests Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Kerrie Anne Greenland.
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Artistic Director and Carols at the House Conductor Brett Weymark says, “Carols at the House is a very special date in the Sydney Philharmonia calendar. After a year of serious music making, it’s a chance for us to let our hair down, sing some of the most exquisite and uplifting Christmas music, and welcome back some old friends – this year, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Kerrie-Anne Greenland. Continue reading SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIR TO PRESENT CAROLS @ THE HOUSE→
Just as the title for this final Sydney Chamber Choir concert of 2018 boldly calls out for our attention, the programme choices here were captivating and mostly modern in style and compositional date. Compiled by guest conductor Jonathan Grieves-Smith, the concert let us witness vivid works evoking nature, the sea, the outdoors and the spiritual or otherworldly environment.
This choir’s affinity for church and early musics delighted the crowd as well as the group demonstrating a stunning aptitude for also performing new and contemporary choral works.
Sydney Chamber Choir embarks on Behold – the Sea!, a choral voyage through maritime disaster, epic adventure and revelation, island magic and a reverence for sea coasts and depths, in a panoramic concert devised by one of the world’s leading choral conductors, Jonathan Grieves-Smith.
Leading with Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s stirring requiem to the hundreds drowned in the 1994 sinking of the passenger ferry Estonia, Behold – the Sea! will be performed at Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, on Saturday October 6 at 7.30pm. Continue reading SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR : BEHOLD – THE SEA!→