Tag Archives: Nicholas Jones

PINCHGUT OPERA : MESSE DE MINUIT @ CITY RECITAL HALL

A most delightful Christmas pudding of a rich, varied and thoroughly enjoyable performance, elegantly cultivated yet refined and articulate.

At a reduced capacity City Recital Hall, with lights like stars , wonderful Pinchgut under the enthusiastic direction of Erin Helyard brought us Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s midnight mass for Christmas with added musical interludes by Boismortier and Chédeville. Charpentier’s work is based on 10 “noëls,” popular Christmas tunes (carols) of the era, each one as a section of the liturgy: ( eg the Credo ,the Gloria, Kyrie ) . It was composed around 1690, probably for the Jesuits Church of Saint-Louis in Paris where he was maître de musique. Continue reading PINCHGUT OPERA : MESSE DE MINUIT @ CITY RECITAL HALL

PINCHGUT OPERA : A DELICATE FIRE

The film was born out of restrictions imposed on the performing arts by COVID-19 – in particular, the ban on public performances for much of 2020 – and features an all- Australian cast and creative team. It is somewhat startling but oh so exquisite and refined musically with glorious performances of the almost forgotten madrigals of Barbara Strozzi.

Barbara Strozzi was an Italian composer and singer of 17th century Venice who published eight volumes of music during her lifetime. The illegitimate daughter of a noble Venetian poet, who encouraged her to pursue her talents by studying with the acclaimed opera composer Cavalli, Strozzi was one of the few female composers of her time to write under her own name.

The music for A DELICATE FIRE was selected from Strozzi’s Opus 1, her first book of madrigals, published in 1644. The lyrics are by her poet father, Giulio Strozzi and are meditations on the diversity, exaltation, sorrows and delights of love, inspired by a quote from Sappho. Continue reading PINCHGUT OPERA : A DELICATE FIRE

WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY CHOIR : THE SEASONS @ THE CONCOURSE

Above : Musical Director of the Willoughby Symphony Choir, Peter Ellis.                                         Featured image : Willoughby Symphony Choir at The Concourse Chatswood.

Willoughby Symphony Choir, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and soloists under the vibrant directorship of Peter Ellis delivered a joyous performance of Haydn’s colourful oratorio The Seasons.

The concert hall at The Concourse in Chatswood reverberated with the sheer excitement and power of this choir. Haydn’s characteristic gift for direct, exuberant and evocative musical painting of
scenes or situations was exploited to the utmost in energetic performances from choir, orchestra and three talented storytelling soloists. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY CHOIR : THE SEASONS @ THE CONCOURSE

OPERA AUSTRALIA : TWO WEDDINGS ONE BRIDE @ THE PLAYHOUSE

This joyous, frothy operetta is a sheer delight. Robert Andrew Greene’s TWO WEDDINGS ONE BRIDE is adapted from Charles Lecocq’s 1874 classic operetta Girofle-Girofla. Musically it blends some of the most famous and beautiful songs of the operetta repertoire (Strauss, Offenbach, Lehar, Kalman, Lecocq, Stolz ) yet at times it sounds like Mozart, Verdi or even Gilbert and Sullivan.

There is a lush Oriental minimal set design by Owen Phillips – looking as if it could be for The Abduction From The Seraglio or some such – and stunning costumes by Tim Chappel. Andrew Hallsworth’s choreography is inventive and the small cast of five perform with great comic timing.

Polished musical accompaniment was provided by pianist Robert Andrew Green and violinist Yuhki Mayne. Continue reading OPERA AUSTRALIA : TWO WEDDINGS ONE BRIDE @ THE PLAYHOUSE