Tag Archives: Orchestra of the Antipodes

PINCHGUT’S OPERA : MONTEVERDI’S ‘VESPERS’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

The live audience was ecstatic with thunderous applause for Pinchgut’s magnificent, finely burnished and lushly detailed performance of Monteverdi’s VESPERS. Fortunately you can catch it online at the moment until 1 May, 2021.

Written in 1610, Monteverdi’s VESPERS (Vespro della Beata Vergine ) is now rarely heard. Monteverdi (1567 – 1643) was comfortable with both Baroque and Renaissance music and is regarded as one of the great composers. He wrote music for the church, temporal works and among other things, opera as well. In his Vespers, Monteverdi energetically transformed ‘traditional’ Renaissance polyphony into strikingly advanced styles. 

Musically and vocally the performance was polished, precise and superb, the Orchestra of the Antipodes including some now uncommon Baroque instruments. Hannah Lane  exquisitely played on the harp throughout and there was a theorbo, (Simon Martyn-Ellis ) cornetti (Matthew Manchester and John Foster) and sackbuts (Ros Jorgensen, Nigel Crocker and Brett Page), amongst others. Continue reading PINCHGUT’S OPERA : MONTEVERDI’S ‘VESPERS’ @ 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

PINCHGUT OPERA : VIVALDI’S FARNACE @ CITY RECITAL HALL

This is a Baroque opera set in ancient Roman times , yet has been updated to now in a chilling , menacing production at times countered by lyrical , exquisite music.The atmosphere of the set is dark and bleak ( almost like a construction site, or bombed out war zone, with large plastic panels , ladders and scaffolding ) and there is a menacing atmosphere of war and violence throughout .Body bags wrapped in plastic hang ominously and are at various times hauled up and down. There are chalk outlines of people on the back wall which are possibly graffiti , or perhaps hinting at ghosts of the fallen. Costumes are also contemporary including camouflage gear, balaclavas and guns. The overall effect is darkly monochromatic but there are dramatic uses of red.

At the time of writing Vivaldi was at the peak of his career and FARNACE was regarded as one of his great triumphs. Continue reading PINCHGUT OPERA : VIVALDI’S FARNACE @ CITY RECITAL HALL

SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR PRESENTS DIXIT DOMINUS @ CITY RECITAL HALL

Ian Grandage

Above: Composer Ian Grandage. Featured image: Group shot of the Sydney Chamber Choir. Pic by Keith Saunders.

The title of this concert suggests we are to be entertained by the talents of the Sydney Chamber Choir with historical works based on religious texts from the Christian tradition.

That was very much the case as guest conductor Jonathan Grieves-Smith guided the choir and string players from the Orchestra of the Antipodes through interpretations of Handel and Bach. These performances were both sensitive and strong. Continue reading SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR PRESENTS DIXIT DOMINUS @ CITY RECITAL HALL