Above : Composer Ella Macens, one of the several Australian composers featured in this programme. Photo credit : Darwin Gomez. Featured image : Vox members in rehearsal. Photo credit : Roland Kay-Smith.
Vox is the young adult choir under the umbrella of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Its latest concert, ‘Wonder’, presented original choral works and arrangements for choir which explored the joy and fragility of childhood.
This vivid hour of music was thoughtfully programmed and narrated by Vox’s conductor and musical director Elizabeth Scott is an asset to Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and wonder-ful musical parent to the talented vocalists of Vox.
This is a magnificent semi-staged production combing the forces of around 450 choristersofthe Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, performers from Sydney’s Pacific Opera , 80 musicians from the Sydney Youth Orchestra and glittering stars from Opera Australia and musicals.It was directed by Mitchell Butel with a sure touch and with excellent phrasing ,timing and a wonderful comic touch .
Rarely performed ,the comic operetta originally premiered in 1956 and is adapted from a novella of the same name written by the Enlightenment-era philosopher Voltaire. It satirizes the predominant attitudes of Voltaire’s era , particularly those of the church and of monarchism , as well as class divisions and academe , has chocolate soldiers and question the meaning and purpose of life.
The plot is perhaps tangled and overly rambling , possibly a little weak in construction but is still very relevant to day and the score itself is infectiously enchanting and ranges in style from tango, Broadway , Gilbert and Sullivan to high opera. Musical director and conductor Brett Weymark energetically and enthusiastically led the Orchestra and HUGE choir superbly – musically and vocally this was a stunning performance .Continue reading CANDIDE: MUSICALLY AND VOCALLY STUNNING→
A glorious performance with great storytelling oratorio fare resulted when Sydney Philharmonia Choirs collaborated very successfully for the first time with The Metropolitan Orchestra. They were joined by soloists Taryn Fiebig (soprano), Nicholas Jones (tenor) and Jud Arthur (bass).
The Creation Hob. XXI:2 by Haydn contains the composer’s unique brand of drama and ability to conjure up environments and creatively convey rousing feelings. Conductor Brett Weymark was in expert control of grading these elements. Overplaying or singing too early in the well- paced interpretation was avoided.
In this concert, the progression of this story with its text from sources including the Bible’s Old Testament and Psalms set to music grew from a crisp, clear and subtle beginning to later climaxes with all forces of immense and awesome proportions. These memorable moments resounded through the Town Hall venue, thrilling the audience and punctuating the three sections of this work. Continue reading THE CREATION : SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS @ SYDNEY TOWN HALL→
Featured pic Conductor Brett Weymark. Pic by Keith Saunders.
The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs upcoming concert will feature the presentation of one of the great 18th Century choral masterworks, Joseph Haydn’s visionary life-affirming masterpiece, THE CREATION.
Offered for one performance only, in one of the most grand performance venues in the country, THE CREATION will features two of Australia’s finest soloists – multi-award winning soprano Taryn Fiebig, and acclaimed young counter-tenor Nicholas Jones, joined by more than 350 singers from Sydney Philharmonia’s acclaimed Festival Chorus and players from Sydney’s renowned TMO, The Metropolitan Orchestra.
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs has this morning announced its 2018 Season comprising seven stunning productions, from the cornerstones of classical music to the best of Australian and international contemporary, and a centenary production of Bernstein’s Broadway hit, Candide.
At the heart of the program are three of the great 18th Century choral masterworks, which showcase the drive and ambition behind Australia’s leading choral performance company. These tour-de-force presentations bring their exemplary choristers together with leading Australian soloists and instrumentalists, on Sydney’s premier concert stages, conducted by Brett Weymark.
Composed over the course of 16 years at the pinnacle of his career, JS Bach’s Mass in B Minor is recognised as one of his greatest choral works. Weaving moments of overwhelming majesty with intimate solo arias, the Mass has been likened to a “cathedral in sound”, conveying every aspect of the genius that gives his music its timeless power.
For this epic production, presented on the Concert Hall stage at Sydney Opera House on Easter Saturday, the Choirs are joined by some of Australia’s most accomplished early music specialists, with the magnificent sound of the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra.
Joseph Haydn’s visionary masterpiece The Creation depicts the creation of the universe in music of sublime imagination and power, resplendent with classical optimism, grace and grandeur. Released simultaneously in both English and German in 1798, it was an overnight success and has remained a much-anticipated highlight of choral seasons ever since. Performed in the ornate splendour of Sydney Town Hall, The Creation brings the Choirs together with leading soloists led by award-winning soprano Taryn Fiebig, and for the first time, The Metropolitan Orchestra.
One of Handel’s most grand and gripping dramas, and the first of his great oratorios, Saul is a powerful exploration of love, loyalty and power, inspired by the relationship between Saul, first king of the Israelites, and his successor, David. Adapted from the Old Testament Book of Samuel, this is music of rare beauty and intensity, showcasing Handel’s instinct for vivid characterisation and profound psychological insights.
For Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Music Director, Brett Weymark, the highlight of the coming year’s program is the company’s production of Candide, presented in celebration of the centenary of one of the 20th Century’s most acclaimed and influential composers, Leonard Bernstein. Directed by Australian theatre powerhouse Mitchell Butel, with a stellar cast including Alexander Lewis in the title role, Bernstein’s Candide takes audiences on a wickedly tuneful romp through Voltaire’s classic, from its rollicking overture, through affectionate parodies of opera, Gilbert and Sullivan, tango and Broadway glitz. Candide is presented in collaboration with the acclaimed Pacific Opera and Sydney Youth Orchestra and conducted by Brett Weymark.
Presented for the first time in Sydney, Joby Talbot’s acclaimed contemporary masterpiece, Path of Miracles follows the great pilgrim trail of Camino de Santiago, drawing on the words of English poet Robert Dickinson to take audiences on an acapella journey to the edge of the known world. Composed for the virtuosic British choir, Tenebrae, the work premiered in London in July 2005, in the weeks following the city’s bombing, and became a healing balm for a shattered Sydney.
In 2018, Sydney Philharmonia’s young adult choir, VOX, renowned for their stunning acapella performances, will present one major production, reflecting their focus on modern music and a preference for short compositions that go together to form a whole program, over the longer form classics. Voyage of Voices is a collaboration with Estonia’s acclaimed E Stuudio Youth Choir, whose dynamic brand of contemporary acapella has already seen them perform at Carnegie Hall. This stunning international showcase sees each of the two choirs present contemporary works from their homelands. The VOX program be will conducted by Elizabeth Scott, E Stuudio by Külli Lokko.
It’s a Sydney Philharmonia Choirs tradition to end the year with a Christmas extravaganza, and this year is no exception with Carols at the House. It’s impossible to resist the magic of Christmas as the 500 voices of the combined Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Orchestra and special guests including acclaimed Australian opera star Teddy Tahu Rhodes light up the stage with your favourite Christmas carols, seasonal treats from stage and screen, and much more. This is a uniquely elegant Christmas celebration, on a symphonic scale, with a few surprises in the form of story-telling, sublime silliness and, of course, audience participation. Conductor Brett Weymark .
For more information about Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ 2018 Season visit:
The Discover masterclasses in 2017 will take place at the legendary choir’s rehearsal space in Millers Point. Please see below for dates, themes and to register. Discover is held on Sunday mornings, 10am-12pm.
Registration is $40 per person.
Register for all Discover masterclasses and receive a 10% discount!
Why join the workshops?
Gain a deeper understanding of the times in which the music was written and uncover the stories around the work
Actively engage in the music, singing sections of the work
Learn about your voice and the ways it is used to sing these great choral works
Dates in 2017:
26 February – The music of Brahms with Sam Allchurch
2 April – The Bach Passions with Brett Weymark.
14 May – Elijah, a taster of what you can expect at ChorusOz.
9 July – French Choral Music.
13 August – English Choral music with Brett Weymark.
8 October – The Music of Elgar.
3 December – The Music of Handel, Messiah.
26th February, 2nd April, 14th May, 9th July, 13th August, 8th October, 3rd December
Rich and sumptuous, at times rather heavy and possibly overwhelming this marvelous concert combined the glorious forces of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
The conductor Brett Weymark was in energetic, enthusiastic form. The Orchestra was in great shape and performed with a glowing tone, finely nuanced and handling the various musical styles very well. Both the Orchestra and Choir were meticulously rehearsed and under Weymark’s direction caught the light and shade of the music from fragile, crystalline brilliance to thunderous, tumultuous pounding waves.