An enormous thank you to the Australia Council for selecting me as an ArtStart recipient this year. London, Geneva and New York here I come! I will be observing and working with some truly exceptional conductors and teachers. I am particularly looking forward to spending a week at the famed Metropolitan Opera House in NYC.
The Australian premiere of Joby Talbot's epic Path of Miracles is fast approaching. I am thrilled to be conducting Western Australia's best a cappella ensemble, the Giovanni Consort at Government House Ballroom on Wednesday 26th November. This truly challenging work has only been performed by five other choirs since its composition in 2005 so don't miss it!
WAAPA's second semester opera this year is Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" in the English translation by David Pountney. It's a colourful family show with plenty for young and old alike, directed by Thomas de Mallet Burgess (of Lost and Found Opera) and conducted by Alexander Ingram, whom I'll be assisting. The music is wonderful, full of folk tunes and Wagnerian influences - I'm looking forward to introducing it to the orchestra in a couple of weeks.
Book your tickets on the WAAPA website.
Without a doubt one of my favourite works by Elgar - full of delightful and poignant quotes from his other famous works (Gerontius, the 2nd Symphony, the Violin Concerto and more). I'm looking forward to conducting this one next week at St Mary's Cathedral with the brilliant young singers and players of the WA Academy of Performing Arts.
More information here and tickets available here.
I first heard of this cantata years ago but assumed that the title was added by a later editor and probably had nothing to do with the piece - rather like Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata - but no! Bach really did write a secular cantata about the evils of drinking coffee and it turns out not only was a musical genius but he actually had a sense of humour as well! The concert also features some of Bach's better-known pieces: excerpts from his cello suite in G, an achingly beautiful aria from the church cantata "Ich habe genug" and a sonata for violin and harpsichord.
Saturday 2nd August, 5pm
St Paul's Chapel, John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School, Mirrabooka Drive
Tickets $12/$8 available at the door
Violins: Kathryn Shinnick and Daemon Clark
Viola: Freya Petersen
Cello: Anna Sarcich
Harpsichord: Jonathan Bradley
Recorder: Anna Maydwell
Soprano: Alexandra Bak
Tenor: Jonathan Brain
Bass: Kristin Bowtell
A few months ago I was invited to work with the men of Perth's Naya Chorale - a super-youthful and super-hip choir with fantastic energy and sense of purpose. We've been workshopping Poulenc's "Quatre petites prières de Saint François d'Assise" and I have to say, I have rarely heard these tricky pieces for men's choir sound so good. The Naya boys have been a lot of fun to work with and they're ready to go with Light and Sound 2014 on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th July. Break a leg, fellas!
Information and bookings at http://nayachorale.com/concerts/ ...
... and here's one of many reasons why I rate Poulenc as one of my favourite composers:
As part of the Symphony Services International conductor development program I have just spent a week in New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and principal conductor Eckehardt Stier working on excerpts from Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde", Weber's "Die Freischütz" and Britten's "Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes" amongst others. What a generous bunch - needless to say, it was an incredibly constructive (and intense!) week. Thanks APO and Eckehardt!
One of Händel's most popular operas, performed by Black Swan Baroque orchestra, I Voci chamber choir and a cast of excellent young local singers. I love this work and you will too - join us at St Mary's Anglican Church, South Perth on Sunday 13th July and Monday 14th July. Book your tickets here.
UPDATE: Due to illness, the part of Acis will be sung by Andrew Sutherland. One of Perth's best tenors, Andrew has been a member of the Song Company and Ex Cathedra (UK) and since returning to Australia has been much in demand as a soloist. Thank you Andrew!
On 12, 15 and 16 June I'll be singing the role of The Loudspeaker in Lost and Found Opera's latest production. Composed during World War II in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, this is an exciting work with a new Australian company that focuses on performing lost or neglected operas in found spaces - check out this five-star review of "La Voix Humaine", performed in a Perth hotel room during the Perth Fringe Festival this year.
It's also exciting because it's my professional debut in opera - having done concert, cathedral and opera chorus work for some years and also having conducted operas it sounds odd to be saying that, but there you go! Being a principal singer on stage is just as much fun as standing in the pit, it turns out.
Bookings here and Lost and Found's site here.
This Thursday the senior acting and classical vocal students at WAAPA will perform both sonnets and songs inspired by the bard. It'll be a thoroughly entertaining romp including settings by Korngold, Gounod etc. and of course Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music". Having both chorus-mastered this work and sung it myself I'm looking forward to conducting it. The singers sound fabulous, so come along!
Bookings and information here.