After a year which saw us perform works by composers such as Palestrina, Tallis, Poulenc, Finzi and Howells, plus Australian Premieres of David Briggs, Gabriel Jackson and Bernat Vivancos, our 2015 season promises to be our best yet!
During 2015 we present three unique choral experience, starting in Darlinghurst in the beautiful, awe-inspiring Cell Block Theatre at the National Art School. This venue is a visually remarkable building and a significant feature of Australia's colonial and cultural heritage as it was once the Old Darlinghurst Gaol. We will be presenting music from the 15th century by Johannes Ockeghem with his polyphonic setting of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass (the Missa pro defunctis, or Mass for the dead) through to James MacMillan’s 21st-century take on the text of Psalm 51 (Miserere mei) and Veljo Tormis' frightening, powerful and entrancing Curse Upon Iron which tells the story about how iron came to be. Driven on by the beating of the shaman drum, the choir chants and shouts lines from the Finnish epos "Kalevada', mixed with modern statements and the wailing of sirens.
In August, after returning from our European Tour (more details to follow) we tackle Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) which was written following the deaths of his mother and Robert Schumann, his mentor, and his Liebesliederwalzer, Op. 52 in the beautiful performance space of the Mosman Art Gallery.
Our final concert for 2015 sees the choir join forces with the award winning Sydney Camerata Chamber Orchestra. When Swedish composer Thomas Jennefelt read Psalm 110 closely, he realised how full it is of hatred and violence. These thoughts about the violence of religions, both historically and now, have also led Jennefelt to examine Pope Urban II's speech at Clermont in France in the year 1095, the speech that launched the Christian Crusades. In this concert three different works based on the same text are set up in juxtaposition with each other. The Dixit Dominus from Claudio Monteverdi's famous Marian Vespers was written in 1610 and stands in contrast with Thomas Jennefelt's work based on the same text from 2010. The program is completed by George Frideric Handel's famous setting of the Psalm, written for five vocal soloists (SSATB), chorus, strings and continuo.
We are delighted to be joined by fantastic soloists and instrumentalists throughout the year (details of which will shortly be listed on our website) as we continue our tradition of using local artists to bring choral lovers of Sydney both exciting and engaging choral repertoire.
We'd like to thank everyone who supported us during 2014 (and over the last 19 years) and hope to see you plus new audience members in 2015 as we celebrate an amazing 20 years of this choir.