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Posts tagged: vocal

Politically coloured vocal contest settles the score between baritones and bass-baritones

By , 16/11/2016
Both Rosemary Collier and I found ourselves at what turned out to be an unexpectedly amusing recital. We were both held up by late trains and non-functioning lifts and so missed whatever introductory remarks might have illuminated the nature of the ‘contest’. So disadvantaged, we decided to pool our impressions in the hope of making some sense of the unusual scenario that was being enacted. However, the four biographical notes gave... read more

High drama, pastoral beauty and symphonic grandeur from the WCO with Michael Vinten

By , 25/09/2016
It’s always fascinating to encounter the efforts of musicians who aren’t full-time professional players literally throwing themselves wholeheartedly at music that’s challenging and difficult, however well-known it might seem. I can claim to having had some limited but nevertheless exhilarating experience as such a player in an amateur orchestra, in another life! – what a pleasure it was, that of being able to listen “from the inside” to various... read more

Admirably staged and sung opera and music theatre excerpts from the school of music

By , 11/09/2016
The school of music’s once annual opera productions have in recent years fallen back to biennial events. In the between years, students create a series of scenes from opera, against a background of elementary sets and a few props that can, with a bit of imagination, be used in various settings. This production employed around sixteen singers, though the photo gallery in the printed programme contained 23 faces which included... read more

Charming recital of French and English songs by Rhona Fraser and Richard Mapp at Lower Hutt

By , 31/08/2016
Rhona Fraser relaxed after the strenuous weeks of management and production of her opera at Days Bay over the weekend (Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi) by tackling a ¾ hour recital of varied and engaging songs in the generous and kind acoustic of St Mark's church, Lower Hutt. Though the opera had not, this time, involved her in a singing role, this recital gave us some reassurance that her... read more

‘Singers to listen for’: “A long way to hear singing as good as this”

Advertised on RNZ Concert like any other concert, it was in fact not at all.  It was a fundraiser for Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (for cancer research) and the Kiri te Kanawa Foundation.  A similar event had been held last year.  The early part of the evening was taken up with chat, drinks and canapés, before the music started at 7.15pm. Rodney Macann was a genial and knowledgeable MC, and... read more

NZSO and Christiane Libor in wonderful Strauss songs and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony

By , 06/08/2016
It might have been possible to blame a rival entertainment or the wet and chilly weather for the rather loosely packed audience for a concert that I’d expected to have a ‘full house’ notice at the door. One might also wonder whether it’s a reflection on the slow decline of musical tastes, and that those of us who were brought up with a certain amount of great music in... read more

Beguiling concert of French chanson, torch songs, café and cabaret songs by Magdalena Darby and friends

By , 27/07/2016
Magdalena Darby’s bio begins with her studies at the Conservatorium of Music in Utrecht, but shies away from dates, early education, or when she came to New Zealand; one assumes she was born in the Netherlands. Before coming to New Zealand she lived in Mexico and presumably Paris. Her bio refers to performing in Paris as well as London and elsewhere in Europe (can we still assume that ‘Europe’... read more

Ali Harper – Legendary Diva at Circa Theatre

By , 27/07/2016
I came away from singer Ali Harper’s and musical director Michael Nicholas Williams' “Legendary Divas” opening night presentation at Circa Theatre feeling as though I had been seduced in the nicest and yet most whirlwind kind of way – Ali Harper’s all-encompassing stage personality, supported by her own and her pianist Michael Nicholas Williams' consummate musicality throughout, simply took me over for the duration. To bend a clichéd but... read more

Enthusiasm for Orchestra Wellington, with Anna Leese, in war-time masterpieces by Strauss

The latest in Orchestra Wellington’s innovative ‘Last Words’ series of subscription concerts featured a variety of music, despite being all from one composer.  The works were all written late in the composer’s life.  Marc Taddei made it apparent in his pre-concert talk (with young composer Tabea Squire) that he held Strauss in high regard.  The composer had considered the opera Capriccio to be his last work.  However, the other... read more

Interesting variety of arias and songs from NZSM voice students

A variety of voices was heard at today’s concert, and a great variety of songs from 18th, 19th and 20th century composers – interesting repertoire. Stefano Donaudy (1879-1925) was a composer new to me; he was Italian-French, and a resident of Palermo in Sicily.  He composed mainly vocal music, including operas, and is known today for a number of songs, of which ‘O del mio amato ben’ is one.  It... read more

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