Monday, September 23, 2013

Strong performance displays city's talent

Mozart's Mass in C demands large forces - a double choir formed by City Choir Dunedin and the Southern Youth Choir; two sopranos, Emma Fraser and Anna Leese; tenor Benjamin Madden, bass Joel Amosa, organist Simon Mace and the Southern Sinfonia orchestra.

Southern Sinfonia, City Choir Dunedin 
Dunedin Town Hall 
Saturday, September 21 

It is a source of great pride that all of this performance's considerable talents originated or received significant formative training in Dunedin. Under the direction of Englishman Simon Over, the combined musicality and technical prowess created a hugely successful evening.

Fraser's bright and vibrant soprano and Leese's mellow wealth complement each other very well. Both took scintillating advantage of the many opportunities for virtuosic and melodic display.

However, it was Fraser's solo with bassoon played by Julie Link, oboe by Nick Cornish and flute by Aimee Gallardo that held the audience's breath. Madden's tenor voice and Amosa's bass voices are also fine and deserve works less infatuated by the soprano sound.

The combined choirs were also a force to reckon with, producing a triumphant, glorious wall of sound sufficient to forgive the occasional muddied overwritten lines, sparse high entries and choirmaster Burchell's ability to lead from behind.

Again, the Southern Sinfonia shows itself able and willing to produce excellent results for such a truly admirable conductor as Simon Over.

A bashful Philippa Harris, the Sinfonia's manager for 20 years, was deservedly praised by Over as a ''legend'' and a ''miracle-worker''.

After such joyful noises, Dvorak's 6th Symphony could not help but be something of a letdown, resurrected only by the energetic Scherzo and sweet Finale and the woodwind and brass sections' excellent work.

Overall, this was a powerful performance, exceedingly well received. It celebrates not only City Choir Dunedin's enduring reincarnations over 150 years but the wealth of amateur and professional talent that this city creates, nurtures and exports.

Review by Marian Poole, ODT Monday 23 September 2013

Comments from members of the audience:

"The performance was very good and some movements sublime, in particular the Kyrie, Gloria and Osanna. After the Osanna I saw Jim sitting next to me nodding his head in approval. Praise indeed. Thank you all very much and I do wish I had been able to join you in singing."
Jennifer Bradshaw

"Fabulous concert last night. Felt very proud. That “Suscipe”made my hair stand on end!"
Di Wales

No comments: