Sunday, April 2, 2017

What they said

Here are some snippets of audience feedback from City Choir Dunedin's concert in the Town Hall on Saturday 1 April 2017:

The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace, by Karl Jenkins

Letter dated 2 April 2017, addressed to David Burchell, City Choir Dunedin, and Philippa Harris and members of the DSO.

Saturday’s performance of The Armed Man was spectacular, inspiring, emotional.

I’ve heard choral works in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and London, Amsterdam, Germany. I don’t think I’ve heard anything performed better. And it is such a powerful work; especially reinforced by those images. The two doves will stay in my memory for ever.

As an historian I’ve known about “Man’s inhumanity to man” (and women and children) for 60 years but this 90 minute performance, spanning 1000 years ± was humbling and frightening. As the song says, “When will we ever learn?”

The standard of performance was outstanding. I heard Peter Godfrey on the radio some years ago. He said that he prefers to conduct New Zealand choirs, because they always give 100%, because they do only one or two performances. He said overseas, professional singers are always holding back for the next performance or the next engagement. I feel that about a lot of the Russian Ballet companies that come to New Zealand.

We are incredibly lucky to have David Burchell in Dunedin. As the Dutch say, “Long shall he live!” (In Dunedin!)

I gather I and others have Philippa to thank for the spread in Saturday’s ODT, without which I may not have made the trip from Hampden. Well done, Philippa! You keep the ODT up to scratch. In fact we are lucky to have the last family/locally owned newspapaer in New Zealand. Their coverage, and their opinion pieces, and the Monday International Supplement are brilliant.

Keep the great music coming.

Ken Bridge

Other comments:

Stunning concert. As a man said to me walking out with tears in his eyes "Bloody Hell".

It was wonderful! It was truly a magnificent production and I enjoyed it immensely (well some distressing moments but certainly packed a message of "please let there be peace". As I had already bought tickets I gave them to someone who would not have been able to go and they also greatly enjoyed it . So once again, thank you.
Rita Lia Cooney

I wanted to write to thank you all for a memorable experience on Saturday night. I have rarely attended an event where the sense of communal emotional engagement was as powerful: like many people around me I openly wept. All of us were stunned and utterly swept up by the combination of the music and film. All the elements contributed: choir & soloists in fine voice with the words clear and moving; the orchestra and the organ thundering & whispering by turn; and the finely judged combination of gut-wrenching mages leavened, just as it all became too much, by a reminder of the beauty of nature in spite of the actions of man.

It’s heartening to think that 2,000 other audiences all over the world have already had a similar experience. What a shame we cannot make it a requirement of the school curriculum world wide : it might go a long way to sorting out the problems of the world.

Thank you again.
Warm wishes, Alison Cunningham

Several of my friends said - they did not want the music to stop - not enough adjectives to say what they thought of our performance. Maybe that might explain the long silence before they started applause? Maybe they hoped it was another silence and that more music would follow...
Carol Montgomery

Thoroughly enjoyed The Armed Man — great performance by all.
R James Fulton

I’m so glad to be back in the Choir after an absence of several years ... and I am very grateful to you all for making me welcome.

“The Armed Man” was a powerful and memorable experience. It was a great privilege be part of it I have been greatly impressed by David’s musicianship – he has an extraordinary talent for directing. Roland is efficient and diligent in the background, and those of you from the choir who ‘manage’ us do a very efficient job (and you do it so pleasantly!).

As the reviewer said in the ODT, it all made for a highly professional performance. My friends in the audience reported that they found the film too disturbing to watch in places, so they shut their eyes to enjoy the music all the more. One said that if you weren’t a pacifist before seeing the performance you would be afterwards. It was very emotional.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday, and I’ll have my eyes shut during the film!
Marjorie Orr (alto)

Just to say that every bit of feedback I have had, from quite a few folk, had said it was stunning, amazing, poignant, brilliant, emotional, that the choir was excellent and sang so movingly and with such strength and precision. Positive all round.
Loraine Whitwell (alto)

What a wonderfully moving evening on Saturday night. I have no words to describe it really. We were near tears in so many places. The choir and orchestra were amazing and cannot get over the timing of everything. Well done YOU!! Most beautiful music.
Donna Peacock

It was an absolutely stunning performance which has replaced Zimbe and Messiah at the top of his 'Best Ever' list in 14 years of choir concerts.
Alan Jackson

Echoing the views of others re The Armed Man - it was excellent. My sister (Ruth in the choir) and I had seen the 2000th performance in the Albert Hall in June last year. It was magnificent in that setting but the intimacy of Saturday's performance plus the visual images made for a more moving performance.
Barbara Taylor

The family (including our German exchange student) were among those giving standing ovation – they absolutely loved the concert.
Gisela Sole

A stunning powerful work brilliantly performed by all involved. Thank you Dunedin.
Lyn McKee

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