Showing posts with label David Hamilton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Hamilton. Show all posts

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Moving rendition of Handel masterpiece

Handel's Messiah

8 December 2015
Dunedin Town Hall

A sizeable audience at the Dunedin Town Hall attended the 2015 City Choir Dunedin performance of Handel's beloved Messiah, directed by David Burchell and accompanied by the Southern Sinfonia.

The work began gracefully in its overture, followed by the lilting "Comfort Ye" sung by tenor David Hamilton. The ensuing opening choruses were sung with bravado and confidence, although occasionally stuttering in rhythmic precision.

The subsequent arias, bold and evocative by bass Martin Snell, declamatory and impassioned by mezzo Wendy Dawn Thompson, heralded the incarnation texts admirably. Brooding majesty was conveyed in Snell's rendition of "For Behold", while the chorus "For Unto Us", sung thereafter, exhibited choral electricity and fervour. Soprano Emma Fraser's introduction to this performance brimmed with radiancy, preparing the audience for the denouement to an engaging Part One.

Part Two, focusing on Christ's self-examination, persecution and exaltation, began in restrained and sobering fashion; the mezzo aria "He Was Despised", while emotive, could have been sung with more powerful delivery.

The ensuing choruses, in particular "All We Like Sheep", were performed with panache, and with a particularly crisp sense of articulation noticeable in the soprano line.

The subsequent tenor solos, parted by the invigorating "He Trusted in God", were moments of real magnificence. Thereafter, the transformation from crucifixion to resurrection, conveyed by Emma Fraser, heralded bright and well-structured singing of the "Ascensiontide" and "Pentecost" choruses. Following Hamilton's ire-laden dashing of the potter's vessel, the famous "Hallelujah" evoked the fulfillment of God's triumph in its text.

Part Three began with Fraser's ornate, occasionally insecure, singing of "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth". The following "Since By Man Came Death" successfully rendered the great contrasts within its text, while Snell's telling of the great mystery and sounding of the trumpets supplied thoroughly invigorating drama.

The closing choruses of Messiah were performed with steady pomp, building in regal intensity, and concluding with a bright and resolute "Amen". Crisply accompanied by the Southern Sinfonia, Burchell's direction of the performance fashioned an emotive, elegant and well-crafted concert.

Reviewed for the Otago Daily Times by George Chittenden, 10 December 2015.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sea and Land

Saturday 8 August 2015, 7:30 pm at Knox Church

Conductor: David Burchell
Mezzo-soprano: Claire Barton
Tenor: Samuel Madden
City Choir Dunedin with St Kilda Brass Band
Pianist: Sandra Crawshaw

City Choir Dunedin presents Sea & Land, a programme of diverse and colourful music from around the world. Accompanied by the award-winning St Kilda Brass Band, and featuring pianist Sandra Crawshaw, the Choir will also be joined by mezzo-soprano Claire Barton and tenor Samuel Madden.

Songs of Sea and Land is a collection of seven New Zealand folk songs, arranged for choir by Auckland composer David Hamilton. He has arranged the accompaniment for brass especially for this performance. The songs mostly have a sea-faring theme, reflecting the importance of the sea in the early years of the European settlement of New Zealand.

The Rio Grande was written by Constant Lambert in 1927, and it achieved instant and long-lasting fame and is performed almost worldwide. Set to a poem by Sachaverell Sitwell, it is an example of symphonic jazz, not unlike the style of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, although it is very much Lambert’s individual conception. It combines piano, band and choir with jazzy syncopations, ragtime and Brazilian influences, ‘big band’ harmonies and rhythms and the traditional English choral sound.

Also on the programme is a variety of folk songs from around the world, reflecting the diverse origins of contemporary New Zealanders, and including a group of traditional Afrikaans songs arranged for this concert by David Burchell.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mass of the Children concert on 26 July 2014

The first concert in the Choir’s post-150th anniversary year is to be held in the winter at Knox Church on Saturday 26 July 2014. Entitled “Mass of the Children”, this concert will include works by twentieth century composers: John Rutter, Benjamin Britten and New Zealander David Hamilton. The Southern Sinfonia will accompany the Choir, Columba College Choir will provide children’s voices and young voice students will be given the opportunity to perform in public with a massed choir and professional orchestra.

Mass of the Children is, unquestionably, John Rutter's most magnificent, powerful and emotional composition. Described as “absolutely breathtaking”, it is Rutter at his best. It has the added beautiful element of a children's chorus and the exquisite blending of children and adult voices in Rutter's wonderful mesmerizing writing. Composed in 2003, two years after the tragic death of his young son, and thought to be Rutter’s way of paying tribute to his son, this work is full of promise. It is exciting and engaging. The soaring vocal lines of the combined choirs in the final movement are positively chilling!

Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, or Festival Cantata, written sixty years before Mass of the Children, uses the imaginative and charming text from Christopher Smart’s poem Jubilate Agno (Rejoice in the Lamb). Depicting praise and worship of God by all beings and things, firstly a cat, then a mouse, then flowers, each in their own way, it erupts into a festive and jubilant climax.

In keeping with the Choir’s policy of showcasing New Zealand compositions as much as possible, City Choir includes contemporary New Zealand compositions by David Hamilton. Dance-Song to the Creator is a lively work for three choirs (City Choir will divide into three) with piano duet and percussion accompaniment. His Three Spirituals, consisting of the songs Whosoever Will, In the Garden, and Walk You in the Light, is also on offer. Hamilton’s compositions are sung by choirs throughout New Zealand and it is timely City Choir performs him again.

These works will combine to create a musical pallet which will be contemporary, dramatic and romantic.


The staff of the University of Otago's Department of Music assists City Choir to determine the most appropriate students to contract for this concert. The involvement of the university staff, not only in the selection of suitable soloists, but also in assisting the students to prepare our repertoire, is beneficial for all parties. Every music student needs public experiences if they are to forge a career on the performance stage and City Choir is delighted to provide such opportunities again this year.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Handel's Messiah on Tuesday 10 December 2013

Tuesday 10 December 7:30pm

Town Hall at the Dunedin Centre

150 years ago, Messiah was the first oratorio to be performed in Dunedin, on Christmas Eve 1863, so Handel’s masterpiece provides a fitting finale to City Choir’s 150th anniversary year. Performed around the world during the Christmas season, Messiah is the most-performed major choral work of all time. It is greatly appreciated, admired and enjoyed. 

City Choir Dunedin with the Southern Sinfonia, conducted by David Burchell, is pleased to perform this oratorio again this year. We are delighted to welcome home Jonathan Lemalu (bass) for this performance and together with Lois Johnston (soprano), Amanda Cole (mezzo), and David Hamilton (tenor), we will provide a fantastic opportunity for you to experience a world-class live delivery of this dramatic and passionate work. This will be a performance to inspire, uplift and enrich the soul.

Conducted from the harpsichord by David Burchell
Soloists: Lois Johnston (soprano), Amanda Cole (mezzo-soprano), David Hamilton (tenor) and Jonathan Lemalu (bass)
Orchestral accompaniment by the Southern Sinfonia

Thursday, January 13, 2000

David Hamilton

David Hamilton

Biography for David Hamilton, Tenor

David has been based in Germany for the last two years where he performed the title opera roles of Wagner’s Lohengrin for Saarbrucken Opera and Mozart’s Idomeneo in Lubeck. He also performed several oratorios and Lieder recitals and made a recording of Beethoven’s Schottische Lieder for Brilliant Classics.

David lived in Australia until 2008 where he was one of the country’s leading tenors, being awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for services to music. He worked extensively with all the major conductors and orchestras in Australia and New Zealand, also performing to critical acclaim in Japan and China. A personal highlight of his time in Australia was singing Flower of Scotland in front of 70,000 people at an Australia vs Scotland rugby union test match in Sydney!

He has appeared at many major festivals, including the New Zealand Festival, Handel-Festspiele Halle, Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival and the Sydney Festival.

Throughout his career David has worked with many eminent conductors including Richard Bonynge, Roderick Brydon, Oleg Caetani, Asher Fisch, Johannes Fritzsch, Christopher Hogwood and Simone Young.

Prior to moving to Australia, David studied singing and flute at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Napier University.

David returns each year to Australia and New Zealand to perform various works and he continues to work extensively in Germany. In 2010 David’s performances included Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St John Passion, Britten’s St Nicolas, Handel’s Messiah and Finzi’s Dies Natalis.