Songs of Moana
Sunday 8 July, 5:00 pm
Dunedin Town Hall
Kenneth Young Conductor
What a year 2018 is turning out to be: virtuoso violinist Shlomo Mintz, capacity houses for the NZ Guitar Quartet and Songs of Moana concerts, and a very warm reception from the Summerset at Bishopscourt Retirement Village for our DSO Academy performers. Maestro Richard Davis returns to conduct August’s Voila Viola with US-based violist Tim Deighton as soloist in another world première DSO performance of a work by popular Dunedin composer Anthony Ritchie – his Viola Concerto No. 2. (In June Anthony received rave receptions from capacity audiences in Oxford and London (UK) for performances of Gallipoli to the Somme, a DSO commission). In September, Marc Taddei returns to conduct Carmina Burana with stunning soprano Natasha Wilson, and two of Australia’s finest singers, Henry Choo and James Clayton, as well as FOUR choirs. There will be c. 200 performers on stage – it should be a spectacular sight.
There have been changes afoot within the DSO. Firstly we were sad to lose Brendan Gray, a Board member for 10 years, 3 years of which were as President. Also standing down was Marshall Seifert, a member for 16 years. Not only did he sponsor the Concertmaster’s chair, but along with Michael Stedman at NHNZ (Natural History), he was also one of the driving forces behind many of the multi-artform works such as Timeless Land that the orchestra commissioned. However, with change comes new people and ideas, and so we warmly welcome Sharon van Turnhout, Chief Financial Officer from the University, to the Board. Another change to help the financial footing of the orchestra is the appointment of Cally McWha as Development Manager. She is really keen to talk to anyone who is interested in supporting the orchestra. If you are interested, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you at our DSO events and at the DSO Friends events too.
Philippa Harris General Manager
“I’m so looking forward to this performance in particular as it’s a dream line up of soloists and of course maestro Marc Taddei at the helm”
The first time I performed this work I learned to expect the unexpected. Having prepared it in an oratorio “stand and deliver” style, the conductor promptly explained to me that this piece was “opera” and I should feel free to move and emote in any way I saw fit. This was a gift as it’s often difficult switching from fully staged opera to oratorio or concert work.
I had also very carefully paced myself for the 2 performances I was booked for, and had my recovery time down to the required 22 hours before the next evening, only to have both performances sell out and a 3rd performance booked for a matinee the next day – I really found out what I was made of then!
I’m so looking forward to this performance in particular as it’s a dream line-up of soloists and of course maestro Marc Taddei at the helm whom I’ve worked with many times including this work – and loved every minute of it. The first full rehearsal is always a moment where I just sit back and let the O Fortuna just wash over me; there’s something indescribable about that opening chord sequence with the choir that just makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end every single time.
It will also be great to finally visit Dunedin as I somehow keep missing it on my travels, I’ve heard a lot about the place and met a lot of people from there but never actually been there so this will certainly be a sense of completion for me in that regard, and what better reason to come than to perform this masterwork!
“Playing the role of the dying swan (or “roasted Peking duck”, as Marc Taddei and I have redubbed it), presents many challenges”
I first came across Carmina Burana during secondary school, having performed excerpts of the work as a violinist. It’s a work that evokes differing emotions in me – from the feeling of awe at the amazing orchestration to that of fear of the O Fortuna theme commonly used in horror movies, most notably The Omen.
Playing the role of the dying swan (or “roasted Peking duck”, as Marc Taddei and I have redubbed it), presents many challenges. The most obvious are the stratospheric notes without opportunity to warm the voice up beforehand. That said, Orff writes the piece with drama in mind, and the high- pitched setting of the movement reflects the searing pain felt as the swan is slowly roasted over a rotating spit.
Marc Taddei and I recorded my début solo album, BRIGHT POET, earlier this year and have a great working relationship. James Clayton and I have performed numerous operas together in Australia prior to his relocation to Wellington. Working alongside Natasha Wilson will be a new experience for me, as well as with Dunedin Symphony Orchestra. It will be my first visit to Dunedin and I am very much looking forward to it.
I am very excited to make my Dunedin début, with this fantastic piece. I have sung the O Fortuna chorus many times throughout the years, as I am lucky enough to have been a part of the New Zealand choral community for quite a while. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to perform Carmina Burana in its entirety, as the soprano soloist, with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, and the local Dunedin choirs. The part of the soprano in this piece is so lascivious and lyrical; the Cour d’Amours is a lot of fun to perform. I’m looking forward to performing under the baton of Maestro Marc Taddei, who is not only based in New Zealand, but also in San Francisco, where I will be moving to in September this year. I am also excited to finally sing alongside Henry Choo, as well as James Clayton whom I have performed with through New Zealand Opera. This is my first time performing as a soloist in the Dunedin Town Hall, and I feel privileged that it will be for a performance such as this one.
Carmina Burana – it is one of those works that is as exciting to play as it is to listen to. Audiences come out of the woodwork to enjoy the extravagance and excitement of the work. I love the fact that this work demands a sense of collaboration between vast numbers of musicians – in fact, performing this work seems to
unite communities, as our performance will be uniting four local choirs, including two children’s choirs! Add the huge forces required from the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, and three tremendous soloists (Natasha Wilson, Henry Choo and James Clayton), and we have the recipe for a most memorable evening!