Massed choirs for masterpiece
The opportunity to sing the works of composer Edward Elgar is a big one for Auckland Choral singer Sue Evans.
Better still, she will be joining some 300 other vocalists and musicians in the superb acoustics of the Auckland Town Hall for a performance of The Dream of Gerontius next month.
No fewer than three choirs – Auckland Choral, University of Auckland Chamber Choir and the Brisbane Chorale – will join forces to perform with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and celebrated soloists Helen Medlyn, David Hamilton and Martin Snell on September 21.
Elgar has been a prominent feature in Ms Evans’ musical life.
The English mezzo-soprano even chose to live in rural West Auckland because the Waitakere Ranges are reminiscent of the Malvern Hills in the Worcestershire countryside, where Elgar walked and rode his bicycle seeking inspiration and whistling his latest compositions.
The Dream of Gerontius is about the journey of the human soul from the point of death to paradise and Ms Evans believes religious faith is not required to appreciate the poignancy that is expressed in the work.
The concert will be conducted by Uwe Grodd.
‘‘This is the first time in a dozen years to hear this magnificent work and with such large forces it promises to be an extraordinary experience,’’ he says.
‘‘The combination of so many voices and a large symphonic orchestra create a spectacular sound palette and richness of sound which should match the epic nature of Elgar’s masterpiece.’’
Adding a unique dimension to this concert is the visit of the guest choir, the Brisbane Chorale, which coincides with the 25-year anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Auckland and Brisbane.
Renowned Australian organist Christopher Wrench is looking forward to playing the grand Town Hall organ for this performance.
The semi chorus will be sung by the youthful ensemble the University of Auck- land Chamber Choir.
The Dream was composed in 1900 and is widely regarded as Elgar’s finest choral work.
Dream time: Auckland Choral mezzo-soprano Sue Evans is looking forward to singing Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius next month.
Go to centralleader.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see Auckland Choral perform.