Per­fect birth­day for song­bird

Whanganui Chronicle - - Front Page - Lin Fer­gu­son

In words from the glo­ri­ous hymn

— “scat­ters fear and gloom; let the church with glad­ness, hymns of tri­umph sing” — the New Zealand Opera School stu­dents did ex­actly that.

In the Wan­ganui Col­le­giate School chapel yes­ter­day, the 21 stu­dents were glad­ness per­son­i­fied and sang with all their hearts.

Their voices lifted might­ily in the ser­vice ti­tled “In Praise of Mu­sic”, which in­cluded hymns and ex­cerpts from GF Han­del’s Ora­to­rio

— an in­spired choice to lis­ten to in the won­drous old chapel.

The lilt­ing so­prano of Anna Ma­hon singing was both pow­er­ful and very pretty, like a sum­mer gar­den in full bloom.

Ton­gan tenor Manase Latu de­liv­ered the pow­er­ful with skill and ease.

And a vir­tu­oso trio Luca Manghi (flute), An­nie Hunt (cello) and David Kelly (harp­si­chord) lulled the ca­pac­ity con­gre­ga­tion with the fine and beau­ti­ful Ada­gio from

A heav­enly duet sung by Pasquale Or­chard and Ce­cily Shaw was ex­quis­ite.

Their voices blended into one and skimmed seem­ingly with ease through this finely wrought piece of un­for­get­table melody.

And what a su­perb choice of hymn for the con­gre­ga­tion in

This was sung lustily with a huge en­ergy.

No doubt res­i­dents through­out the area around the chapel stopped any Sun­day morn­ing tasks to lis­ten with awe.

And how won­der­ful it was to have renowned in­ter­na­tional tu­tor Della Jones sing the Welsh Na­tional an­them fol­lowed by the con­gre­ga­tion singing New Zealand’s na­tional an­them, first in te reo then in English en­sur­ing a rous­ing fi­nale to this beau­ti­ful Sun­day wor­ship.

See­ing the 21 stu­dents walk­ing with pride down the aisle at the close was once again tes­ta­ment to an in­cred­i­ble opera school in this, its 25th year.

Bravo, Don­ald Trott, founder and chair­man.

Photo / Lewis Gard­ner

Spir­its soared with the voices of New Zealand Opera School stu­dents in the Wan­ganui Col­le­giate chapel yes­ter­day.

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