Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, Geelong
The Festival of Music in Geelong’s Historic Churches was begun by Music at the Basilica in 2009. This year marks 10 years of fine music making.
The first concert of 2018’s festival, now re-named the Windfire Festival, featured Orchestra Geelong, a massed choir of singers from Geelong region choirs, and two soprano soloists – Sally Wilson and Lee Abrahmsen. John Stubbings was the concert compere.
Orchestra Geelong performed the first half of the concert, conducted by Malcolm John. The music began with two works by Malcolm John, who is a prolific composer. The first, Brass Fanfare, was commissioned to celebrate the Windfire Festival’s 10th Anniversary. Stephen Moschner (oboe) played the second movement of Malcolm John’s Oboe Concertino. Melinda Bell featured as soloist in the Andante from Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto. Works by Handel, Elgar, Mozart, Schubert, and film music by Eric Coates (Dam Busters March) and James Horner (Theme from Titanic) completed the first half of the concert.
After interval, the soloists and choir joined the orchestra, conducted by Tom Healey. Lee Abrahmsen sang Visi D’Arte from Puccini’s Tosca, followed by Sally Wilson in a dramatic performance of Lady Macbeth’s Aria from Verdi’s opera Macbeth. These items were accompanied on the piano by Sonoka Miyake. The choral items were Parry’s Jesusalem, Mozart’s Ave Verum, Adam’s O Holy, featuring Lee Abrahmsen as soloist, Peter Christian Lutkin’s setting of The Lord Bless You and Keep You, Sanctus from Gounod’s Messe Solonelle with Sally Wilson as soloist. The concert concluded with a stirring performance of Vaughan Williams’ The Old Hundredth Psalm performed by choir, orchestra and congregation.
The festival continues over next week, concluding on Sunday May 13th by choir Vox Angelica conducted by Tom Healey. For more information go to the Festival website.