Monday, September 24, 2018

'CLASSIC OPERA' - MUSICA DA CAMERA STRING ORCHESTRA CONCERT


‘Classic Opera’
Musica da Camera String Orchestra
Musical Director: Leonard Weiss
Louise Page, Soprano
Sts Peter & Paul’s Catholic Cathedral, Goulburn NSW - 23 September

Reviewed by Len Power

In addition to their Saturday afternoon performance in Cook, Musica da Camera string orchestra played a second performance on Sunday at Sts Peter & Paul’s Catholic Cathedral in Goulburn.  The acoustic in the cathedral has been much praised so it was a good opportunity to travel to Goulburn to listen to the orchestra in that setting.  Hearing the soprano, Louise Page, singing in that venue was another very good reason to go.

For the first half of the program, Louise Page performed arias by the composers – Handel, Purcell, Gluck and Mozart.  The arias covered a wide range of emotions and all were beautifully sung.  Hearing her top notes filling the cathedral was thrilling.  Page gives great depth to the characters she is singing and they come alive for the audience.  She was especially memorable singing Handel’s ‘Ah! Spietato’ from ‘Amadigi de Gaula’ with nicely played oboe from the orchestra accompanying, Purcell’s, ‘When I am laid in earth’ from ‘Dido and Aenaeas’, Gluck’s ‘Che faro senza Euridice’ from ‘L’Orfeo’ and ‘E Susanna…Dove Sono’ from Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.  The balance between singer and orchestra was nicely judged and the musical accompaniment for all of the items was well conducted by Leonard Weiss.

The orchestra, which was augmented with some brass and wind instruments for the concert, played Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 for the second half of the program.  Musical director, Leonard Weiss, achieved a tight, clear sound with lots of colour from the orchestra.  It was well played and sounded excellent in the cathedral.

There was only a small audience at the concert which deserved a much better response from Goulburn residents, especially as they played for just a gold coin donation.  I recommend making the trip to Goulburn next time the orchestra plays there.  They sound wonderful in that cathedral.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in his ‘On Stage’ performing arts radio program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3.30pm on Artsound FM 92.7.

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