Monday, September 4, 2023



Brenton Spiteri, tenor

Andrea Katz, piano

From Songmakers Australia

Art Song Canberra

Wesley Music Centre 3 September

Reviewed by Len Power 


For Art Sound Canberra, a change to a scheduled program was necessary due illness of performers but, luckily, Songmakers Australia was able to offer an alternate program, a performance of the Franz Schubert song cycle, ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’ with Brenton Spiteri (tenor) and Andrea Katz (piano).

Brenton Spiteri is an Australian-Maltese tenor who holds a Masters in Opera from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  He has performed for major companies around Australia and the UK. He has frequently collaborated with Sydney Chamber Opera, given numerous recitals at the Melbourne Recital Centre and is a former winner of the Herald Sun Aria.

A pianist, accompanist and vocal coach, Argentine born Andrea Katz is equally at home with Chamber Music, German Lieder and Grand Opera. Since becoming an Australian resident in 1990, she has worked with all major musical organisations in this country. She is the founder of Songmakers Australia, a vibrant vocal ensemble dedicated to perform repertoire in programs of superbly themed settings and song.

Andrea Katz and Brenton Spiteri

Schubert composed his music for ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’ to 20 of the poems by Wilhelm Müller in 1823. It tells a romantic tale of a young journeyman miller who follows a stream to a mill where he falls in love with his new master’s daughter. His desired love affair fails as she prefers a hunter and the young miller drowns himself in the stream that led him to her in the first place.

A challenge to sing, the song cycle ranges across various emotions from joy to sadness and despair.

Brenton Spiteri sang it very well and was equally effective in the happy earlier parts of the cycle as well as the darker second half. His performance of the opening song, ‘Wandering’ set the scene beautifully. He was impressively dynamic in the song ‘After Work’ and showed great sensitivity with, ‘The Inquisitive One’. His fine breath control was evident in ‘Impatience’ and ‘Morning Greeting’ was given a heart-felt performance.

As the mood of the cycle darkened, he was equally effective with the passionate delivery of ‘Jealousy and Pride’ and in the reflective song, ‘The Beloved Colour’.  His restrained performance of the final song, ‘The brook’s lullaby’ was very moving.

Andrea Katz accompanied the singer superbly.  Her playing of the music set the tone clearly for each of the songs. Together, she and Spiteri produced a memorable performance of this famous song cycle.

Photo by Peter Hislop 

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at