The Queensland Choir celebrates Sounds of the Season
Brisbane audiences will have the chance to join in a joyful musical celebration of Christmas when the Queensland Choir presents Sounds of the Season at the Old Museum Building, Bowen Hills, on Sunday, December 9.
The concert, conducted by Kevin Power, will feature Brisbane-based soprano soloists Eleanor Greenwood, of Moggill, and Naomi Flatman, of Thornlands, with the brilliant sounds of the Sinfonia Brass Quintet and organist Eduarda van Klinken backed by one of Queensland’s premier choirs.
Kevin Power, the choir’s musical director, says the audience will also have plenty of opportunity to join in the singing of some of the most popular carols such as Away in a Manger, O Come All Ye, Faithful, The First Noel and Joy to the World, accompanied by the organ and brass quintet.
“Soprano Eleanor Greenwood will join the choir in the popular Christmas song O Holy Night by 19th century French composer Adolphe Adam (known for his balletGiselle), and Naomi Flatman, singing mezzo-soprano, will join them for the haunting The Three Kings by German composer Peter Cornelius,” Mr Power says.
“The two soloists will together sing the celebrated Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel, an opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, associated with Christmas in German-speaking countries,” he says.
“Apart from singing carols along with the audience, the Queensland Choir will contribute unaccompanied performances of other favourites including the Coventry Carol, Ding Dong Merrily on High, and Angels from the Realms of Glory.”
Mr Power says it may surprise audiences to know that in the past, carol singing has been a controversial activity, originally associated with pagan festivals and banned from church as a result.
“The celebration of Christmas itself was banned by Oliver Cromwell in 1647, and later by the Puritans, who felt that the emphasis of Christianity should be on Easter, and so carolling became extinct in many parts of England.
“It was St Francis of Assisi who introduced carol singing in church but it was the Victorians who revived the tradition of carol singing in the UK.”
Mr Power says the two soprano soloists will add an international flavour to the concert, as Naomi Flatman is Swiss-born, while opera singer Eleanor Greenwood is a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Music who debuted with the Wexford Festival Opera. Eleanor has sung solo roles in operas, including Hansel and Gretel, Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni and Paradise Moscow.
Naomi is an award-winning, post-graduate opera student at Queensland Conservatorium of Music who has performed solo in works including Debussy’s Lénfant prodigue, the Bruce Beresford-directed Albert Herring, and the international premiere of Floods: a Travelling Opera.
“Sounds of the Season provides a thrilling opportunity for everyone to join in a celebration that showcases Brisbane’s remarkable range of talented performers in the city’s historic, original concert hall,” Mr Power says.
“We hope audience members who enjoy the experience and feel they’d like to sing more may consider joining the Queensland Choir as a new year’s resolution by coming along to one of our practices from February next year. New members are always welcome, so see the choir’s website, www.qldchoir.com, to find out more.”
THE QUEENSLAND CHOIR presents Sounds of the Season: A Choral Christmas, Sunday, December 9, 2.30pm, Old Museum Building, 480 Gregory Tce, Bowen Hills. Tickets: $35 adults, $30 concessions, $15 full-time students, from www.trybooking.com. For more details, see qldchoir.com/events/sounds-of-the-season.