Louise Page OAM and Rachael Duncan (sopranos), baritone Jeremy Tatchell, the National Capital Orchestra under the direction of award winning conductor/composer Leonard Weiss, and a massed choir made up of a number of Canberra’s nationally acclaimed choirs combine their unique talents to bring you a music extravaganza. Enjoy favorites like Funiculi Funicula, the Toreador Song from Carmen, Verdi’s La Traviata, The Tale of Cicerino by composer Francesco Sofo and many other popular arias and duets such as Adele’s Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus and Don Giovanni’s La ci darem la mano. All proceeds from the evening will go to the Newborn Intensive Care Foundation (Canberra Hospital) to mark it’s 20th anniversary.  Special guest performance by tenor, Steve Amosa.

Llewellyn Hall, 7.30pm Saturday 5 September 2015. Tickets available from Ticketek and its agencies. Student $25, VIP $95, Concession $35, and General $45 (plus fees and charges)

Thank you to Peter Hislop Photography for our promotional photograph.

http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NEWBORN15

http://m.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NEWBORN15

The Foundation would like to acknowledge the support of AMA (ACT) and “Canberra Doctor”, Canberra Weekly, ANU, Waldorf Hotel, Bytes n Colours and Costco.

Accommodation packages at http://www.waldorfcanberra.com.au/hotel_links.html

The theme for many of that will be offered below will be balls/gaiety/parties/champagne.

Draft Program 

Newborn Intensive Care Foundation 20th Anniversary Concert

Program 

Master of Ceremonies: Genevieve Jacobs, 666 ABC Radio  

Suppé            Leichte Kavallerie Ouverture (Light Cavalry Overture)

Verdi              Il coro di zingari (The Gypsy Chorus)

Verdi              Va pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)

Strauss         Mein Herr Marquis (The Laughing Song)

Mozart           Là ci darem la mano (There We’ll Join Hands)

Mozart           Fin ch’han dal vino (The Champagne Aria)

Dvořák           Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém (The Song to the Moon)

Verdi              Libiamo ne’ lieti calici (The Drinking Song) 

 

INTERVAL

VIP ticket holders are invited for drinks and canapés in the Larry Sitsky Recital Room

 

Sofo               Overture to “The Tale of Cicerino” (abridged)

Sofo               Life is a miracle

Gershwin      Bess, you is my woman now

Bizet               Votre toast (The Toreador Song)

Offenbach    Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour (The Barcarolle)

Puccini          O mio Babbino caro (O my beloved Father)

Verdi              É strano….Sempre libera  (How strange… Always free!)

Puccini          Nessun dorma (No one shall sleep)

Denza            Funiculì Funiculà (The Funicular song)

de Curtis       Torna a Surriento (Come back to Sorrento)

Verdi              Marcia Trionfale (The Triumphal March)

 

Program Notes 

National Capital Orchestra conducted by Leonard Weiss

Soloists

Louise Page – soprano

Rachael Duncan – soprano

Jeremy Tatchell – baritone

Steve Amosa – tenor

Massed choir

ANU Choral Society

Canberra Choral Society

Dante Musica Viva Italian Choir

Llewellyn Choir

—o0o—

Leichte Kavallerie Ouverture (“Light Cavalry Overture”)

from Leichte Kavallerie (1866)

Franz von Suppé (1819-1895)

Suppé’s operetta was completely re-written in 1834 by Hans Bodenstedt and as often typical with operettas, it is centred on the intrigues of love within a courtly setting. The countess lover owned a ballet company called ‘Light Cavalry’, hence the name. The original operetta focused on the love machinations within an Austrian village, in particular the filial love between a father and his daughter. Although Suppé’s operetta is seldom performed or recorded, the Light cavalry Overture is one of Suppé’s well-liked compositions and has achieved a distinctive life of its own. Many orchestras around the world have the piece in their repertoire, and the main theme of the overture is distinctive, popular and recognizable.

—o0o—

Coro di Zingari (“The Gypsy Chorus”)

from Il Trovatore  1853

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)

Massed choir

Verdi is probably the most famous Italian composer of all time, with many of his operatic pieces being internationally renowned. Act 2 of Il Trovatore begins with the Coro di zingari (The Gypsy Chorus), popularly known as The Anvil Chorus for its depiction of Spanish gypsies striking their anvils at dawn and singing the praises of hard work, good wine and their gypsy women. Manrico is the troubadour and an officer in the army who is in love with Leonora, a noble lady who is also courted by Di Luna.

—o0o—

Va Pensiero (“Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves”)

from Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar) 1843

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Massed choir

Nabucco is based on the Biblical story of the plight of the Jews as they are exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. The historical events are used as background for a romantic and political plot. The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Act 3 of the opera was inspired by Psalm 137. The opera is also based on the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue, which recounted the story of the exile of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The work is Verdi’s third opera and the one that is considered to have established him as a major composer in 19th Century Italy. Va Pensiero is well-known amongst Italian people, and is said to so strongly support Italian culture and patriotism, that the Italian parliament proposed (unsuccessfully) in 2009 for it to become Italy’s national anthem.

—o0o—

Mein Herr Marquis (“The Laughing Song”) 

from Die Fledermaus (1874)

Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)

Rachael Duncan – soprano

Die Fledermaus (The Bat) tells the story of carefully planned revenge for an embarrassing drunken prank. The maid Adele attends a ball, dressed in her mistress’s finery and pretending to be an actress. There she meets her master, who is also in disguise as a Marquis. He is confused to see his chambermaid at such a party, but when he confronts Adele, she retorts by singing this aria to the assembled guests about how laughable it is that she could be mistaken for a servant.

—o0o—

Là ci darem la mano (There We’ll Join Hands) 

from Don Giovanni (1787)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Rachael Duncan – soprano

Jeremy Tatchell – baritone

Mozart’s opera is simultaneously serious and a comic drama giocoso (‘opera buffa’) in two acts. It is one of the top ten most performed operas worldwide. In Scene 3, Don Giovanni comes upon the soon-to-be-wed couple Masetto (a peasant) and the attractive Zerlina, and he is determined to make Zerlina another of his many conquests. He offers them a wedding celebration in his castle, and after getting rid of Masetto, the seduction of Zerlina begins. Zerlina vacillates between Giovanni’s advances and her love for Masetto. A swerving chromatic melodic line that descends nearly an octave hints that she is submitting. The pause in the music signals her wavering resolve; then the tempo hastens and her decision is made.

—o0o—

Fin ch’han dal vino (The Champagne Aria)

from Don Giovanni (1787)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Jeremy Tatchell – baritone

Towards the end of Scene 3 of Act 1, Don Giovanni, always cheery, tells Leporello, his servant, to organise a grand party for the peasant couple, Zerlina and Masetto, and their friends including every girl he can find. Drinking, dancing and joy will reign. “Till they have got some wine and are hot-headed, let’s prepare a great party. If in the piazza you find some girl, try to make her come here with you. Let the dance be wild, a menuet, a folia, and an allemande you shall lead. In the meanwhile I shall have my own fun making love to this or that girl. Ah, my list tomorrow morning shall have at least ten new entries.”

—o0o—

Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém (The Song to the Moon) 

from Rusalka Act 1 (1900)

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Louise Page – soprano

Rusalka (a water sprite in Czech mythology) is the Watergoblin King’s daughter, and she falls in love with a human prince who has come down to the lake to hunt. She seeks the help of a witch to change her into a human too. In this aria Rusalka prays to the moon to light the Prince’s way and, as it shines into the homes and hearts of men, to carry her message of love to the Prince: “Moon, high and deep in the sky, your light sees far, you travel around the wide world, and see into people’s homes. Moon, stand still a while and tell me where is my dear. Tell him, silvery moon, that I am embracing him.”

—o0o—

Libiamo ne’ lieti calici (The Drinking Song)

from La Traviata Act 1(1853)

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Massed choir

Rachael Duncan – soprano

Louise Page – soprano

Jeremy Tatchell – baritone

Libiamo ne’ Lieti Calici is performed at a late night party when Alfredo is persuaded to show off his voice. While walking to the salon, Gastone tells Violetta that Alfredo loves her, and that while she was ill, he came to her house every day. Alfredo joins them, admitting the truth of Gastone’s remarks. Baron Douphol, Violetta’s current lover, waits nearby to escort her to the salon; once there, the Baron is asked to give a toast, but refuses, and the crowd turns to Alfredo, who agrees to sing a toast: (Libiamo ne’ lieti calici – “Drink from the joyful cup”).

—o0o—

INTERVAL

VIP ticket holders are invited for drinks and canapés in the Larry Sitsky Recital Room

—o0o—

Overture (abridged)

from The Tale of Cicerino (2014)

Francesco Sofo (1950- )

The opera was written to celebrate Italian fairy tales passed down through an oral cultural tradition from generation to generation for entertaining children at bedtime. Following the passing of their mother, the composer and his sister, Antoinette, set each other a challenge: who could produce something musical to celebrate this popular tale told to them by their mother when they were children. The opera is based on an Italian folk tale, and in four acts, tells the story of Carmela, wife of the farmer Agostino, who is cursed by Santina, the queen of the gypsies. A chick pea (cicerino) becomes the child she always dreamed of having. The opera goes on to tell of the escapades and ingenuity of Cicerino, who evades villains, is swallowed by a horse and is then devoured by a wolf. Through his own resourcefulness, he finishes up with a fortune of gold and marries Santina who is transformed into a beautiful princess and he into a handsome prince.

—o0o—

Life is a Miracle

from The Tale of Cicerino (2014)

Francesco Sofo (1950- )

Librettist John Camillo

Louise Page – soprano

Steve Amosa ­– tenor

The duet occurs towards the end of Act 1, with the Gypsies throwing Carmela into their circle of frivolity before casting a curse and causing chickpeas to ‘escape’ their boiling pot and scamper throughout the house. There is huge commotion and after an intense struggle, all appears quiet again until Carmela laments not having kept one little chick pea to love. Just then she hears a little voice calling ‘mamma’. This duet represents the first encounter of a mother and her newborn baby (in this case Cicerino), the subsequent celebration and the tenderness, devotion and duty contained within a typical Italian family.

—o0o—

Bess, you is my woman now 

from Porgy and Bess (1934) 

George Gershwin (1898-1937)

Louise Page – soprano

Jeremy Tatchell – tenor

This daring and ground breaking opera set in Catfish Row (Charleston, South Carolina) features a cast of all African-American characters and tells the story of people struggling with poverty, alcohol, passion, drugs and violence. Porgy, a black drifter with disabilities, tries to rescue Bess from the domination of Crown, her vicious and controlling lover, and Sportin’ Life who is a drug dealer. The opera generally follows the stage play which differs somewhat from the novel. The novel was also made into a film in 1959 and since then many versions of the musical have appeared including the 2014 London production.

—o0o—

Votre toast (The Toreador Song)

from Carmen (1874-5)

Georges Bizet (1838-1875)

Jeremy Tatchell – baritone

Massed choir

Carmen is an opera in four acts. The opera’s initial show run of 36 performances were not successful, and saw Bizet die just before the conclusion. Carmen tells the story of the collapse of Don José, an innocent and reckless soldier who was seduced by the sizzling gypsy, Carmen. José deserts his childhood girlfriend and also deserts his military responsibilities, only to lose Carmen’s love to the dazzling toreador Escamillo. In a rage of passion José kills Carmen. The depictions of working-class life, corruption and anarchy, and the tragic murder of Carmen, the leading role on stage, were innovations in French opera and were highly controversial. In Votre Toast, a torchlight procession brings the bullfighter Escamillo to the tavern of Lillas Pastia. The crowd toasts him, and he describes to them all the excitement and drama of the bullring as expressed especially vibrantly in the finale: “Toreador, on guard! Toreador! And think well, yes think as you are fighting that a dark eye is watching you, and that love is waiting for you…”

—o0o—

Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour (The Barcarolle) 

from The Tales of Hoffman (1881)

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)

Rachael Duncan – soprano

Louise Page – soprano

This opera is based on three fantastic psychological stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Hoffman is the hero in the opera who relates details of his three great loves. The first is Olympia, whom he doesn’t know is a robotic doll. The second is Antonia, who has a talent for singing but may die if she sings too much. His third love is the courtesan, Giulietta, who does not return his affection, but it is this love that opens the opera’s third Act with this duet barcarolle in Venice. The duet is the best-known piece from this complicated opera, sung by Nicklausse and Giulietta as they float down the Grand Canal in Venice. Offenbach borrowed this duet from his earlier opera, Rheinnixen, but did not live to see this opera performed.

—o0o—

O Mio Babbino Caro (O My Beloved Father) 

from Gianni Schicchi (1918)

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

Louise Page – soprano

Gianni Schicchi is a comic opera with one act, set in Florence and based on an incident in Dante’s Divine Comedy. There is woe and indignation as the family learns that Buoiso Donati just died, has bequeathed his fortune to the monastery. When tensions between the family of Lauretta’s love (Rinuccio) and her father (Gianni Schicchi) threaten to ruin her chance of happiness, Lauretta pleads with her father to let her marry the boy she loves (O mio babbino caro).  Schicchi agrees to look at the will one more time, but he sends her out of the room so she can be innocent of what is about to happen. The poet Dante condemned Schicchi for the trick and dishonesty that followed but Schicchi in the end pleaded for forgiveness from the audience.

—o0o—

É Strano….Sempre libera  (How strange….. Always free!)

from La Traviata (1852)

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Rachael Duncan – soprano

The courtesan Violetta is holding a party in her Parisian salon, and one of the guests is the shy young man Alfredo who confesses his love for her. Violetta rejects him saying that love means nothing to her; however after the guests leave, she contemplates what it would be like to love and be truly loved. She decides that freedom and pleasure mean far more to her than love.

—o0o—

Nessun Dorma (No One Shall Sleep) 

from Turandot (1924, unfinished)

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

Steve Amosa – tenor

Prince Calaf answered all of Princess Turandot’s three riddles and now can marry the unwilling Princess; but in order to appease her, gives her a riddle of his own. If she answers correctly, he will die. If she answers incorrectly, she has to marry him. She accepts the new deal. Calaf’s riddle is to discover his real name, with Turandot having until morning to find the answer. That evening within the palace garden, Calaf hears the decree that no one in Peking will sleep until Turandot learns the name of her suitor. If she does not learn his name, everyone in the city will be killed. Calaf sings this famous aria describing his feeling of triumph.

—o0o—

Funiculi’ Funiculà (The Funicular Song)

Luigi Denza (1846-1922)

Massed choir

This is a famous Neapolitan song, commissioned in 1880 to commemorate the opening of the first funicular cable car on Mount Vesuvius. Funiculi’ Funiculà was presented by Turco and Denza at the Piedigrotta festival the same year. The piece tells the tale of a young man, who persuades a damsel to take a ride with him on the funicular and that he will ‘marry her at the top’ (sposamme, oje né!). Denza was also an accomplished mandolinist and guitarist who wrote many popular pieces, but is best remembered for this iconic composition.

—o0o—

Torna a Surriento (Come back to Sorrento)

Ernesto de Curtis (1875-1937)

Massed choir

De Curtis studied piano, held a diploma from the Conservatory in Naples and wrote over 100 compositions, several of which achieved fame within his lifetime. This is a plea to Zanardelli (the Italian Prime Minister at the time, who stayed in a hotel in Surriento) to keep his promise to help the very poor city of Surriento which was especially in need of a sewage system. De Curtis’ moving piece reflects the beauty of the city’s great surroundings and the love and passion of its citizens. The piece may have been reworked for the occasion since family papers indicate that the brothers deposited a copy with the Italian Society of Authors and Editors in 1894.

—o0o—

Marcia Trionfale (The Triumphal March)

from Aida (1871)

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Massed choir

Perhaps the most well-known Triumphal March comes from Verdi’s Aida, in which Radames leads the Egyptian army on its return following their victory over the Ethiopians. This triumphal scene gives directors the opportunity to present an elaborate spectacle, typical of the grand opera style of the 19th Century. What a fitting finale this is to our Gala Fundraising Concert! A triumphal march in musical terms indicates a victory, great joy and a momentous feat.

Bios

Louise Page OAM

Soprano Louise Page OAM is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and versatile singers. She has appeared in opera, operetta, oratorio, cabaret, recital and broadcasts, for various groups throughout Australia and Europe. She is the winner of the inaugural Mietta’s Song Recital Competition, the vocal grand final of the ABC Young Performer of the Year Award, the Robert Stolz/Apex scholarship to Vienna and the Belgian Radio and Television Opera en Bel Canto “City of Ghent” Prize. She has performed throughout Europe, including roles at the Vienna State Opera as a member of the young artist program.

Based in Canberra she performs regularly in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and regional areas. Louise has been a soloist with the Sydney, Queensland, Canberra and Central Coast Symphony Orchestras and the National Capital Orchestra. She has performed for many organisations including Musica Viva, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Canberra International Chamber Music Festival, as well as various regional arts festivals. On several occasions she has been a featured artist for the ABC’s “Sunday Live” national broadcasts and in 2011 was a headline artist with Anne-Sophie Von Otter in the inaugural “Voices in the Forest” concert at the National Arboretum, with guest appearances at most of the concerts since.

Louise received a Canberra Critics Circle Award for music in 2007 and in the same year was recognized with the Canberra Times “Artist of the Year” award. She has recorded nine CDs of music varying from Lieder to operetta, premières of Australian music and Christmas songs. In the 2013 Australia Day Honours List Louise was awarded an OAM for services to the performing arts.

Rachael Duncan

Rachael received her Graduate Diploma of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane.  During her studies, she joined the chorus of Opera Queensland, with whom she later debuted as Norina and subsequently sang the roles of Ida and Rosina. Moving to London in 1998, she performed with the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland, London City Opera, Central Festival Opera in Northhampton and Kentish Opera. With London City Opera, she toured the USA singing the role of Queen of the Night in their production of The Magic Flute. 
From 2001 to 2006, Rachael enjoyed five very productive years in Germany, where she was contracted to the Stadttheater, Gießen, for two years and the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater, Schwerin, for three years.  In Gießen, Rachael’s repertoire included Zerbinetta, Rosina, Martha, Frasquita and Stella in the German premiere of Streetcar Named Desire. In Schwerin, Rachael sang Blonde, Oscar, Arsena, Romilda, Gilda, Queen of the Night, Nanetta and Musetta. For her performances as Gilda and Queen of the Night, Rachael was awarded the Conrad Ekhof Award in 2005 for Outstanding Performances by a young artist, an award given by the Friends of the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater, Schwerin. 
 Rachael was part of the Canberra centenary celebrations with the role of Amelia in the premiere of the chamber opera From a Black Sky by Sandra France at the Street Theatre. At the end of 2013 Rachael performed in The Company of Heaven by Benjamin Britten with the Llewellyn Choir. Rachael has appeared in concerts and oratorio in England, Australia, Germany, Italy, the USA and Fiji Islands.

Jeremy Tatchell

New Zealand born baritone Jeremy Tatchell embarked on his singing career from the age of 9 and has achieved extensive performance experience in opera, oratorio, concert and recital. In 2003 he joined the Adelaide-based touring company Co-Opera, with whom he has performed with extensively throughout Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Now based in Adelaide, Jeremy made his debut for State Opera South Australia in 2011 singing in the Chorus in their production of La Sonnambula. Since then he has performed in the Australian premier of the 2012 Helpmann Awards “Best Opera” production of Moby Dick, chorus in Fidelio, the roles of Rhadamanthus (Orpheus in the Underworld), First Nazarene (Salome), Surgeon (La Forza del Destino), Imperial Commissioner (Madame Butterfly) and Barone Douphol (La Traviata), Parsi Rustomji (Satyagraha) and Herald/Chorus (Otello), Bluebeard (Bluebeard’s Castle) and Masetto in Don Giovanni, his first major role with SOSA.

Jeremy also continues to be much sought after as a soloist in both oratorio and recital and has performed with both the Canberra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. His repertoire includes Orff’s Carmina Burana, J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion & St John Passion, Magnificat, B Minor Mass and Cantatas BWV 56, 82 & 158, Stravinsky’s Les Noces & Mass, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs & Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Faure’s Requiem, Händel’s Messiah & Israel in Egypt, Haydn’s Creation, Purcell’s Come, ye Sons of Art, Schubert’s Winterreise and Schumann’s Liederkreis Op.39 & Spanische Liebeslieder Op.138.

Jeremy was made a young & emerging artist through the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation Opera Program with SOSA in 2014 and will be covering the role of Valentin (Faust) in August and performing the role of Colas (Bastien und Bastienne) in State Opera SA’s Opera Studio “Double Bill” production in October.

Steve Amosa

Originally from Auckland New Zealand and with Samoan heritage Steve Amosa has always had music in his blood.

He has performed for a wide range of audiences from the local Canberra music scene and national sporting events around the country to music showcase events in Hollywood CA. Steve’s appreciation for different genres in music and his vocal versatility has seen his successful cross over into Jazz, Soul, Popera, Rock & RnB.

Steve is very excited to be performing with such a talented cast of performers.

Leonard Weiss – Conductor

Leonard is an award-winning conductor, composer and performer. His conducting history includes conducting at an international choral festival in Ireland last year, with upcoming conducting engagements in Auckland, New Zealand, scheduled in February 2016. Leonard directs numerous local ensembles including the National Capital Orchestra, and is the Musical Director and repetiteur for Pied Piper Productions. Leonard’s performance history is equally diverse, ranging from performing solo carillon recitals throughout the USA and Europe, to performing with the Canberra Youth Orchestra on both harp and French horn, to performing across Australia including in Sydney Opera House, the Canberra Theatre, and in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane. He has also been the Assistant Musical Director for a recent Canberra production of Barnum. Leonard is a regularly commissioned composer and has won multiple awards for his compositions, including the Mix 106.3 Award for Best Original Score at Lights! Canberra! Action! in 2014.

The National Capital Orchestra

The NCO is a full symphony orchestra dedicated to performing the major works of the symphonic repertoire. Essentially community-based, it has a permanent membership of around 50 players from a variety of backgrounds, including current and former members of the Canberra Youth Orchestra and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. The NCO performs 4 major concerts each year. Other highlights in NCO’s calendar have included outdoor benefit performances at the Smith Family Government House Open Days, as well as an annual Concerto Concert, where members of the orchestra have the opportunity to perform concerto movements, accompanied by their colleagues.

The NCO has always endeavoured to take advantage of the wealth of musical talent in Canberra, with many of Canberra’s most prominent musicians, as well as highly talented young performers playing concertos with us in recent years.

The Newborn Intensive Care Foundation is a local charity that raises money for medical equipment, research and nurse education to help give the ACT and Southern NSW’s critically ill newborn babies the best chance to lead healthy, normal lives.

* 100% VOLUNTARY – so no administration costs

* 100% LOCAL – so the money stays in Canberra

* 100% of MONEY DONATED DIRECTLY TO THE FOUNDATION GOES TO HELPING CRITICALLY ILL NEWBORN BABIES OF THE CANBERRA REGION