BWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS PRESENTS IN THE MOOD
Saturday, August 31, 7.30pm, Riverside Theatres, Parramatta.
Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS presents IN THE MOOD
The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs conducted by Brett Weymark present a musical love letter to Sydney.
Weymark has been the SPC Artistic and Musical Director since 2003. On this evening he creates a fictional Radio Studio show. Props, stories, poems and even a sponsor "Rubber Duckie Bath Salts and Bubbles".
This evening of delight performed at the Sydney Opera house and at the Riverside Theatres.
As the audience enters the venue Weymark welcomes the patrons in a jovial, warm and relaxed way. While entertained by Weymark's wit and camaraderie, we watch the choir and musicians comfortably chat and casually get ready for the Radio Show presentation.
Weymark is engaging, cheeky, encouraging and superb with the ad-libs.
The opening number was JS Bach featuring "Lamento della Ninfa" with intertwined tunes by Gershwin, Porter and Fats Waller.
This was a wonderful beginning to the night, setting up the Cocktail hour feel that has a variety of musical flavours. In this opening rendition the musicians were a little louder than the choir, but this variance occurred only once.
To set up the Sydney feel and the Kings Cross atmosphere, we enjoyed "Night and day" by Cole Porter. In keeping with the Radio Show theme, some of the musical numbers were introduced with stories and poems.
A poem lamenting eating by yourself begat "Tea for Two" by Vincent Youmans. The 'News flash' ear marked "'O Fatal consequent of Rage' from Saul" by G.F. Handel. A Poem on loneliness was followed by "Blue Moon" by Richard Rodgers.
And of course the sponsor was treated to a rendition of "Rubber Duckie" including the choir blowing bubbles, to the delight of the audience.
A solo of "Laura" by David Raskin from the 1944 film of the same name was beautifully haunting. The voice sublime and the piano accordion was divine, ( unlike the stereotype that instrument is usually known for, credit to the musician for this ) .
A special gem of the evening was "Over the rainbow" by Harold Arlen, where the Choir ventured into and around the audience. This arrangement was a joy to be part of. The intimacy of the singers voices and their proximity bathed us in love and warmth.
The night included the upbeat songs of the forties: I got Rhythm, 'S Wonderful, Smoke gets in your eyes, Ain't misbehavin' (obviously a Choir favourite) . These numbers were interwoven with Baroque and Renaissance numbers including "Se la face pale" by Guillaume and "Les Feuilles Mortes" by Joseph Kosma.
The Chamber singers with golden voices were accompanied by the expert stylings of Gary Daley on piano, Mark Harris on double Bass and Loretta Palmeiro on saxophone/flute and clarinet.
Brett WeyMark and this wonderful collection of singers and musicians did a very fine job of recreating the experience of witnessing a Radio Studio Show in good old Sydney town but I actually felt like I was in heaven.