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BWW REVIEW: THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE Is A Musical Account Of Australia's Modern History Of The Road To Marriage Equality & The Resilience Of The Queer Community

THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE

BWW REVIEW: THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE Is A Musical Account Of Australia's Modern History Of The Road To Marriage Equality & The Resilience Of The Queer Community

Friday 15th January 2021, 8:30pm, Barangaroo Reserve

Inspired by the 'life' of the famous street artwork "Saint George", THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE captures the heart and soul of the Queer community as it grappled with the destructive forces that were magnified when the right for same sex marriage was put to the public vote in 2017. Expressing strength and resilience in the face of hate and prejudice, the power of art in unifying is celebrated in this musical "love letter".

BWW REVIEW: THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE Is A Musical Account Of Australia's Modern History Of The Road To Marriage Equality & The Resilience Of The Queer CommunityFirst presented in as part of the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras entertainment offerings, THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE thankfully returned to Sydney for an encore performance to a larger audience on the Walumil lawns on the northern side of Barangaroo Reserve. The 60 minute concert brings together images of the large scale artwork by Scott Marsh that Paul Mac and Jonny Seymour commissioned to adorn the outside wall of their Newtown home, original music by Paul Mac (music) and Lachlan Philpott (lyrics) and the choirs of the Inner West Voices, supplemented by singers from Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Sydney Conservatorium of Music and soloists Andrew Bukenya, Jacqui Dark, HANDSOME, Joyride, Brendan MacLean, Ngaiire and Marcus Whale.

BWW REVIEW: THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE Is A Musical Account Of Australia's Modern History Of The Road To Marriage Equality & The Resilience Of The Queer CommunityThe Saint George of the title is the mural of George Michael that depicts the musical icon as an amalgam of traditional Christian iconography with elements that represent the LGBTIQ community. Commissioned in the year following the singer's death on Christmas day in 2016, the work was vandalized following the YES result of the Australian plebiscite on same-sex marriage was announced on 7th November 2017. The rise and fall of the title, refers to the story that Mac narrates about the origins of the work, its demise, and eventual reemergence of a new version of the mural. The songs range in styles as they capture the emotion of the community and its detractors to give a powerful auditory expression of events that unfolded. The vocalists are supported by recorded tracks of Mac's electro pop styled instrumentals and live piano accompaniment presented by Mac at the grand piano. The diversity of the styles reflect the diversity of the community and the broad range of styles of the soloists, from Jacqui Dark's classical operatic and storytelling cabaret background to HANDSOME'S richer 'tomboy pop' tones and Ngaiire's R&B and soul style. The community that had been touched by the artwork that had delighted passers by and commuters is expressed in the soloists and choir that area apparently drawn from the same neighborhood the work graced and present as the diverse range of individuals they are, reminding audiences of how much a melting pot of people that the inner city suburb and also the wider Australian community is.

BWW REVIEW: THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE Is A Musical Account Of Australia's Modern History Of The Road To Marriage Equality & The Resilience Of The Queer CommunityTHE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE is a beautiful and powerful collection of original songs, storytelling and images. While the 2021 Sydney Festival engagement was a one night only event, hopefully the concert will be staged again as it is an uplifting while also eye-opening expression of how strong people can be when standing up against prejudice.

Photos: Bianca De Marchi

BWW REVIEW: THE RISE AND FALL OF SAINT GEORGE Is A Musical Account Of Australia's Modern History Of The Road To Marriage Equality & The Resilience Of The Queer Community


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