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A tribute to the women of Stalin’s Russia, a marriage of Shakespeare-inspired music and movies, and a performance at the world’s greatest classical music festival will be just a few of the highlights of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ 90th anniversary year.
Australia’s largest choral organisation today announced the details of its imaginative 2010 season, which will celebrate the enduring power of choral music by exploring both new Australian works and timeless triumphs of the choral repertoire.
The anniversary season opens at Sydney Opera House in March with Ode to Liberty, a diverse and daring concert that will begin with the world premiere of Australian composer Moya Henderson’s I’d like to name them all by name: the Anna Akhmatova Requiem and climax with the 4th movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No 9.
“The Anna Akhmatova Requiem evokes the passion and dedication of Russian women during a period of great repression and it will be a great challenge and privilege to perform this major new work for audiences for the very first time,” said Artistic & Musical Director Brett Weymark.
Following the success of Amadeus in 2009, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs returns in May 2010 with another inventive collaboration of music and award winning movies: Songs for Shakespeare.
A feast for the ear and eye, the concert will present an array of music inspired by the writings of William Shakespeare, including revered works from Mendelssohn, Walton and Verdi, while scenes from classic Shakespeare films soar on a big screen backdrop.
The sixth edition of ChorusOz promises to be the most demanding and memorable yet, with aspiring singers invited to join Brett Weymark on 12-13 June to tackle one of the great choral journeys of the 20th Century, Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius.
June will also see Sydney Philharmonia Chamber Singers perform Mozart’s Requiem in a special series of hour-long concerts in the heart of Sydney’s CBD at City Recital Hall Angel Place.
“The Requiem condenses a universe of emotion into less than 60 minutes and, with the convenience of lunch, early evening and evening concerts, audiences can experience  Mozart’s final masterpiece, in their lunch break, after work, during a weekend’s shopping or prior to dinner,” said Weymark.
The 2010 season will pause from mid-July to mid-September when Sydney Philharmonia Choirs travel to London to take part in the BBC Proms, the legendary classical music festival held predominately at the Royal Albert Hall.
On its return in September, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs will showcase its finest soloists in a witty and wonderful take on Purcell’s King Arthur.
Harnessing the elegant text of John Dryden, the semi-opera recounts the chivalric adventures of King Arthur rescuing the blind princess Emmeline and features a cast of mystical characters that includes Merlin, Cupid and Venus.
October will see the combined forces of Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus, Festival Chorus, Chamber Singers and Orchestra come together to present the Berlioz Te Deum, a thunderous work last performed by the choral organisation at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.
This epic concert will also feature the premiere of a special fanfare by internationally renowned Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, penned in honour of Sydney Philharmonia’s 90th anniversary.
After taking audiences on A Choral Pilgrimage to Sydney’s most beautiful churches in 2009, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs steps outside the concert and recital halls again in November 2010 to perform at some of the grand cathedrals of NSW.
“The pilgrimage will this time focus on the great English choral composers from the 16th to 20th centuries, including the man often described as the father of English church music, Thomas Tallis,” said Weymark.
To mark the 400th anniversary of the Monteverdi Vespers, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs will invite audiences to travel back to early 17th century Venice in November with a one-off performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s masterwork.
The 90th anniversary season will climax at Sydney Opera House in December with Handel’s Messiah, featuring guest conductor Brad Cohen from the BBC2 television series Maestro, and A Christmas Celebration, a 60-minute spectacular comprising a mix of timeless Christmas carols.
For tickets or further details about Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ 2010 season phone
(02) 9251 2024 or visit www.sydneyphilharmonia.com.au


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