Faure Requiem

April 11, 2018

Is there anything more beautiful than listening to a choir in full voice? It’s a breathtaking celebration of life and happiness and the power of voices combining. She Society were treated to the uplifting sound of the accomplished Choir-Australian Voices who combined their talents with those of  our own Queensland Symphony Orchestra.The Orchestra had a busy week also playing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

Both were joined on stage by renowned baritone Teddy Tahu- Rhodes and soprano- Morgan England Jones for Faure Requiem. All musicians were ably conducted by Stefan Parkman.The evening of beautiful music tested the rafters of the magnificent Concert Hall- QPAC.

The Music

The Orchestra began the night by playing the newly rediscovered Stravinsky’s Funeral Song which swept us away before Britten’s Four Seas Interludes.

A crowd favourite was the choir singing Cloudburst which mirrors the unpredictability of nature.The audience was uplifted by Whitacre’s cinematic composition where an eight part choir, piano and percussion evoke the feeling of a terrifying thunderstorm. I loved the use of handbells and the clicking fingers which mirrored raindrops.

In a fitting finale Faure’s Requiem enticed listeners into an ethereal sanctuary with a gentle, exquisite hymn of solace and peace. I forgot I was in the Concert Hall at some stages, for the venue had the feel of a cathedral with the organ music playing and Morgan England Jones appearing from above in a gorgeous silver dress , singing with the voice of an angel. Teddy Tahu Rhodes deep, rich tone added to the church- like feeling and I was not surprised to read that this was the piece played at Gabriel Faure’s own funeral in 1924.

The Voices

Teddy Tahu Rhodes was an audience favourite. Many had seen him playing Emile de Bec in ‘ South Pacific ‘ or the King of Siam in ‘ The King and I ‘ and his rich , deep voice did not disappoint.

His career has seen him travel the world as an opera, concert and stage performer so we felt very privileged to have him here in Queensland for this performance. A hum of excitement spread through the audience as he stepped up to sing.

Morgan England Jones is a Brisbane – based soprano who hails from Mackay. In 2017 Morgan debuted as Micaela  in ‘Carmen in Concert’. She has performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in their Music on Sundays series, as well as being soprano soloist in Faure Requiem last year. Her confident performance hit all the high notes and was an absolute joy to listen to.

The Australian Voices

This lovely high energy choir commission and perform works by Australian composers. They have travelled the world bringing their unique style to countries as diverse as Pakistan, China and Germany. Under the tutelage of  Artistic Director-Gordon Hamilton the choir have recorded new works intended for performance on YouTube and made international headlines in 2014 for recording ‘ Not Now, Not Ever! ‘ , a musicalisation of Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech.The voices in the choir blend beautifully and are filled with joyfulness and fun.

For a wonderful night or morning of music head to the Concert Hall – QPAC to listen to our local orchestra  – The Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Future highlights will be the ever popular Morning Masterworks with dynamic duo conductor -Alexander Prior and Pianist- Sergio Tiempo ,  Music on Sundays and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. For some beautiful music this season let yourself go with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Michelle Beesley
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.

Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).