Queensland’s Katie Noonan does not need an introduction. She has won 5 Arias and been nominated 27 times. She has released 20 albums, with seven platinum record sale moments. She is one of Australia’s greatest singers of all time. Yet she has not stopped there. Her next sound adventure may be her biggest yet , when she launches AVE – Australian Vocal Ensemble– a national first a cappella quartet focusing on celebrating old and new Australian stories. She is joined by three internationally renowned talents in Mezzo – Soprano Fiona Campbell ( Perth ) , Tenor Andrew Godwin ( Sydney) and Baritone David Greco ( Sydney).
On April 10, 2021 at The Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, history will be made when AVE, performs its first ever concert. She Society are looking forward to being there for this landmark occasion after what was a difficult year for all artists. It sounds like the future is bright for Katie Noonan, who is the driving force behind this new and exciting initiative.
Katie says, “There is nothing like AVE in Australia. We plan on being an elite chamber ensemble of international excellence, but one that is welcoming to all. We will champion new Australian works on every tour, engage with our First Nations Communities at every concert. This has been a dream of mine for many years. “
As a proud Queenslander Katie wants to illustrate Queensland’s creative leadership by establishing Australia’s only professional classical vocal quartet. She says, “I believe it is vital to use the human voice to tell the stories of our time and place, and to encourage our audience to use their voice.”
Katie reminds me that some of the world’s greatest internationally lauded voices in the world do come from Queensland, “There are singers like Gladys Moncrieff OBE , Donald Smith OBE, Margaret Elkins AM and Lisa Gasteen AO. I want to celebrate that extraordinary tradition and make our mark on the national and international stage, alongside three extraordinary fellow artists.”
Katie has proven herself to be one of Australia’s most hardworking, versatile and prolific artists, spanning diverse genres, leading from the front as an artistic director, from the stage as an acclaimed performer and from behind the scene by nurturing fellow performers. She has even performed for royalty, by invitation for members of the Danish and British royal families and His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama.
AVE’s repertoire , like our Australian culture, will be a blend of old and new. Katie says, “The old will be represented by the glorious spiritual music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque and the new will be the modern music of the 20th and 21st century, with a particular focus on new Australian music.”
The aim is to create an unparalleled music experience for audiences, “….by exploring new Australian composers, a chance for audiences to find their own voice and hear Indigenous songs of their own country alongside late Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces plus some brand new works.”
Already she has commissioned works from Richard Tognetti, Iain Grandage, Stephen Leek, Jessica Wells and many more, with the proof in the numbers. Fifty percent are Queensland composers, thirty percent are female and one hundred percent are Australian. This venture will employ singers, composers and everyone involved in touring and recording. There will also be the mentoring of an emerging quartet.
AVE plan to release their debut album in August and tour nationally in September. On April 10 Queenslanders are lucky to be able to have the first look at the launch of this innovative quartet, boasting some of Australia’s most powerful voices. The Welcome to country at this concert will be performed by Yuggera, Turrbal, Nunukul, Gorenpul, Yugembir songman Shannon Ruska and Wakka Wakka musician David William. This musical extravaganza promises to be a feast for the senses and will be like nothing you have ever seen before.
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