Songs for the Road
10 MONTHS AGO
I’m thrilled to say that as of Thursday my Boosted has reached it’s initial goal of $10,000! It’s been an absolute landslide of a campaign over the last month. Once again, thanks to everyone who has donated so far, your incredible generosity is as always greatly appreciated.
I wanted to just share with you a few details of this past week, as it has been an eventful one!
On Sunday, I hosted my fundraising concert at Wellington’s St Andrew’s on the Terrace. Always a fantastic venue, I was joined on the night by some of my wonderfully talented friends. We sang a variety of cycles and art song from composers such as Poulenc and Vaughan Williams, to the musical theatre of Sondheim and Lloyd Webber (and more!).
A particular favourite of mine was Lilburn’s wistful song cycle, “Sings Harry” which I opened the concert with. Set to fellow New Zealander Dennis Glover’s poetry, it depicts our ‘endearingly idiosyncratic’ Kiwi. I first performed a couple of songs from the cycle at St Andrew’s in 2014 as part of my final concert at Onslow College.
I’d been devising this fundraiser since I first arrived in New Zealand back in April so it was both a great pleasure to be able to put it up on stage in front of an audience, and also an incredibly nerve-racking experience.
I would like to extend my gratitude to all the singers, our accompanists, and to everyone who attended for making it a successful evening. The incredible donations from the night came to a whopping total of $1,430!
On Thursday evening, I had the privilege of singing as part of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation gala concert. Held in the Great Hall of Parliament, I performed alongside Bianca Andrew, Oriana Kershaw, and Daniel O’Connor. It was an absolute pleasure to sing in an world-class ‘shoe box’ acoustic like this one. As my vocal coach and our accompanist for the evening, Bruce Greenfield rightly put it “modern architects and acousticians could learn a thing or two from these beautiful old structures”.
I sang two charming Mozart arias from his operas “Don Giovanni” and “Die Zauberflöte”, both baritone roles I hope to perform some day! As well as these, I sang a piece from Vaughan Williams’ beautifully nostalgic “Songs of Travel”. Daniel and I finished the concert with the razor-flaunting, anti-love duet “Pretty Women” from Sondheim’s horror-opera “Sweeney Todd”.
Our host for the evening, parliamentarian Chris Finlayson remarked at how much he enjoyed the music apart from perhaps the last piece which he found "somewhat nauseating" - I think an appropriate response to a deliciously villainous piece of writing.
It was a relaxed and enjoyable evening, and I had an absolutely wonderful time. I was also very happy to finally put some names to friendly faces, and indeed meet some kind unfamiliar ones too.
Tomorrow the New Zealand Opera company begins rehearsals for Berlioz’s dramatic musical legend “La damnation de Faust”. This will be my last performance here in New Zealand before I leave to the UK to begin my studies at Guildhall. All I will say for now is that I am very excited to be performing this work. The chorus certainly have their work cut out for them, and this will not be one to miss! More on this soon…
PS: With just under a week left until my Boosted page closes, there is still opportunity for people to donate if they wish. Every extra dollar donated will continue to go towards my living expenses this coming year.