In Praise of Music
New Zealand Opera School
Whanganui Collegiate School Chapel
Sunday, January 10
Reviewed by Lin Ferguson
This chapel service celebrating the Antonio Vivaldi's beautiful work the Gloria-Magnificat was a sumptuous musical celebration of voice highlighting yet again the treasured young singers from the New Zealand Opera School.
This the 27th year of the school in Whanganui, and the chapel service again filled the hearts of the congregation with gladness and the love of music and song.
Laudamus Te Benedictus Te, a duet sung by sopranos Te Ohorere Williams and Katherine Winitana, was utterly sublime.
Their voices blended with ease and what better acoustics than this old chapel, highlighting the beauty of their voices so they rang with ease to the rafters.
As chairman Donald Trott said in his introduction to the music, Vivaldi was a Roman Catholic priest and was a great musician of the early baroque period.
And this service and these singers certainly paid homage to Vivaldi's sacred music genius.
A soft and creamy version of Domine Deus, Adnus Dei from contralto Alexandra Woodhouse-Appleby with the chorus from the students in the choir stalls was exquisite.
So slight and so young, Alexandra is a treasure, an exquisite young singer.
It was music heaven with soprano Felicity Tomkins singing the Domine Deus, her voice strong and unforgettable yet again.
And Dame Malvina studio artist mezzo soprano Katie Trigg was delectable singing Qui Sedes Ad Dexteram - in translation 'You are seated at the right hand of the Father'.
Indeed, if you are a believer then these words combined with the voice of this superb young singer will certainly bring a little peace to your heart.
For here we are in the midst of a madness we cannot control in our world we need all this beautiful music with ringing young voices soaring with comforting words.
As the hymn This is my Song by Lloyd Stone sung by the students and the congregation said in its final verse; "a world united, righting every wrong; a world united in its love for freedom, proclaiming peace together in one song".