Now that Opera Australia is foundering so badly, I’ve been looking for any other opportunities this city might throw up to hear some lovely classical singing. Luckily, the orchestras, especially the Sydney Symphony, seem to be embracing the voice.
The SSO has a recital program in 2015 which they’ve entitled “Mozart in the City”. It involves a conductor-free, cut-down version of the SSO, playing in the (rather lovely) recital hall at Angel Place. The February offering was “Mozart At The Opera” — yay! The musicians were led by the excellent leader and violinist extraordinaire, Dene Olding; and the soloist was soprano Fiona Campbell. Mr Olding informed us at the beginning that the concert would be “semi-theatrical”, which translated to Ms Campbell changing her outfit five times in a one hour concert. Good stuff!
The gist was: five Mozart operas, the ensemble playing the overture, then accompanying Ms Campbell for one representative aria (in a suitable gorgeous outfit) from each opera. Interestingly, most of the said arias were in originally written for castrati, and/or were “trouser roles” — roles for women dressed as men. Ms Campbell sang wonderfully, BTW.
Even more interestingly, two of the five operas were very early Mozart compositions, new to me, written and first performed when he was a teenager; as well as a couple of more well-known favourites.
Here’s our program:
‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (1786)
‘Lucio Silla’ (1772)
‘La Finta Giardiniera’ (1775)
‘La Clemenza di Tito’ (1791)