Previous Concerts

  • The “Bard of Avon,” William Shakespeare (ca. 1564–1616), has made arguably the greatest contribution to English literature of any single person in history. It is no surprise then that many composers have set his texts to music: from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” to Verdi’s opera “Otello” to Duke Ellington’s song cycle “Such Sweet Thunder.”

    For this concert, the Shoalhaven Lydian Singers have made a selection of choral works from various composers who have used the words of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets for the text of their compositions. The program will include pieces such as You Spotted Snakes by Felix Mendelssohn, Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind by John Rutter, If Music Be the Food of Love by Henry Purcell, Double, Double Toil and Trouble by Jaako Mantyjarvi, plus a jazz setting by George Shearing of Six Songs and Sonnets by William Shakespeare.

  • The Shoalhaven Lydian Singers presented a weekend of Handel’s Messiah in Berry and Nowra before Christmas 2017, then in Ulladulla and Kiama just before Easter 2018.


    With some 50 choir members, seven instrumentalists, four soloists and musical director Lesley Challender delighting the audience with powerful, emotional and uplifting singing, all 4 concerts were well attended, with Berry and Nowra being sold out completely. It was wonderful to also offer this much-loved work in the southern and northern churches, in part to celebrate The Lydians 40th anniversary.

    The choir was formed in 1977, by the late Don Dudgeon. Only one of the founding members, Noni Rogan, still sings with the choir.

    For all performances except in Berry, an organ from All Organs Australia was brought in for the day, creating a breathtaking sound.

    Praise from our audience:
    We must congratulate you on the wonderful performance of The Messiah!  It was an excellent production and absolutely to your credit, Lesley. I realise how much work and how much stress would have gone into it but it certainly gave many folk a boost of Christmas spirit, judging by the comments I’m still hearing. Helen T.
     
    What a splendid job you all did yesterday. It was a thrill to be able to hear it from the front for once. The soloists were excellent and the choir was in very fine form, particularly the altos, and of course Denis (on Trumpet) was outstanding. 
    Well done for all your hard and detailed work. Peter B.
     
    It was an absolute pleasure to sing the Messiah with you all. 
    Thank you for the amazing opportunity to not only perform my very FIRST Messiah but also the opportunity to sing the beautiful contralto solos. 
    I am very much looking forward to singing it again come March and am telling everyone I know that missed it, that it was a fantastic concert and they MUST come next year. 
    The choir sounded amazing! Testament to everyone’s hard work and your professional and enthusiastic conducting Lesley. Well Done!      Nicole S.
     
  • About the Performance

    Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), was one of the leading French composers of his time whose musical style influenced many musicians in the 20th century. Fauré began sketches for the Requiem in 1887. Unlike many composers, he was not drawn to compose a Requiem because of the death of a loved one. When asked about his motivation for writing it, Fauré responded:

    “My Requiem was composed for nothing … for fun, if I may be permitted to say so!”

    “It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience. . . . . As to my Requiem, perhaps I have also instinctively sought to escape from what is thought right and proper, after all the years of accompanying burial services on the organ! I know it all by heart. I wanted to write something different.”

    These are Faure’s thoughts on spirituality in the Requiem:

    “Everything I managed to entertain in the way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

    The work was performed at Fauré’s funeral in 1924.

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