Reviews: Sydney Chamber Choir's Saint Nicolas Performance


Review: St Nicolas (Sydney Chamber Choir)

Clive Paget  |  July 23, 2017

Sydney Chamber Choir were blessed to have engaged the services of Brett Weymark for the afternoon, a choral conductor par excellence who admits to having had his own Road to Damascus after singing the tenor solo in a performance of St Nicolas in this very hall at the tender age of 19. That experience led him to commit to a musical career, and the special place the work has in his heart was evident from the lovingly crafted interpretation that formed the second half of this concert.

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Sydney Chamber Choir | A slice of Sydney’s choral and vocal talent was on show on a beautiful winter’s day at Sydney University’s Great Hall

Lliane Clarke  |  July 26, 2017

The University of Sydney’s Great Hall set the scene on a sparkling winter’s Sunday afternoon for Sydney Chamber Choir’s Saint Nicholas program.

The afternoon’s repertoire took the audience on a journey from Hildegard von Bingen’s Selections from Canticles of Ecstasy to the erupting celebration of Benjamin Britten’s Saint Nicolas in a concert that Musical Director Richard Gill was inspired to create, but unfortunately unable to conduct.

Brett Weymark stepped up to the podium brilliantly to conduct the concert, which of course he did with style and rigour. How apt that his own circle of music education was present. He had not only sung in the very same hall as a university student but also, he explained, his life had been changed as a student at high school when he joined the then Sydney Schools’ Singers.

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Sydney Arts Guide

Saint Nicolas: Sydney Chamber Choir @ Sydney University Great Hall

Paul Nolan  |  July 26, 2017

This concert showcased the Sydney Chamber Choir at its dramatic best. The group’s stunning vocal precision, capacity for warmth of tone and command of textual detail ensured quality delivery of Britten’s cantata Saint Nicolas Op 42 and a collection of short, evocative sacred works to fill the concert’s first half.

The thorough realisation of Britten’s music and narrative sweep was a true highlight of this event. Reflecting  the origins of this work as a composition for the centenary celebrations of Lancing College in 1948, the choir was joined by school-age voices and instrumentalists.

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Daily Telegraph

Sydney Chamber Choir’s Saint Nicolas voyage triumphs with all hands on deck

Steve Moffatt, Wentworth Courier  |  July 24, 2017

The idea for the latest Sydney Chamber Choir concert of five works, culminating in Benjamin Britten’s marvellous cantata Saint Nicolas, came to life round the dinner table of the choir’s musical director Richard Gill.

Unfortunately health reasons forced him to step aside from conducting the performance in the Great Hall at Sydney University, but the afternoon could not have been in better hands than those of guest conductor Brett Weymark.

In fact the substitution added an extra dimension as Weymark, who is artistic director of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, sang the title role of Saint Nicolas as a 19-year-old student in the same hall — a performance which set him on the road to becoming a full-time musician.

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