The Guest Baton: Roland Peelman

Our Guest Conductor for Dido & Aeneas is Roland Peelman. Formerly well-known in his role as the Artistic Director of The Song Company, he is now the Artistic Director of the Canberra International Music Festival. Alison Lockhart (SCC President) recently spent a few minutes with Roland to discuss his views on our forthcoming performance.

Why a concert of laments and love lost? Where's the joy in all that? Lucky there's a glass of wine at interval.
Mmmm, well, you could say there is a lot to be lamented in today's world, but I prefer to look at your interval glass of wine as half-full rather than half-empty. This is a concert with an enormous amount of amazing music. I used to think that Purcell's Dido and Aeneas is performed all the time. But not so. This unassuming little opera, written for a girls' school, turned out one of the great masterpieces of all time, a beautiful love story between two strong people from different cultures, whose love falls prey to their greater mission…

Who writes the better laments? Monteverdi or Purcell?
A lament is a vehicle for a great singer. The notes on the pages are only a conduit for what may be possible in performance! Both Monteverdi and Purcell understood that very well.

What's the secret to conducting choirs?
Making them sing! 

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We hope you'll join us at 7.30pm on Saturday October 7 for what promises to be a wonderful concert in the atmospheric surrounds of the majestic Great Hall, University of Sydney. 

In light of our forthcoming performance, Roland also recently wrote in some detail for Limelight magazine on the laments of love, delving into the music of Monteverdi, Purcell and Gesualdo. Read the full article.