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Mendelssohn’s Elijah has been described as ‘more of an opera than an oratorio’. Intensely theatrical, it calls for a substantial orchestra, a large line-up of soloists, and a chorus that has both power and sensitivity.

The work was a smash hit at its first performance in 1846 before two thousand people in Birmingham’s Town Hall — a building whose interior is very similar in size and layout to the Auckland Town Hall.

Be prepared for the widest range of musical emotions, from the thrilling, ceremonial battle of “Baal We Cry to Thee” to the soft, three-part gem of “Lift thine Eyes”. Elijah is nothing less than the lifetime journey of a soul.

Jennifer Barrington Soprano

Helen Medlyn Mezzo

Martin Buckigham Tenor

Martin Snell Bass

Auckland Choral

Pipers Sinfonia

Uwe Grodd Conductor

 

Saturday 2 September 7.30pm

Auckland Town Hall

 

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Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • Sandy Bulmer

    Picture of Sandy BulmerLike so many contraltos, I first got put in the alto section as a school girl because I could read music and manage to sing a line of harmony. I joined Auckland Choral when I was in high school and now I’ve been a member for 40 years! I started singing with my mum as a toddler, sitting on her knee while she played the piano and sang soprano and tenor Messiah arias. I used to come to Auckland Choral’s Saturday dress rehearsals in the Town Hall and follow the score in my early teenage years, and it was a natural step to join Mum in the choir when I was 15. I remember Choral Hall in Airedale Street where we used to meet (before Mayoral Drive was built). It was a dusty old building and freezing in winter, but the ladies in the alto section were very kind to me and welcomed me into the back row. Nothing really changes in that respect; the Auckland Choral altos today are a great bunch of people as well!

     
  • Pedro Silva

    Picture of Pedro SilvaPedro discovered and fell in love with choral music while in highschool in Lisbon. Later on he joined Lisboa Cantat, a Lisbon-based symphonic choir. After coming to New Zealand, Pedro joined Auckland Choral, and has since been a member of the Bass section. 

    Alongside with choral music, Pedro loves motorbike riding, travelling and tramping the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. Professionally, he is the Director of Faculty Operations for the Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland. 

     
  • Brian Millar

    Picture of Brian MillarBrian Millar (life member) joined the choir in 1978 in time for ‘Messiah’, after starting his choral singing in an all-male church choir, followed by what was the Te Atatu (now Waitakere) Men’s Choir. Brian was on the Auckland Choral committee for several years, and for a while shared the role of co-deputy conductor with David Hamilton. He left the choir about 33 years later, to concentrate on leading his church choir; but continues to actively promote Auckland Choral. He rejoined the choir as a “one-off” to sing in the Mendelssohn ‘Lobegesang’ in October 2016, after being denied the chance to sing it in 1985 (long story! Read about it in ‘Hallelujahs and History,’ the choir’s official history). Two things stand out for Brian through all those years – the diversity of music sung during that time; and the camaraderie that goes with choral singing. Especially on choir trips, having sung with the choir in such places as Kerikeri, Tauranga, Napier (the Cathedral, on Guy Fawkes night; with sky rockets soaring past the large round coloured window there being a distraction!), and Wellington; and on tour with the choir in 2005 when they sang in Christchurch (pre-quake in their Town Hall), Greymouth, Wanaka, and Dunedin.

     
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