Israel in Egypt concert banner

 

‘Handel understands effect better than any of us; when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt.’

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

It’s no secret that Auckland Choral enjoys the epic works of Handel; after all, we have sung Messiah since 1856! We open our season with the powerful Israel in Egypt. A precursor to Messiah, the work celebrates the Israelites’ escape by the parting of the Red Sea. In telling this tale, Handel draws on his considerable cache of choral skills with evocative fugues, antiphonal double choirs, thunderous choral homophony; he even portrays leaping frogs through word painting, where music imitates the imagery of the text.

 

It is a privilege to work with so much talent from the university of Auckland. Tonight the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra accompanies Auckland Choral, along with a fantastic line-up of well-established and young soloists, including Morag Atchison, soprano and Dean Sky-lucas, countertenor.

 

Morag Atchison, Soprano

Madison Nonoa, Soprano

Dilys Fong, Alto

Dean Sky-Lucas, Countertenor

Manase Latu, Tenor

Benson Wilson, Bass

Ben Kubiak, Bass

 

Auckland Choral

University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra

Uwe Grodd, Conductor

 

Tuesday 10 March 8.00pm

Holy Trinity Cathedral

 

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

  • Picture of Tom BishopTom Bishop was born in Australia, but has spent more than half of the time since out of it. He started choral singing at the age of nine in the fourth grade, where his teacher, a tall, elegant “confirmed bachelor” embraced new methods of education, which mostly consisted of allowing the class to run wild, but managed somehow to hold onto the idea of discipline enough to conduct the School Choir. In addition to singing, he also mangled the clarinet. Since then he has sung in high school, at University, at work, for work, in his spare time, and in less likely venues such as showers, streets and supermarkets, sometimes to the amazement and annoyance of partners, his children, and random passers-by. More formally, he has sung with the Yale Glee Club, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and the Cleveland Early Music Singers, and has been fortunate to work with conductors such as Fenno Heath, Robert Shaw, Pierre Boulez, Richard Hickox, Simon Rattle, and Christoph von Dohnanyi, as well as Uwe Grodd. In his non-singing time, he teaches at the University of Auckland, where he lectures principally on Shakespeare and Drama. He is pleased to be a Tenor 1 because it means he gets a break at auditions.

     
  • Picture of Rachel HarrisonI am originally from the UK where I studied music. After a few years in London working in Orchestral Management the call of the sea became strong and I spent the next few years yachting. During my time in the Pacific I ended up sailing to New Zealand where I decided to step ashore and have called New Zealand home for just over 9 years. 

    During my time at sea I missed my music, but my clarinet playing days were long gone. I decided I would give singing a try, even though I was a little nervous of my abilities, so I approached Auckland Choral. As soon as I attended my first rehearsal I realised this is what I had been missing and have been a member of Auckland Choral ever since. Auckland Choral became a family to me, and I passionately supported it by being on the Management Committee for several years until May 2016, including Convener of the Music Committee. I love my Wednesday night rehearsals and being able to perform magical works in fabulous venues with friends!

     
  • Picture of Traude LeibbrandTraude has been a choral singer since 1998 and she is the immediate past Chair of Auckland Choral. In this role she has been instrumental in updating the way the organisation operates and she has learnt valuable lessons about running a voluntary, community based organisation - something she feels very passionate about.  As a health professional running her own business, she is aware of the many positive effects that choral singing has on one's well-being - physically, mentally and socially. 

    In 2015 she was invited to become a trustee of the Auckland Choral Foundation, a role in which she can continue to actively contribute to develop and nurture choral singing in New Zealand, and Auckland Choral in particular.

     
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