Compelling music of fires and concern

Soprano Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir. Picture: Rob Kennedy.

Music / “Traversing the Void”, Kanimbla Quartet with soprano Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir and SCUNA. At Wesley Music Centre, March 17. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.

CHAMBER operas pack so much in a bit of house. This one advised an Australian story by means of the eyes of a wild cockatoo.

The brand new chamber opera by Icelandic composer Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir and librettist Josephine Truman is in eight actions. A listener is taken throughout the Blue Mountains in NSW  from a singular aerial perspective.

The Kanimbla Quartet together with librettist Josephine Truman come from the Blue Mountains. Additionally performing was the award-winning soprano from Iceland, Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir, who has a voice so clear and refined it virtually melts a listener. They’ve created an interesting small opera.

The gamers within the Kanimbla Quartet had been Rebecca Daniel, director/violin; Elizabeth Cooney, violin; Sam Harding, viola; Trish McMeekin, cello; additionally performing had been, Katherine Howarth, clarinet; Miriam Cooney, oboe; Anthony Smith, piano and Matthew Stuckings conducting SCUNA, the ANUChoral Society.

Starting with “Blue Mountains Suite”, by Rebecca Daniel, it was in regards to the 2019 bushfires. In three actions, this up to date and delicate work had a vigorous singing tone and driving rhythms. The standard of the enjoying was fairly distinctive from the quartet.

Within the second motion, the expression of disappointment within the “Lament for the Joeys”, spoke of how deeply affecting the bushfires had been for this composer, who lives within the Blue Mountains, however was away in England on the time watching what occurred on-line. All the work superbly written and superbly carried out.

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Following, a bit titled “Hruna” by Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir, and sung by Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir, Rebecca Daniels and Josephine Truman with viola and cello. This was an ethereal piece. Refined and mysterious. It, too, was about scary fires. The language threw me, however the singing and the music didn’t. Powerfully emotional.

Then a music titled, “Woolloomooloo”, which was sung in English. It was a powerful work with singing that crossed components and made dramatic modifications. The high-pitched, highly effective notes made it stand out.

Then SCUNA stepped up for the work “Gluna, Psalm 150 and Vorlauf”, by Rúnarsdóttir. Performed by Stuckings, who stated, “don’t anticipate them to be skilled”, seeming to underestimate them. They had been good. Then on to a piece by pianist and composer Penelope Thwaites, “Gloria” (from Missa Brevis). Opening with simply piano and one soprano, earlier than the entire 30-plus singers joined in, it was a powerful tonal work.

Then “Requiem”, by Eliza Gilkyson, an American composer. It owned a delicate tune sung largely in unison. With piano main all through, it made an impression because it tugged on the heartstrings.

After the interval, “Traversing the Void”, by Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir. Directed by Julie Cooney with Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir singing, the eight items started for simply the quartet, clarinet, and oboe. The music contemporary, up to date and looking.

Hallveig quickly walked on to stage and started to observe the looking music together with her singing. With a strong and commanding voice that lower by means of with hovering fortissimos over the gamers, the standard of her singing was one thing to behold.

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The music superbly refined, exceedingly effectively composed and balanced. The oboe and clarinet floated out and in like a delicate dream. Hallveig’s skill for refined and dynamic phrasing made this artistic music all of the extra compelling.

It’s performances like this that make me glad I’m a live performance reviewer.

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Ian Meikle, editor