Mozart's Mass in C demands large forces - a double
choir formed by the City of Dunedin Choir and the Southern
Youth Choir; two sopranos, Emma Fraser and Anna Leese; tenor
Benjamin Madden, bass Joel Amosa, organist Simon Mace and the
Southern Sinfonia orchestra.
Southern Sinfonia, City of Dunedin Choir
Dunedin Town Hall
Saturday, September 21
It is a source of great pride that all of this performance's
considerable talents originated or received significant
formative training in Dunedin. Under the direction of
Englishman Simon Over, the combined musicality and technical
prowess created a hugely successful evening.
Fraser's bright and vibrant soprano and Leese's mellow wealth
complement each other very well. Both took scintillating
advantage of the many opportunities for virtuosic and melodic
However, it was Fraser's solo with bassoon played by Julie
Link, oboe by Nick Cornish and flute by Aimee Gallardo that
held the audience's breath. Madden's tenor voice and Amosa's
bass voices are also fine and deserve works less infatuated
by the soprano sound.
The combined choirs were also a force to reckon with,
producing a triumphant, glorious wall of sound sufficient to
forgive the occasional muddied overwritten lines, sparse high
entries and choirmaster Burchell's ability to lead from
Again, the Southern Sinfonia shows itself able and willing to
produce excellent results for such a truly admirable
conductor as Simon Over.
A bashful Philippa Harris, the Sinfonia's manager for 20
years, was deservedly praised by Over as a ''legend'' and a
After such joyful noises, Dvorak's 6th Symphony could
not help but be something of a letdown, resurrected only by
the energetic Scherzo and sweet Finale and the
woodwind and brass sections' excellent work.
Overall, this was a powerful performance, exceedingly well
received. It celebrates not only the City of Dunedin Choir's
enduring reincarnations over 150 years but the wealth of
amateur and professional talent that this city creates,
nurtures and exports.