The Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition present
The Marriage of Figaro
Saturday 21st June 2014, Townsville.
This year has been deemed the Year of the Voice by local music organisations as for the first time in years, there has been a considered focus on vocalists in performance and in local competitions. The local theatre groups are just one example who have tailored their choice of shows to trained singers, with projects like The Pirates of Penzance, The Phantom of the Opera, Spring Awakening and Hello Dolly opening up doors and unearthing vocal talent who have never performed before. Other vocal projects include The Australian Festival of Chamber Music performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’ short opera for children, Cinderella, and the very exciting Project Puccini (which features Townsville singers as the chorus in Puccini’s La Boh?me) by Opera Queensland.
The Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition is internationally recognised and grows every year. Last year their inclusion of the A Cappella Competition was extremely successful and this year attracted entrants of a very high standard. To celebrate the Year of the Voice, The Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition is introducing the Open Vocal Section for trained vocalists to their list of sections. To fundraise for this new section, The Camerata Singers will be presenting an adaptation of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
Most people, when asked if they sing, will answer, ‘only in the car… or the shower’. Not so for The Camerata Singers, who will do it just about anywhere!
The concept of The Camerata Singers originated in the 1980s when Susan Grinsell, who was teaching voice at James Cook University, realised that ensemble singing was sadly lacking for tertiary music students to experience in Townsville let alone nationally. The Camerata Singers comprises a group of 20 trained singers from age 18 and over, who strive to provide quality singing performances in a range of styles for various events and functions where ever they are invited.
Past public performances include the Ingham Italian Festival, the opening of Riverway Arts Centre, an open air performance at Karnak (in Mossman) and Cotter’s Market. For a number of years, promoting singing was quite a difficult task, as singing, like anything else, comes and goes with fashion. This year, however, The Camerata Singers are back to full strength and will be performing an adaptation of Mozart’s hilarious romantic opera, The Marriage of Figaro, to help raise money for and promote the new Open Vocal Section, in the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition, held in July.
Following the downsizing and eventual closure of the singing courses offered at JCU, Susan, along with repetiteur and musical entrepreneur, Carol Dall’Osto, has made it her duty to continue bringing ensemble singing to the wider community. In 1988 Carol and Susan established the vocal section in the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition in order to offer singers from Townsville and abroad the opportunity to compete in a professional arena. This year they have extended the competition to include the Open Vocal Section which calls for a higher standard of singer, offering bigger prize money. It is already attracting attention from local and overseas competitors. To help fund raise for this extra competition, Susan and Carol have called on The Camerata Singers to be a part of the festivities by performing Mozart’s romantic comedy, The Marriage of Figaro.
The Camerata Singers, are thrilled to be a part of such a huge project. Alyssa Oliveri has been a member of the group since 1996 and is excited to be directing The Marriage of Figaro for her fellow group members. Alyssa stated that ‘our project stretches beyond bringing singing to Townsville audiences, as we strive to develop and support long-standing opportunities for people to practice their art’. This view has been supported by The School of Arts Theatre who recently purchased a grand piano, which will feature in the Opera.
Unlike traditional versions of The Marriage of Figaro, this abridged version will be told from the perspective of the gardener’s daughter, Barbarina. All of the arias will be sung traditionally (as originally written in Italian) to cater for opera purists, however, the story will be told in English, to accommodate a contemporary audience. The result is a very funny play highlighting Mozart’s most famous arias. The Marriage of Figaro will play for two shows at The School of Arts Theatre on Saturday 21st June at 7.30 pm and Sunday 22nd June at 2 pm.