Clarence Valley Independent

A night to remember

Ed,

What a most exhilarating Friday evening! Whoever thought opera concerts could be stuffy affairs needs to experience singers from the Lower Clarence Valley Opera strutting their stuff. These five multi-talented musicians obviously enjoyed sharing their music with the audience. And the feeling was mutual.

Christ Church Cathedral lived up to its reputation for glorious acoustics and provided the ideal ambience for classical singing.

Due to opera commitments in Sydney, Michelle Ryan was unable to join the troupe this time. However, highly acclaimed Katie Rutledge from Opera Queensland graciously agreed to step in at short notice. 

Katie was ably joined by former Clarence Valley locals Troy Castle (baritone), Connor Willmore (tenor) and sopranos Madeleine Short and Emma Short, each studying Voice at Queensland University. What a treat it was to hear their remarkable technique and unique interpretation of superb operatic works.

Worthy of special mention are piano accompanists Sr. Anne Gallagher OAM and Gwen Berman OAM. These two ladies (dare I say, of a certain age) played with such professionalism and panache. Not an easy task, particularly some of those intrinsically demanding arias. How special it must be to see their former students doing what they were born to do – perform.

Casting an eye over the audience, many were anything but classical music fans. After being thoroughly enthralled by the music and having obviously enjoyed themselves, there were several enquiries about future concerts.

Thank you, Lower Clarence Valley Opera for bringing your talents to Grafton. I’m still humming!

Helen Tucker, Grafton

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