Our Christmas concerts were with Martinborough Choir:
24 November, Sunday, in Masterton 10 December, Tuesday, in Martinborough
Our two concerts of Haydn's Creation, were a great success, both with standing ovations from an appreciative audience. One person wrote: "I went to listen to this performance tonight. It was AMAZING ! If you don't have a ticket, get one. The Wairarapa Singers took this masterpiece on and Smashed it ! The soloists and orchestra were of the highest calibre . The young musical director, Andrew Atkins is a breath of fresh air...what PASSION ! He directed and guided, his choir with ease and power. Support this choir they belong to us." Other comments from the audience: "Superb! And to think we have this in Masterton!" ** "The choir sang beautifully." ** "The soloists were incredible." ** "It was so unbelievably good that I was waiting for a flaw but it never happened." ** "The conductor was amazing." ** The musicians certainly were professionals, the music was magnificent."
10 November, Saturday 'At the Heart of Chopin'
a fundraiser piano concert
with Andrew Atkins and Thomas Nikora
Rosewood, 417 Queen Street, Masterton
11 November 2018
St Matthew's Church, Masterton.
An Armistice concert to mark
100 years since the end of World War One.
Our two Cole Porter concerts were huge successes. The 18 August Masterton concert had an audience of over 450, and our Upper Hutt concert (26 August) at Expressions Art and Entertainment Centre was sold out. Both concerts were narrated by well-known local humorist Michael Wilson as emcee. Musicians included legendary saxophone player Alex Nyman and brilliant pianist Thomas Nikora.
In the 1920's, 30's and 40's the sophisticated rhymes and cultivated imagery of Cole Porter’s lyrics made him one of the preeminent songsmiths. He is famous for incredibly witty lyrics with erudite rhymes and imagery. Porter's Broadway musical plays were very successful, and he wrote music for Hollywood movies which were very popular. Today Cole Porter’s songs are still valued for their beauty, humor and intelligence, as well as their unexpected jokes and word play. They "shine like jewels" one critic wrote, "shot through with love that sometimes feels like pain". There seems little doubt that Cole Porter’s songs will continue to be performed and enjoyed. His songs will make us laugh, they will make us cry, and they will touch the deepest truths of our emotions.
Bach's St Matthew Passion With a Bach baroque orchestra, 5 soloists, a second main choir, children's choir and baroque organ, the Wairarapa Singers had two concerts on 29 March and Good Friday, 2018. A total of about 450 people attended. Many compliments were received after each performance and later by email. We are very proud to have successfully performed such a demanding and significant work.
St Matthew Passion is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music.
"St Matthew Passion presents a work of art that simply invites humanity to believe in itself and partake in its capacity to act as human beings might do when showing love and compassion for one another." - 'Middle C' Classical Music Review, Wellington
Bach's Passion continues to move audiences nearly three centuries after it was first heard in St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig, Germany. Standing as one of the pillars of Western sacred music, it is at once monumental and intimate, deeply sorrowful and powerful. The Passion begins with an immense wave of sound — an opening chorus constructed of an interlocking double choir with a children's chorus soaring over the top — building with intensity and sweeping the listener into the drama. Bach’s great skill as an artist lay in his ability to write music with supreme power to console, and it is clear that this is what he has achieved with St Matthew Passion. English tenor Ian Bostridge is so taken with Bach's music that he has made 'Passion' a staple of his repertoire; "I think the St. Matthew Passion is one of the greatest pieces of music in the Western repertory."
Our songs included: Three beautiful selections from Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil, Mozart's Lacrimosa, Faure's In Paradisum, a prayer for peace by Karl Jenkins, an original composition by our music director Angela Cook, In Flanders Fields - written for the 2013 Passchendaele commemoration from a soldier's poem, plus Canadian, American, and Samoan songs, poems, readings and more! This was a meaningful and lovely concert which marked 99 years since signing the Armistice that ended World War One.
12 August 2017 - A joint concert with the NZ Male Choir and soprano Shayna Tweed. This was very successful, with about 400 people attending at Rathkeale College Auditorium.
Comments sent to choir members:
For the last week we have been 'bathing in the after-glow' of a most wonderful experience. It had always been something we had wanted to do - to attend a 'Handel's Presentation'. It truly was a magical experience. I spent the weeks leading up to the concert listening to the music and it did dawn on us that we were just going to a 'local concert'; BUT it was all you said and more. How can we ever thank you for a most magnificent experience. Thank you to each and every 'angel', every voice, every instrumentalist, to Angela, to the soloists, to all involved. What beautiful synergy. We felt Blessed.
"Exceeded all our expectations and inspired us - a High Five!!!"
Friday 19 May St Luke's Church, Greytown We had a full house and a standing ovation! Bravo!!
* * * * * * * * * * Saturday 20 May Rathkeale College Auditorium Masterton We had an audience of approximately 400. Another standing ovation!! Comment posted on Facebook: "I was absolutely blown away by the sheer magnitude of the performance and perfect timing of the choir, soloists and orchestra, which in no small measure has to be attributed to Angela Cook 's infinite talent and musical brilliance. To a lesser mortal, the ability to be able to bring together such a diversely talented, large number of musicians and produce a lengthy performance of a musical masterpiece is nothing short of phenomenal. It was truly wonderful. Thank you so much to everyone involved ... you know who you are ... and, especially to Angela Cook who, since I have lived here has never failed to bring the wonders of music to the people of the Wairarapa."
We are grateful for the assistance from
Greytown Trust Lands and South Wairarapa District Council.
"Handel takes you into another world and has this ability to uplift people, then calm them, before taking them up again. As a result, Messiah never fails."
"Whether it be on a spiritual level, or musical level, or dramatic level, there's something in Messiah for everybody."
"At the first performance of the Messiah men and women in attendance sat mesmerized from the moment the tenor followed the mournful string overture with his piercing opening line."
"This Baroque-era oratorio still awes listeners 250 years after Handel's death."
"Handel knows better than any of us what will make an effect," Mozart said. "When he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt."
"The overture brilliantly sets the mood for the rest of the parts, filling us with a sense of hope and lightness. Then Handel launches into the sublime Comfort Ye - it's Handel saying: "I'm going to make you listen, because this is a long story."
Opera Delights, 24 September 2016
The Crucifixion by Sir John Stainer, was presented on 21 and 25 March 2016, at St. Marks, Carterton, and at St. Matthews, Masterton. Sir John Stainer wrote The Crucifixion as an opportunity for church choirs to describe in hymns, choruses and solo recitatives the story of Jesus' crucifixion with biblical references from each of the four gospels.
* See also the 'Gallery' and 'Past Concerts' pages