‘Spine-tingling’ favourite returns to St Mary’s

The director of music at St Mary’s Cathedral, Thomas Wilson, says an upcoming performance of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers represents “a thrilling challenge”. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

St Mary’s Cathedral choir will celebrate the 450th anniversary of one of the towering figures of classical music on 15 September when it will once again partner with Australia’s premier vocal consort, The Song Company, to give two polychoral performances of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers.

St Mary’s Cathedral Choir first performed the Vespers in 2013 to universal acclaim, and audiences have been clamouring to repeat the experience ever since.

Following their stand-out interpretation of Arvo Pärt’s St John Passion in the Cathedral earlier this year with The Song Company, the two ensembles continue their joint artistic voyage, this time accompanied by Orchestra of the Antipodes on period instruments in a matinée and an evening performance on Friday 15 September 2017.

Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers as performed by the University of King’s College Chapel Choir, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Also appearing are the Santa Sabina Chamber Choir and their Artistic Director, Karen Carey, who will play the recorder on the night with the Orchestra of the Antipodes.

Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is an early Baroque favourite containing some of the most spine-tingling moments in choral music from the last four centuries. The music’s intricate layering is designed to fill sacred spaces such as St Mark’s, Venice, where Monteverdi became maestro di cappella in 1613, making St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, an ideal location.

The Vespers were published in the same volume as the Missa In illo tempore which The Song Company recorded last year in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral.

Santa Sabina Chamber Choir

Director of Music at St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney, Thomas Wilson, said he was looking forward sharing the work with audiences.

“From the age of Shakespeare, Galileo, and Caravaggio, Monteverdi towers over other composers with his mind-blowing ability to express the whole range of human emotion in music,” Mr Wilson said.

“Bringing the Vespers to life in this exciting collaboration presents a thrilling challenge.”

Artistic Director of The Song Company, Antony Pitts was similarly expectant: “It is always a privilege and a delight to enter into Monteverdi’s musical world where he seems to bring something of heaven to earth.”

More information is available via The Song Company.