Sydney’s specialist Spanish and Latin American a cappella choir, Coro Austral under Artistic Director Margot McLaughlin, unearths ‘hidden treasure’ for music lovers in Tesoro in the spectacular Grand Hall of Mosman Art Gallery – with its stained-glass windows and soaring wood-polished interior that create a renowned acoustic. Audiences will be treated to rare choral gems that have rich stories and exquisite poetry attached to them – plus some instrumental pearls… adding up to a treasure trove of Spanish gold!
The program features Romancero Gitano for choir and guitar and Fantasia for guitar and piano, both by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, the Australian premiere of Indianas for choir and piano by Carlos Guastavino, plus some surprise treats! Guest soloists are Ermanno Brignolo, guitar & Mauro Colombis, piano.
Argentinian Guastavino – who has been described as the “Schubert of the Pampas” – was a prolific 20th century composer of melodious and lyrical songs, accompanied by guitar or piano. Indianas is a cycle of 6 songs for mixed chorus, with the piano often behaving more like a guitar! The influence of Latin American folk rhythms is strong, while the texts, passionate declarations of love, evoke nature in all its beauty and cruelty.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco ultimately made his name as a major Hollywood film score composer. However, his family can be traced back to the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492 to exile in Florence… and then – ironically – escape to the US from persecution in fascist Italy. Inspired by the great romantic poets of all eras and nations (famously Aeschylus, Virgil, Keats, Wordsworth, Whitman and Shakespeare) his ‘Gypsy Romances’ for choir and guitar are set to verses by the iconic Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. Sensuous, dramatic and passionate, they tell of orange and olive groves, dancing in the street and weeping guitars.
Dividing his time between Australia and his native Italy, Ermanno Brignolo is an acclaimed guitar virtuoso performer, recording artist and teacher – known especially for his authentic interpretations of classic 20th and 21st century pieces. Mauro Colombis is a versatile Italian pianist from the town of Pordenone where he lived before moving to Australia in 2005. With Masters degrees in piano performance from the Moscow and Venice conservatoriums and a Bachelor in Drama, Arts and Music Studies (University of Bologna), he has given celebrated solo and chamber music concerts across Europe and Australia.
Under the direction of founding conductor, the experienced and versatile Margot McLaughlin, Coro Austral is an auditioned chamber choir which primarily performs 13th to 21st century music from Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. These include Renaissance Spain and Portugal, Mexican Baroque, Brazilian classical and contemporary folkloric songs from Chile, Argentina and the Caribbean – as well as a range of works from Australia and elsewhere. Formed in 2010, it has introduced often previously little-known choral music to Australian audiences. In 2017 Coro Austral toured Cuba to great acclaim!
Conductor, Margot McLaughlin With Ermanno Brignolo, guitar & Mauro Colombis, piano
Tickets $35 / $30 concession – refreshments by gold coin donation