"What a concert! As the first of an exciting Opus ArtSong series, this sets a sublime standard.
The significance of this series should not be under-estimated, as it offers young singers of Perth performance opportunities never seen before - especially to graduates of WAAPA and UWA. In so doing, it enables the artists to live and understand real-life vocal performance in the full public arena. There’s nothing to beat that as preparation for a vocal career of excellence.
Last Sunday’s concert included the glorious delights of Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Mahler - each taking us to a world beyond - better than this. The voices of Beth Redwood, Claudia Sosin, Dylan Watson, Courtney Weaver and Laurence Westrip embraced the challenge - singing with freedom, smiling projection, engaging the audience and whispering the sub-text across the full vocal range. They were empowered by Jangoo Chapkhana, whose magical piano accompaniment was alive in every note - pure genius.
Opus ArtSong will deliver world-class singers. Its courage, commitment, innovation and leadership will succeed. Inspired by the life-long vision and dreams of its founder and musical director, Ian Westrip, it promises exciting prospects for young singers who make the courageous, generous commitment required.
I commend this wonderful musical initiative, offering solace and joy to a world in need."
“OpusWA’s powerful live musical journey
On Sunday afternoon, I had the extreme pleasure of attending an extraordinary concert in Bunbury by Perth group OpusWA, with its talented young singers and orchestra, led by conductor Jangoo Chapkhana.
Where has this masterful work by British composer Vaughan Williams been hiding?
Williams, better known for those fine orchestral works The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, in this, his grand cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, created a stunning choral work that had everything.
What a superb musical journey it was, with the sublime St Boniface acoustics heightening the blissful sonorous strings, the gripping percussive tension of the numerous crescendos, the soaring vocal soloists and chorus, the drama and passion of many interwoven musical moods and emotions.
What an engaging, powerful and highly charged experience.
The ambience of live orchestral music of this quality offers so much – it is transformative – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
As a local South West orchestral composer, I understand a little of the depth of inner forces the composer must call forth to create at this level.
Great music becomes vibrantly alive in our psyche, and transports us to a special place beyond words. A privilege to have been present.”
“Concert from Heaven. You must be overjoyed after yesterday’s supreme concert success - bringing to life a new musical entity for Perth that will transform the city. It’s a mighty reward and accolade to you, after so many years giving yourself to ventures that make this success possible. Well done mate. I believe the key to this is your engagement and support from Mark Coughlan and Paul Wright in joining you as musical mentors for young, aspiring musicians. They are pre-eminent icons in Perth and beyond, whom we are so fortunate to have here. Their contribution yesterday exemplified their excitement and commitment to this mighty venture. They pay homage to you, you rascal. Regarding the concert, it was perfectly balanced. Mozart welcomed us with his bright, light glories - sung superbly by Laurence, whose voice is as good as Laurence Tibbet’s, once he gains more substance in raw resonance and weight. That will come. His musicality is supreme. The other soloists sang very well, especially Sarastro and Pamina - who have big prospects if they choose to take the challenge. Your roles as master of ceremonies and conductor were exemplary, including your seeking sponsors for Opus. The Vivaldi was so exciting, with Paul showing what matters in music, bringing life as soloist and inspiration to the orchestra. Mark was beyond belief! How could he do that? I’ve never heard the piano played with such command and frivolity - leading to a climax that blew the world to pieces! The chorale was glorious - such richness, precision and harmony. The only way I survived was to cry. Thanks mate - you’ve brought Perth to life!”
“Thank you to everyone involved in the beautiful Gala concert at Government House Ballroom yesterday. Such outstanding performances from the young singers, musicians and the Chorale. Paul Wright’s performance of the Vivaldi was magical and Mark Coughlan was simply amazing playing so brilliantly while conducting the orchestra and chorale. I am so appreciative for the opportunity to hear such world-class performances in such a beautiful venue for such low ticket prices. If it were possible I would gladly become a financial supporter of such excellent musicians but now that I have reached the retired (on a pension) stage, my only contribution will be attending future performances with as many friends as possible. Thank you for a marvellous afternoon of beautiful music.”
“Thank you so much for your gorgeous performance at St Patrick’s church in Mt Lawley last night. I cannot believe how lucky I was to experience such world class voices (in particular) at a local church just a walk away. Brilliant! Thank you for the joy.”
PO Box 1224 Subiaco, WA 6904