• Star of the 2015 Voices in the Forest, soprano Cheryl Barker

    Star of the 2015 Voices in the Forest, soprano Cheryl Barker

  • Bob Winnel of Vilage Building Co., Cheryl Barker and MC Philip Clark.

    Bob Winnel of Vilage Building Co., Cheryl Barker and MC Philip Clark.

  • Vince Whiteside, Steve Barnsley, Paul Macor and Albert Dabas

    Vince Whiteside, Steve Barnsley, Paul Macor and Albert Dabas

  • Chris Latham and Alan Hicks

    Chris Latham and Alan Hicks

  • Cheryl Barker and representatives of the Woden Valley Youth Choir

    Cheryl Barker and representatives of the Woden Valley Youth Choir

  • Performing at the launch soprano Cheryl Barker

    Performing at the launch soprano Cheryl Barker

  • Kate Watts, Peter Lewis and Steve Barnsley

    Kate Watts, Peter Lewis and Steve Barnsley

  • Bob Winnel, Chris Latham and Rob Thorman

    Bob Winnel, Chris Latham and Rob Thorman

  • Philip Clark and Shane Rattenbury

    Philip Clark and Shane Rattenbury

  • Colette Mackay, Rebecca Stockley and Linda Muldoon

    Colette Mackay, Rebecca Stockley and Linda Muldoon

Voices in the Forest 2015 Launch

11 June 2015

The once chatelaine of The Lodge, Zara Holt, had an eye for style and design that made a big impression on that house that had been neglected in the years before she swept in. The impressive emerald green carpet in the entrance foyer and the two brass euphoniums were a major talking point; but that the carpet was the last thing vacuumed before the arrival of guests is probably a lesser known fact and the impressive striped effect that alluded to a field of green grass made you just want to get your shoes off and toes into it.

The National Arboretum where we stumbled around the rough rubble for the first Voices in the Forest has become a Zara Holt field of green with mowing she would approve of and all the softness for rolling and tumbling down the amphitheatre to the mosh pit. That probably wont happen as the serried tiers of seats fills the space but on the edges it should be a slip and slide space for kids.

And yes there will be a 2015 Voices in the Forest with infrastructure improving all the time to make this one the best yet perhaps, as the early evening event will finish under a starry night at 9.30. Those who braved the final soaking of last year’s event will look forward to that but will have 2014 memories to brag about. Shane Rattenbury still boasts of the ‘drippy pic’ I took of him and Katie Gallagher soaking it up.
He was on hand for the official launching of the event in the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion, the building that looks like an opera house knock off but is a bit claustrophobic inside, but where the voice of the 2015 star Cheryl Barker filled the space. She looked so glam at the lunch time launch among the guests and told me the frock was a fortunate find on the racks at David Jones in Perth and the whirl of tulle for her stole from a favourite haberdasher. Draped across the ‘chaise longue’ she was every bit the opera star with the down to earth Aussie attitude we love. Joining her for the concert will be Mexican tenor Diego Torre and Argentinian born Australian baritone  Jose Carbo.  A small group of children from the Woden Valley choir supported her and my favourite pianist Alan Hicks and Chris Latham with his violin accompanied the performance.

The show goes on because of the generosity of Bob Winnel of the Village Building Co and the extensive mix of sponsors he brings to the event with the ABC’s editorial pre-event coverage making us all aware that this is the concert of the year and a landmark one for our city. Tickets are now available and the date is 21 November.