Voices in the Forest @ Llewellyn Hall

19 November 2016

A scintilla of ambivalence about taking the Voices in The Forest spectacular from the amphitheatre of the National Arboretum to the theatre of the School of Music is one I’ll take a while to get used to but the vicissitudes of Canberra’s spring time weather was a sound reason for making the move. And it proved to be a concert of excellence, joy and fun with a cast of performers who excelled and entertained an appreciative audience in a program carefully planned by the musical director Chris Latham who knows what we like and how to bring an eclectic program together.

With the international coloratura soprano Sumi Jo headlining the trio of stars, the handsome and charming tenor Richard Troxell flirting delightfully with our Alex Sloan and mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell an absolute delight to hear it was a formidable balance of star performers. Add to that line up the combined chorus of the Canberra Choral Society, the Woden valley Youth Choir, the Voices in the Forest orchestra under the baton of the “whirling Dervish” Roland Peelman and you have the makings of something special.

Village Building Company is the instigator, major sponsor and producer of this event and that it is part of our major events calendar, is a much anticipated annual gift to our city. And while this might be a one off in its move to Llewellyn Hall, Village Building Company has indicated “hope to return future performances to the National Arboretum” it worked on the night.

And making it work on the night was the ever effervescent Alex Sloan, who brings so much to the promotion of the event, links the performances and on this night was a blushing recipient of Yours is My Heart Alone from Richard Troxell.

Sumi Jo swept on stage in a range of covetable dresses; glittering, sparkling and swishing around her tiny body, the epitome of a divine diva with stage presence and a magnificent voice. Richard Troxell had his two sons along for the tour down under and the vivacious Sally-Anne Russell caught up with a cousin in Canberra she’d never met.

And the audience loved every moment of this spectacular.