Voices int the Forest @ The National ArboretumShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
Voices in the Forest is a wonderful event that can and will grow and prosper over the years. The venue is emerging from the gravel pit shape of the original and there’s grass underfoot now which is rather nice, but we have a lot to learn from past experiences and last year’s deluge is a prime example of the vicissitudes of weather. But a stoic show from those who were there for the music and sat through til the end was admirable as we who didn’t scarpered for the dinner in the visitor’s centre and missed the best part of last year’s concert.
This year it was the three seasons in one day variant where we started off in summery clothes, started to chill after the first interval and were heading for a fast freeze by the second as the night closed in. Layers, that’s the memo for all for next year.
The program was delightful, the performers wonderful and the combination of music choices by Chris Latham as musical director a showcase for the extraordinary Mexican tenor Diego Torre who rekindled my love of that commercial favourite Nessun Dorma. Great expectations of a Pavarotti version not realized when he didn’t sing it on his final Australian tour.
Then there was the charming and elegant Argentinian born Aussie baritone Jose Carbo and shimmering in Kelly Green silk soprano Cheryl Barker to make up the trio of stars for this year’s concert. With a preamble alluding to the tragedy that is terrorism in Paris and manifested in so many ways around the world the reminder that culture is integral to a civil society with a revolutionary song from 1866 associated with the Paris commune called Le Temps des cerises sent shivers down my spine. It is alternated on the clock’s hourly chime in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Dennis. Christine Wilson with husband Alan Hicks on piano made it a song for all of us who grieve for Paris.
On a lighter note with much pleasure involved in the experience, the conducting by the irrepressible Roland Peelman is worthy of a short documentary from a talented director with a good sense of rhythm. He’s more animated than a praying mantis but there’s something about his physique and physicality that reminds me of one, as do the kids that Midnight Oil front man Peter Garrett calls the dancing stick insects in the mosh pit of their concerts.
We thawed comfortably with a few drinks in the visitor’s centre, thanking profusely Bob Winnel of Village Building Company who gave this unique gift to the city and relishes the opportunity to continue again next year. Remember layers!