• Diego Torre, Roland Peelman and Jose Carbo

    Diego Torre, Roland Peelman and Jose Carbo

  • Ambassador of Mexico Armando Alvarez, Jose Carbo, Paula Islas, Diego Torre, Gladys Renorio and Ambassador of Argentina Pedro Villagra Delgardo

    Ambassador of Mexico Armando Alvarez, Jose Carbo, Paula Islas, Diego Torre, Gladys Renorio and Ambassador of Argentina Pedro Villagra Delgardo

  • Voices in the Forest orchestra

    Voices in the Forest orchestra

  • The cast of Voices in the Forest

    The cast of Voices in the Forest

  • Soprano Cheryl Barker shimmers in kelly green silk with conductor Roland Peelman

    Soprano Cheryl Barker shimmers in kelly green silk with conductor Roland Peelman

  • Rodrigo Hidalgo, Ambassador of Guatemala Connie Taracena Secaira and Ambassador of Mexico Armando Alvarez

    Rodrigo Hidalgo, Ambassador of Guatemala Connie Taracena Secaira and Ambassador of Mexico Armando Alvarez

  • Rob Thormann and John Mackay

    Rob Thormann and John Mackay

  • John Hindmarsh and Bob Winnel

    John Hindmarsh and Bob Winnel

  • Diego Torre

    Diego Torre

  • Christina Wilson

    Christina Wilson

  • Christina Wilson

    Christina Wilson

  • Shane Rattenbury and Louise Biltson wiyhj Natalie and Stephen Alegria

    Shane Rattenbury and Louise Biltson wiyhj Natalie and Stephen Alegria

  • Ian De landelles and Mary Porter with Pedro Villagra Delgardo

    Ian De landelles and Mary Porter with Pedro Villagra Delgardo

  • Andreea Krumbholz, Michael Wilson, David Gorvan and Sue Witchalls

    Andreea Krumbholz, Michael Wilson, David Gorvan and Sue Witchalls

  • Keith and Karen Barlen

    Keith and Karen Barlen

  • Margot Wood, Arn Sprogis, Teresa Zarlenga and Hannah Semmler

    Margot Wood, Arn Sprogis, Teresa Zarlenga and Hannah Semmler

  • Steven Gilbert and John Guppy

    Steven Gilbert and John Guppy

  • Debby Walker and Lorna Stephens

    Debby Walker and Lorna Stephens

  • Julie McCarron-Benson

    Julie McCarron-Benson

  • Angela Zhang, Rebecca Tong and Jade Chuen

    Angela Zhang, Rebecca Tong and Jade Chuen

  • Gary and Candace Liu

    Gary and Candace Liu

  • Chris Faulks with David and Daniela Shannon

    Chris Faulks with David and Daniela Shannon

  • Ambassador of Argentina Pedro Villagra Delgardo and Dennis Martin

    Ambassador of Argentina Pedro Villagra Delgardo and Dennis Martin

  • Chris Latham, Rob Thorman and Alex Sloane

    Chris Latham, Rob Thorman and Alex Sloane

Voices int the Forest @ The National Arboretum

21 November 2015

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!