SwanSongs returns in September for the Spring Festival of Song in Perth every Sunday in September.
The four fascinating programmes continue our aim to present the best singers, the widest repertoire and to allow artists to present a complete musical self-portrait through poetry and music. Artistic Director David Wickham accompanies.
6 September - Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin with baritone Matthew Dixon
Schubert's first great cycle presents the greatest of challenges to performers because of its simple perfection. Twenty songs chart the journey, physical and psychological, of a curious, dreamy young apprentice. The miraculous musical depictions of water make the mill-stream a central character in this drama of first love and rejection.
13 September - Songs for Lovers with soprano Pia Harris
So often, composers wrote songs spontaneously for lovers, colleagues or friends. The composer was likely a pianist, choosing a text and crafting the vocal line for someone dear to them. Richard Strauss wrote a great many of his songs for his wife Pauline, a formidable singer. Claude Debussy wrote several songs as a young man, head-over-heels in love with the red-haired, green-eyed soprano Blanche Vasnier. And Benjamin Britten produced almost all of his songs and operatic tenor roles for his lifelong partner Peter Pears.
20 September - Duchess Anna Amalia and her circle of genius with soprano Lucy Mervik
Anna Amalia, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach ruled from 1758. Under her urbane rule, tiny Weimar became an artistic powerhouse, by gathering together the leading intellectuals of Enlightenment Germany. The Musenhof (Court of the Muses), as her court came to be called, included Goethe, Herder, and Schiller. We present songs to poetry by these Titans, plus ravishing music by the Duchess herself.
27 September - Ghosts, Fools and Seers with soprano Katja Webb
We offer visions, revelations, confessions and glimpses of the supernatural. Katja presents outstanding Australian music from her two CDs. Active composers Geoffrey Allen, Paul Paviour and Richard Peter Maddox are placed alongside departed masters, James Penberthy, Dorian Le Gallienne and Margaret Sutherland. With poetry by Gwen Harwood, WB Yeats, Mary Gilmore, John Shaw Neilson and Shakespeare, this is a feast not to be missed.
The venue is the beautiful Christ Church, Claremont, built in 1893, and a vital part of Perth community, worship and culture ever since. The stone, wood and glass all contribute to a harmonious and serene environment, and the reconditioned Bechstein piano means that the space is perfect for presenting songs. There is plenty of space to observe safe distancing, without sacrificing perfect sound and clear sightlines.
SwanSongs acknowledges the support of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Corner Queenslea Drive and Stirling Highway
Claremont WA 6010