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Final preparations for European choral competition

Wellington choir makes final preparations for European choral competition

Wellington choral group The Tudor Consort has been invited to participate in the 35th Tolosa International Choral Competition in Spain starting October 26. This competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the European choral competitions with choirs from Europe, England, Asia and the Americas meeting annually to hear other performers, demonstrate their own vocal artistry, and experience music-making in a fine selection of some of the oldest and most beautiful venues in the Basque Country of Spain.

“Exquisitely beautiful … a choir of such voices is likely to make a more indelible impression on civilised Europeans than a black boat foundering in the Mediterranean” – The Dominion Post, 27 May 2003

Of the remarkable opportunity, group director Alastair Carey comments, “Taking part in an international event of this type is a rare opportunity for New Zealand musicians to present our music and music-making to a wider international audience and to learn by watching others from different nations and cultures do the same.” The Tudor Consort will be presenting a varied programme of English, Italian, German and New Zealand works, including pieces by New Zealand composers David Hamilton and Christopher Marshall.

This trip will not be the first time Wellington singers have participated in international choral events. National choir TOWER Voices New Zealand participated in the 31st Tolosa competition in 1998, bringing back silver and gold awards in its two categories; several current members of The Tudor Consort were members of that award-winning choir, including The Tudor Consort’s current director, Alastair Carey. More recently, Carey directed Wellington vocal ensemble Sings Harry to at the 2002 Choir Olympics in South Korea, where the group made the stunning achievement of silver and double gold awards in its three categories.

As an invited choir, the members of The Tudor Consort have their expenses covered once arriving in Spain, but each singer must pay for their own airfare. Funds raised during the choir’s 2003 concerts in Wellington are going towards defraying these expenses.

After singing six evening concerts in a variety of venues in the Basque province of Northern Spain, plus two competition sessions, The Tudor Consort returns home to repeat the concert programmes in December in two special performances: Tuesday, December 9, at St Alban’s Church in Eastbourne, and Saturday, December 13, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Wellington.

Plaudits for The Tudor Consort’s 2003 season

“Superbly balanced … exquisitely, beautifully sung … moving and uplifting” – The Capital Times, April 2003

“… Wellington’s superb chamber choir … beauty and technical perfection” – The Dominion Post, April 2003

“Luminous … scrupulous … thrilling … a remarkable level of excellence” – The Dominion Post, January 2003

“Sublime” – The Capital Times, September 2003

Hear The Tudor Consort live in concert

WHO: The Tudor Consort, director Alastair Carey WHAT: Ralph Vaughan Williams: “Three Shakespeare Songs” with additional repertoire by Brahms, Gibbons, WHEN: Eastbourne: Tuesday, 9 December, 7.30pm Wellington: Saturday, 13 December, 8pm (pre-concert talk at 7.45pm) WHERE: Eastbourne: St Albans Church, Ngaio Street / $15 Wellington: Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hill Street / $25 / $15

The 35th Tolosa International Choral Competition: 27 October 2003 – 6 November 2003 Tolosa, Spain

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