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Orpheus Choir’s new Music Director takes on busy schedule

Media Release

September 1, 2011

Orpheus Choir’s new Music Director takes on busy schedule

Mark Dorrell has been appointed the new Music Director of the Orpheus Choir, at an unusually busy time for the Wellington Choir.

The board of the Orpheus Choir was delighted that Mr Dorrell had accepted the position, Chairman Graeme Gorton said.

“With three important concerts before the end of the year, the Orpheus Choir has a packed schedule and we are thrilled that someone of Mark’s calibre has agreed to guide us through.”

The Choir has two big concerts during September, including joining the Vector Wellington Orchestra for their concert “On the Transmigration of Souls” on Sunday September 11 and then singing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in their “Odes to Joy” concert on Thursday September 22. On October 7, the Orpheus Choir will be staging an “Evening with Cole Porter” in the Wellington Town Hall.

Mr Dorrell is a very experienced musician and is passionate about choral music. He studied at Cambridge University, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. After four years on the Music Staff of the Scottish Opera he moved to London in 1991 where he conducted the original London production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Assassins and Passion.

While in London he worked with some of the big names of theatre and music, including at the National Theatre conducting A Little Night Music with Judi Dench, Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman, and Peter Pan with Sir Ian McKellen. He also worked on Guys And Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Candide, Lady in the Dark and Singin’ in the Rain.

Mr Dorrell lived in Bermuda for several years where he conducted many productions before returning to London to become head of Music for ARTS-ED, one of the UK’s leading musical theatre colleges.

Since relocating to New Zealand in 2007 he has enjoyed a busy freelance career. He has worked with the Orpheus Choir since 2010.

The Orpheus Choir is one of New Zealand’s leading symphonic choirs with about 100 members. It performs regularly at major Wellington music venues with highly regarded musicians and soloists, and covers the major classic choral repertoire through to contemporary and challenging works.


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