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Auckland women's chamber choir to return alongside the Auckland String Group

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A year on from its sell-out debut performance, Luminata Voices is set to return with an immersive collection of music this May. Led by Musical Director Vanessa Kay and bringing together some of Auckland’s most experienced choral singers, the concert will feature works from Ola Gjeilo, Palestrina, Sarah Quartel, Dan Forrest and more.

Premiering to a full house at St Matthew-in-the-City in 2021 and featuring a new composition written for the occasion from renowned New Zealand composer David Hamilton, Luminata Voices was later invited to perform at the Auckland Arts Festival - however it was not to be, with several concerts disrupted by the pandemic.

"Our year was to have started with the world premiere of a large work by Victoria Kelly, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival. Unfortunately, live performances at the festival did not go ahead - not unexpected given the wider circumstances, but disappointing for our singers nonetheless," said Kay.

"We have learned a lot about patience, perseverance, and practising over Zoom. But in the past few weeks, as we prepared for this concert, it feels like we've been filling the gap in our souls that can only be filled with quality choral singing!"

A special highlight of the upcoming concert will be two works from contemporary Norwegian-American composer, Ola Gjeilo (pronounced ‘Yay-lo’). Luminata Voices performed his Northern Lights for SSAA in 2021 and is excited to return to the composer's distinctive soundworld, with its immersive harmonies and rich textures allowing the choir to showcase its blend and ensemble.

And for the first time, Luminata Voices will be joined by the Auckland String Group. Featuring Charmian Keay on violin, Miyo Yoon on violin, Martha Evans on viola and Rachel Wells on cello, the quartet will play two beautiful string quartet pieces by Arvo Pärt and Puccini.

The idea for the choir sprang from Kay’s 2020 Masters of Choral Conducting recital. Members of the new choir enjoyed the experience so much, they wanted to find a way to keep singing together and create an opportunity for women singers to shine.

"We are passionate about making great music and wanted to form this group to sing with a high degree of professionalism, have fun with our friends, and fill a gap in Auckland - for singers and audiences alike," Kay said.

Almost half of the group is comprised of professional musicians, with most having sung at a national level with Voices New Zealand, New Zealand Youth Choir or New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir.

The choir is project-based, with flexible membership depending on availability for each new commitment. This cohort will see 18 women sing together.

"With the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind us for now, we’re looking forward to getting back out there and singing a wide range of music and highlighting both New Zealand and female composers," said Kay.

Concert details

Time: 3.00-4.30pm

Date: Sunday, 22 May 2022

Location: St Matthew-in-the-City, 132 Hobson Street, Auckland

You can purchase tickets via Humanatix, a non-profit ticketing platform that donates 100% of its profits to charities helping disadvantaged children, here.

Cash door sales will also be available. If you are able, please consider making a donation to help Luminata Voices shine bright.

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