Two huge Handel oratorios feature in the 2022 season of St George’s Cathedral Concert Series, plus Chopin by candlelight and an organ concert projected via large screens across the Cathedral.
In Perth Concert Hall, the soul-wrenching Messiah brings a stellar lineup of singers at Easter, presented with West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Then in December, Samson sees its first professional performance in Perth. Both are directed by Dr Joseph Nolan and feature St George’s Cathedral Consort.
These two magnificent oratorios are ideal choices for Joseph Nolan, whose conducting of Handel’s works has been described by reviewers as ‘breathtaking’. Joseph throws the limelight on St George’s Cathedral Consort, which, he says, ‘excels in performing Handel’s works’.
St George’s Cathedral Concert Series will be working once again with WASO for Messiah, and a Baroque orchestra led by Paul Wright for Samson. With a superb line-up of soloists, described by Joseph as ‘amongst the finest you can hear in Australia’, these two concerts promise to be highlights of the year at Perth Concert Hall.
HANDEL’S SAMSON – A FIRST FOR PERTH
As Artistic Director of the Concert Series, Dr Joseph Nolan strives to bring great classics to Perth that have never before been experienced here at a professional level. After presenting Perth’s first professional performances of Handel’s Solomon and Bach’s Easter Oratorio, the Concert Series now brings Handel’s Samson to WA for the first time.
The dramatic oratorio stars local legend Sara Macliver as Delilah alongside Paul McMahon as Samson, Fiona Campbell, David Greco, St George’s Cathedral Consort and a Baroque orchestra.
Acclaimed conductor and music educator, Graham Abbott, commented on the upcoming performance: “I hope your audiences realise what a rare privilege it will be to hear Samson in Australia. I conducted Paul McMahon singing ‘Total Eclipse’ in a concert some years ago and it was spine-chilling. And the choral writing is spectacular.”
Joseph Nolan agrees: “Littered with thumping choruses and tender arias, the orchestration for Samson is unusually large, even using horns. This will be a gargantuan feast of Baroque music!”
HANDEL’S MESSIAH – A TIMELESS CLASSIC
At Easter, the Cathedral joins forces once again with West Australian Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah, arguably the best loved choral work of all time.
Unlike Samson, Messiah has been performed many times in Perth, usually at Christmas, but it was in fact written to be heard at Easter, and this intention will be respected in 2022.
Once again, Joseph Nolan has brought together some of Australia’s most loved and talented vocalists for this timeless classic, including St George’s Cathedral Consort, Sara Macliver, Fiona Campbell, Paul McMahon and James Clayton.
IN THE CATHEDRAL
The 2022 season also features piano and organ concerts in the more intimate atmosphere of St George’s Cathedral.
A concert by candlelight in May sees Perth’s favourite concert pianist, Mark Coughlan, play all Chopin’s Waltzes on the Cathedral’s stunning Fazioli grand piano.
The piano was generously gifted to St George’s Cathedral three years ago. Mark flew to Venice to choose the ideal Fazioli for the Cathedral’s acoustic, unveiling the beautiful hand-crafted instrument at a solo concert in May 2019. Chopin Waltzes by Candlelight will be Mark’s first performance on the Fazioli since the unveiling.
In August, the Cathedral’s monumental West Organ will star once again in the annual Sir Francis Burt Memorial Concert, this time presented by Thomas Wilson of St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney.
In 2021, the Cathedral was packed for Joseph Nolan’s recital, demonstrating an increasing interest in the power and colour of the organ. Thomas Wilson’s program includes big, bold, exciting works, perfectly matching the scope of the instrument and the Cathedral space. Large screens add vision to sound for this heart-pumping experience.
Perth Concert Hall is the ticketing agent for all four concerts. Click the link below for bookings.