City Recital Hall has announced its 2019 season with a flash mob choir converging on Martin Place today, singing 80s pop anthem Dancing in the Street, conducted by Guy Noble and joined by the Nexas Saxophone Quartet and percussionist Jess Ciampa. City Recital Hall’s 2019 program, celebrating the venue’s 20th anniversary year, will see renowned British choir The Sixteen come to Sydney, as well as guitar trio Muthspiel Grigoryan Towner (MGT), who kick the year off in February.
“2019 is our third year of programming, and we are building on what we’ve learnt works really well at City Recital Hall,” City Recital Hall CEO Elaine Chia told Limelight. “Top of mind is what sounds great at this venue; with the best acoustics in Sydney, it’s a pretty good basis to start from.”
“Collaboration is a key component of our programming, and we are thrilled to be co-presenting concerts with a number of new partners in 2019, including Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Bluesfest Touring,” she said. “We are keen also for City Recital Hall to be the place that support artists in their creative development by guaranteeing a performance opportunity for their new work. It’s a win-win: artists know that there is a performance outcome, and we have the honour of presenting the premiere of a new work.”
February will see events such as cabaret concert Boys of Sondheim (originally presented at Brisbane Powerhouse as part of Melt 2017: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture) and choral work Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite by American singer and composer Holcombe Waller – performed by Sam Allchurch and the Sydney Chamber Choir, with participation from singers of all abilities, artists and faith leaders – come to the Angel Place venue.
The Sixteen, led by Harry Christophers, will perform a concert spanning 500 years of British choral music in March, from Tallis and Byrd to Tippet and MacMillan.
“2019 is significant in that it is City Recital Hall’s 20th anniversary year, and we’re building up to have a big celebration event on 30 October 2019. Details on that will be announced closer to the time,” Chia explained. “Over the last three years, we have grown our program, City Recital Hall Presents, and we are now the largest presenter at the venue. Through programming across a good breadth of genres and styles, we’ve reached many new artists, and reached a whole new audience. For example, our lunchtime series, A Little Lunch Music, is 50% classical, 50% contemporary.”
“Our Open House is a series of interactive events, including music trivia, where we encourage everyone to come just for a bit of fun. Our new series, Ears to the Ground, has been specifically developed to contribute to Sydney’s late night music scene and to support local artists and bands.”
The ever-popular Sydney Flash Mob Choir events will continue in 2019 and other artists will include folk trio I’m With Her, The Morrisons and Arlo Guthrie.
“Every performance is a highlight,” Chia says. “Each has its own story, journey and connection.”