Festival of Voices has announced the line-up so far for its 2021 festival, which will take place from 30 June to 11 July, with more acts still to come.

The line-up for the Tasmanian vocal extravaganza includes cabaret duo Amelia Ryan and Libby O’Donovan, Polish Club, John O’Hara, Baby et Lulu, Catherine Alcorn, Moonlight Aviators, Gordon Hamilton’s Requiem Recomposed and a tribute to Tasmanian composer Don Kay.

FNLFNL … Alive & Unlocked! Photo courtesy of Festival of Voices

Amelia Ryan and Libby O’Donovan will celebrate the work of Australia’s original rock divas, with music by Lynne Randell, Little Patti, Judy Stone, Marcie Jones, Wendy Saddington, Margret Roadknight, while John O’Hara’s cabaret show #VAL pays tribute to mothers.

Duo Abby Dobson and Lara Goodridge make their Tasmanian debut with their French chanson collaboration Baby et Lulu, while the band Polish Club – drummer John-Henry Pajak and singer David Novak – will also make an appearance.

Cabaret artist Catherine Alcorn – joined by comedian, Bob Downe, and Australian drag royalty, Verushka Darling – will premiere her new show FNL … Alive & Unlocked!, which originally streamed as Friday Night Live! during the 2020 lockdowns.

“Catherine Alcorn is one of Australia’s most in-demand entertainers, renowned for her powerhouse vocals and razor-sharp wit,” said Festival Marketing Manager Jen Murnaghan. “Her newest show, FNL: Alive & Unlocked!, will feature performances from a variety of acts, from contemporary music, cabaret, sketch comedy and drag.”

“Tasmania’s own cabaret sensation, the Moonlight Aviators, will also appear at this year’s festival, delighting audiences with an immersive evening of vintage cabaret, beguiling guest vocalists and an incredible band of talented Tasmanian musicians,” Murnaghan said.

Gordon HamiltonGordon Hamilton. Photo courtesy of Festival of Voices

Gordon Hamilton and The Australian Voices will perform Hamilton’s Requiem Recomposed with the Hobart Chamber Orchestra. The work, which was first performed by the Omega Ensemble in 2019, sees the composer fill the gaps left by Mozart in his unfinished work.

The Festival’s popular Voices at 5 returns to the Hobart Town Hall, with a list of choirs that includes a cappella women’s chorus Hobart Harmony, Melbourne youth choir Exaudi, Tasmania’s Allegri Vocal Ensemble, The Deep South Chorus, Queensland’s Viral Choir, Tasmania’s ThylaSing, Queensland’s Formant, the Newcastle Chamber Choir and Tasmania’s Southern Gospel Choir.

This year’s Festival of Voices also features a tribute to Tasmanian composer Don Kay. The concert will feature two of Kay’s significant choral works: his first published composition, Songs of Come and Gone from 1965, which sets text by Walter de la Mare, Robert Herrick, W.B. Yeats, William Shakespeare, William Blake and A. E. Housman, and his more recent Conflagration; the Tasmanian Bushfires, Summer 2018-2019, which sets text by John Honey looking at the effects of climate change from a Tasmanian perspective.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for audience members to get involved. “Verushka Darling will be hosting a fabulous new event this year called Gay Time Gossip – Brunch with your Besties. This is an opportunity to get dressed up, drink a mimosa or two and delight in some outrageous stories, glittery performances and a tasty brunch,” Murnaghan said. “Similarly, our One Hit Wonder experience with community choir leader, Jacqueline Larsen, will give audiences the chance to get together with friends and family and participate in a relaxed, non-competitive choir experience, where they will learn to sing in harmony, all while spending quality time together and enjoying a tasty beverage.”

The Festival will also feature a wide range of workshops, including one on sacred music at the turn of the 20th century, led by Sam Allchurch, a four-day singing experience about connecting through song and celebrating all sexual and gender identities, Rainbow Collective Workshop, led by Dr Kathleen McGuire, a Musical Theatre Masterclass by Jane Edwards, and many more.

The Festival will be announcing more acts in the coming weeks.


Tasmania’s Festival of Voices runs 30 June to 11 July, 2021

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