Event of the Week: Bella Voce


Sydney Conservatorium of Music Singers Perform Ursuline Convent Chapel Recital

The Bella Voce Recital featured students from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music offering a lovely performance the 5th and 6th of July at the Ursuline Convent Chapel in Armidale, NSW.

“Their recital of many well-loved solos, duets, trios and group pieces was brilliantly received with standing ovations for all three performances,” said Jane Fraser. “The acoustics of the venue were incomparable making this a brilliant venue for classical singing.”

“This concert involved eight performers from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and their accompanist,” she said. “They were Michelle Ryan (soprano), Daniel Nicholson (bass baritone), Zoe Drummond (soprano),Damian Arnold (tenor),Laura Crocco (soprano), Hannah Fraser (mezzo soprano), Sylvie Humphries (soprano), Jared Lillehagen (bass) and Bradley Gilchrist (accompanist).”

Fraser talked about how the event was advertised. “Advertising for the event involved a three part approach. A three week campaign was undertaken in the local newspaper, The Armidale Express,” she said. “The editor Lorraine Coffey, attended Saturday night’s performance personally and wrote a glowing follow up review. There was also mention made by Susie Dunn in Focus Magazine, a monthly local magazine, of the imminent recital.”

“Several of the singers were interviewed for 2AD local radio and they also ran an advertising campaign.ABC Radio (local branch in Tamworth) also conducted an on air interview with Hannah Fraser and played an excerpt from the Lakme Duet by Delibes sung by Hannah and Michelle Ryan,” she continued. “The final component of the advertising were posters placed all around Armidale and word of mouth plus emailing to those in charge of the New England Conservatorium, local schools, Adfas ,UNE , Armidale Eisteddfod Committee and Opera North-West. Just prior to the event, leaflets were dropped to all the close motels which may have guests interested in entertainment whilst staying.”

Fraser talked about the tons of great moments from the event. “There were so many highlights in the audience response to these young singers. One of the best was a single woman’s standing ovation after Michelle Ryan’s rendition of Gounod’s Ave Maria in this magnificent religious setting,” she said. “Another was Bradley reporting an elderly gentleman with tears streaming down his face, deeply moved by the beauty and pathos of the music. Afterwards, members of the audience spoke of how it had been world class and a privilege to attend. The response was heartfelt and so genuine. In particular, they were delighted that these city-based performers had seen fit to bring their skills out to our region. Everybody begged them to return.”

Fraser said that she expects future events to be much closer to capacity. “For this concert we were not able to fill the Ursuline Chapel to its full capacity of 120 despite what we thought were fairly effective advertising campaigns,” she said. “Now that the repute of the singers has spread, we would expect to be able to book much closer to capacity crowds if we held a second recital series.”

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