On November 23rd, the Gisborne Singers performed five short pieces together with Mozart’s Requiem. The Singers honoured the darkness, light, tragedy and consolation of the Requiem. There were confident entrances and strong dynamics. All sections seemed assured and the (albeit understaffed) tenors and basses did extremely well. The intent from choir members was matched by energy from conductor, Stephen Brockman. This was a passionate and committed tribute to late choir member, David Gome.
Other highlights included a piece from Handel’s Rinaldo, sung in gorgeous dark tones by mezzo-soprano Kristen Leich and featuring a flowing string section. Thomas Dalton’s tenor voice was gracious and secure during Handel’s Where’er You Walk. Mozart’s Laudate Dominum moved in a gentle pulse with soprano Cristina Russo displaying delicacy and control during long crescendos. Regular bass Manfred Pohlenz conveyed good-natured resonance during a piece from Mozart’s Zaide. The orchestra was extremely strong apart from occasional intonation issues in the winds.
The Singers are moving from strength to strength. The well-balanced program was complimented by their famous hospitality in the form of home-made afternoon tea. Locals should flock to their performances, not because they are local, but because they are excellent.