Toby runs the gamut for St Valentine

ANYBODY acquainted with one of Canberra’s finest musicians, countertenor Tobias Cole, knows that the famous Opera Australia principal artist is a  dedicated family man, so it comes  as a surprise to learn that he’s joining Coro singers and pianist Anthony Smith Tomorrow for a special Valentine’s Day concert called  “Toby Cole is Lovesick,” which purports to celebrate  “the exquisite pain of unrequited love”.

tobyOn second thoughts, surely all the best songs are about unrequited love, so why not?

The concert program takes a bittersweet journey through five centuries of music-making, from the confessions of a lovelorn West Country farmer, (Britten’s “O Waly, Waly”) through the emotional outpourings of a bloodthirsty Italian nobleman (Carlo Gesualdo”s “Ahi, Disperata Vita”) to the refinement of a Parisian salon (Fauré’s “Pavane”, Op. 50).

Cole and Coro are offering a mixture of solo and choral works by composers including Monteverdi, Handel, Elgar and Eric Whitacre, but there will also be a light-hearted note with Frank Bridge’s tragic tale of goslings in love and a contemporary arrangement of traditional Brazilian folk-song “Azulão”.

Coro co-founder Paul Eldon says “we have been looking for opportunities to collaborate with Toby for some time, and we are thrilled to be able to present such a varied, complex and satisfying program with an artist of his calibre.”

Coro is a young and fresh group of semi-professional singers that follows the European festival chorus tradition of rehearsals and performance.

In this case they’ll be running the gamut of the emotions.

“Toby Cole is Lovesick,” 7:30pm, Valentine’s Day, Feb, bto  www.corocanberra.com or  tickets at the door if still available.

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