Theatre / “Oh, What a Lovely War”. Directed by Chris Baldock. At Theatre 3 until March 10. Reviewed by JOE WOODWARD
WITH the theme of ‘Dance, Sing, Love, Live!’, you would expect a program of great variety and that’s just what Canberra soprano, Louise Page, gave us in Artsong Canberra’s latest Sunday afternoon concert.
Ranging from Canteloube to Delibes, Mahler, Berlioz and others, the chosen songs gave Louise Page every opportunity to show the full range and colour of her voice.
Whether singing joyously or with strong emotion, Louise Page gives full weight to the intent of a song as well as singing every note with great clarity and precision. The intense emotion of the opening number, ‘Song Of Happiness’ by Berlioz was perfectly captured and the well-known ‘Bolero’ from ‘Songs Of the Auvergne’ was sung with great feeling. By contrast, Delibes’ ‘The Girls Of Cadiz’ was delightfully humorous. The rapture displayed at the end of the Strauss song ‘Secret Invitation’ was especially moving as was her singing of a second highly emotional Strauss song, ‘A Dedication’. The highlight of the concert was the presentation of songs by Australia’s Calvin Bowman, especially her delicate singing of the haunting, ‘Words By The Water’.
For an encore, Louise Page delighted us with a flirtatious and sexy ‘My Kisses Are So Hot’ (with real kisses for some lucky audience members) from Franz Lehar’s ‘Giuditta’.
The accompaniment on piano by Phillipa Candy was excellent and there was sublime additional accompaniment by Caitlin McAnulty on oboe and Rachel Best-Allen on clarinet in the selections from ‘ Songs of the Auvergne’.
Once again Artsong Canberra provided a perfect afternoon’s musical entertainment.