Sydney Philharmonia Choirs present Rachmaninoff’s Vespers

As part of Sydney Festival 2022, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs presented a sellout season of Night of the Soul in the cathedralesque space of The Cutaway at Barangaroo. Against a backdrop of the venue’s towering columns and ancient sandstone wall, the audience lay back on yoga mats and cushions, enveloped in a live performance that resonated with sonic choral beauty.

In 2024 the magic of these concerts will be revisited in a rare performance of one of the most sublime a cappella works ever written, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s hauntingly beautiful All-Night Vigil (popularly known as his Vespers), presented in a specially created dream-like environment in Sydney’s iconic Town Hall, on Saturday July 20.

Like Night of the Soul, this will be an immersive experience, with the audience invited to relax into the sweet spot between active listening and meditation, as the voices of over 100 singers from the Choirs’ renowned Symphony Chorus unite as a living, breathing instrument, interspersed with solos from special guests, mezzo-soprano Hannah Fraser, tenor Louis Hurley and saxophonist Nicholas Russoniello.

For this performance, conductor and Artistic Director Brett Weymark has removed much of Sydney Town Hall’s ground floor seating to create space for the choir in the centre of the room and provide a unique acoustic effect.

Surrounding the performers on all four sides will be yoga mats where guests can lay back, allowing Rachmaninoff’s sumptuous music to wash over them. Or for those who prefer a seat, several options will be available around the main hall, on stage in the galleries.

Best known for his heart-achingly beautiful piano concertos and lush symphonies (as heard in films such as Brief Encounter, Shine and many more), Rachmaninoff also had a soft spot for Russian Orthodox tradition, and his own favourite composition, his All-Night Vigil, is imbued with its ancient harmonies, choral chants and folksongs.

Book now for this unmissable performance of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers at Sydney Town Hall, 7pm Saturday July 20.

Note, this performance will take place on the main floor of Sydney Town Hall. Seating options include (supplied) yoga mats placed at the centre of the chorus of singers, or regular seats around the perimeter, on the stage or in the galleries.

Concert attendees are invited to bring a small blanket or pillow to make themselves comfortable; whilst making sure not to impact the space or experience of others.


Season Details

Venue:  Sydney Town Hall
Date: 20 July 2024

For more information click HERE

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