Queensland Conservatorium students and alumni are set to shine in a blockbuster season finale featuring Beethoven’s epic Ninth Symphony and a new work inspired by Shakespeare’s most feisty female characters.
The program will provide a showcase for the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, Conservatorium Singers and acting students.
The students will be joined by a stellar line-up of opera alumni: soprano Rebecca Cassidy, mezzo-soprano Melissa Gregory and tenor Paul McMahon, performing alongside international opera star José Carbó.
Maestro Johannes Fritzsch will helm both works. The world-renowned conductor recently joined the Queensland Conservatorium as Professor of Opera and Orchestral Studies.
Celebrating strong female voices
A new work by composition alumnus Melody Eötvös called Ruler of the Hive features five pieces for orchestra and narrator. The texts are drawn from Shakespeare’s plays, and feature monologues by the Bard’s female characters performed by Bachelor of Acting students.
“I was stuck for a while about what on earth I could do and how I could use Shakespearean text in a way that I knew I would be able to connect with,” Melody said.
“I wanted to hear what the women had to say, so I searched through the handful of female monologues, and I loved what I found. These monologues are still so relevant today.
“I’m presenting these women as the real rulers and heroines of these plays.
“Their voices strike a chord about the imbalance in political leadership, the gender pay-gap, and many other issues we’re still facing today.”
A fitting finale
Queensland Conservatorium Acting Director Professor Gemma Carey said the concert would be a fitting finale to the 2019 performance season.
“This work is a remarkable showcase for our best and brightest,” she said.
“Both works require a special conductor – someone who can marshal the elements on stage and connect the complex ideas and musical relationships in the score.
“We are proud to have Maestro Fritzsch on board to conduct this blockbuster performance, the pinnacle of our season.”
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Ruler of the Hive, Conservatorium Theatre, 7:30pm, Friday 18 October.