The Sydney Philharmonia’s An English Christmas was a wonderful night out with a sense of Christmas and a festive end to 2012 having arrived.
Congratulations to Sydney Philharmonia who, in the almost full Concert Hall at the Opera House, created an atmosphere where everyone felt engaged and involved with the concert. We weren’t just an audience, we were participants.
I was a little nervous, when after interval we were given a short rehearsal for what we were to sing in the second half. I’d not expected that! And, being an old MLC School girl, it renewed memories of being in a Mrs Carey’s concert. Although the music director, Brett Weymark, was much more jovial about the exercise than I remember Mrs Carey being.
Brett started by emphasising how singing is good for the soul and mind, and while I didn’t really sing (this is a good thing) it was uplifting being part of an audience singing. I don’t know if it was a strategic decision or not, but only providing a third of the audience with the page of music meant we became friends with those nearby so we could see what we were supposed to be doing and it added to the festive spirit of the night.