Recitals in South Brisbane – Concert 1

Yesterday afternoon St Andrew’s Anglican Church South Brisbane hosted the first of two concerts in this year’s Recitals in South Brisbane series. Cherylene Liew (soprano), Brendan Murtagh (piano) and Mitchell Jones (clarinet) enthralled the appreciative audience with a varied program of songs and instrumental music.

The program included works by Schubert, Mozart, Handel, Mendelssohn, Lehár, Catalani and Brisbane-based composer Paul-Antoni Bonetti. To begin, the three performers combined to present a lively rendition of Franz Schubert’s “The Shepherd on the Rock”. It was followed by a stirring presentation of Paul-Antoni Bonetti’s 2018 work “Seek the Lord and Live” (soprano and piano) and performance of Bonetti’s new work “Sarabande” for solo piano.

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Cherylene Liew, Brendan Murtagh and Mitchell Jones performed Franz Schubert’s “The Shepherd on the Rock”
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Cherylene Liew and Brendan Murtagh pictured with Brisbane-based composer Paul-Antoni Bonetti (seated, centre) after the conclusion of yesterday’s concert

The remainder of the program featured a range of well-known and dramatic works for solo soprano and piano: W A Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” aria (from The Magic Flute), G F Handel’s “Rejoice greatly” (from The Messiah), Felix Mendelssohn’s “Hear ye Israel” (from Elijah), Franz Lehár’s “Vilja Lied” (from The Merry Widow) and, finally, Alfredo Catalani’s “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” (from La Wally).

Cherylene Liew (soprano) and Brendan Murtagh (piano) did not disappoint, combining to present a powerful and exciting interpretation of these various works.

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Cherylene Liew and Brendan Murtagh in performance

Cherylene Liew hails from Singapore, where she made her debut with the Singapore Lyric Opera and performed a number of leading roles. Since coming to Brisbane, most of her work has been in solo recitals. Cherylene continues to stay musically connected with Singapore through regular appearances at leading musical festivals.

In her “spare time” as professional musician and busy mother-of-three, Cherylene carries out a ministry role at St Andrew’s Anglican Church South Brisbane, where she is employed as Director of Music Ministry for the 8:30 am Sunday service.

Brisbane-based Brendan Murtagh is one of Australia’s most proficient répétiteurs across musical theatre, opera and choral genres. He has played for national productions Wicked, The Lion King, The Sound of Music and Les Miserables and plays regularly with Opera Queensland.

Mitchell Jones is also based in Brisbane. He is a regular casual player with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and has played with the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. After graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, he studied at the Australian National Academy of Music, followed by a postgraduate year back in Brisbane.

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Brendan Murtagh, Cherylene Liew and Mitchell Jones pictured after the conclusion of yesterday’s concert

Yesterday’s concert was produced by 4MBS Classic FM in association with St Andrew’s Anglican Church South Brisbane. Margaret Powell, a former Director of Music at St Andrew’s organised the concert. Carol Adair, also of St Andrew’s and one of 4MBS Classic FM’s regular presenters, compered the concert.

The next concert in the Recitals in South Brisbane series will be held at St Andrew’s South Brisbane on Sunday 16 October, commencing at 2:30 pm. It will feature pianist John Granger Fisher together with Brisbane Wind Soloists.

Tickets: $25 (full price), $20 (concession), full-time students free. Bookings can be made through 4MBS. For further enquiries, contact Margaret Powell, phone 0401 903 754.

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