The 2023 Closing Gala features lauded trio PLEXUS together with a gleaming array of soloists, instrumentalists, Port Fairy schoolchildren and a combined Southwest Victorian chorus, under the baton of dynamic maestro Peter Luff. Melbourne-based ensemble Vox Plexus feature centrally in an acclaimed chamber arrangement of Stravinsky’s pinnacle of neoclassical beauty, the Symphony of Psalms, a symphonic declamation of psalmodic ritual on a grand scale. The entire ensemble joins forces for a spectacular finale led by heroic soloists Merlyn Quaife, Liane Keegan, and Christian Smith, as we inhabit the possessed paracosm of John of Patmos in his instant of apocalyptic epiphany. Combining English texts from the Book of Revelation with the Latin Mass for the Dead, this twenty-first-century Requiem for the End of Time was glowingly received at its premiere as “jubilant and arresting… a rapturous, hour-long musical orgy that disintegrates any line between what’s sacred and profane.” The 2023 festival is brought to an epic conclusion, as the final frontier of anthropocene habitat – what lies beyond – is theorised, hoped for, prayed to, and dreamed of, in a celebration of fragile yet resilient humanity.
Peter Luff Conductor
Merlyn Quaife Soprano Liane Keegan Contralto Christian Smith Bass-Baritone
Monica Curro Violin Philip Arkinstall Clarinet Michelle Wood Cello Douglas Rutherford Bass Stefan Cassomenos Piano