I have a very strange relationship with the Darwin Chorale.
Every few months or so I do a show with them, and every time I do I tell myself at the conclusion that it will be the last one I do. And then within a few weeks I find myself back at rehearsals, not unlike a substance abuse problem or an old girlfriend you just never quite get over. And not much better for me really.
Still, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to sing the Messiah with them, now was I?
Apparently it had been about five years since the last time Handel’s Messiah was performed in Darwin, which was an unacceptably long time for many of those with the influence and relevance to make statements like that. So the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and the Darwin Chorale teamed up again to put on two shows in the NT Supreme Court, which is a great venue for that sort of thing and seems to be built out of gravitas. And wood panels.
I’d never sung the whole thing before, although I’d sung bits of it with a few different choirs, so it was fun for me to learn all the bits and pieces and to see how they all came together to paint such a vivid picture of Christ, using scriptures taken from all over both testaments of the Bible. It’s a freaking difficult thing to sing. Some of the movements around the crucifixion are really intense, but amazing when they come together, which they did most of the time.
And of course the highlight of the whole show both for the audience and for the choir is the Hallelujah Chorus. Between the full orchestra and the Chorale, we just about lifted the roof off the court house, which would have drawn some very concerned stares from the local judicial officers, who would then have repaired it by glaring at the roof until it apologised and resumed its place on top of the building.
Almost as much fun for me as the Hallelujah was the finale, including the most emphatic Amen I’ve ever sung. It seems like a great way to put a cap on a short but illustrious Darwin Chorale Career, as I’m sure this has been the last project I’ll do with them for a while.
This time for sure.
Garry with 2 Rs