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sydney festival : soliloquy @ city recital hall

Recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey conceived of SOLILOQUY, an experiment in involving the public in her solo performance.  38 volunteers from the public, in various shapes and sizes, used hand and arm movements to accompany the recorder playing. The music was Philipp Telemann’s Twelve Fantasias for Solo Flute. Written in 1732, these fantasias in the Baroque repertoire  include seemingly impossible fugues. Genevieve  masterfully played harmonies and tonalities of the counterpoint, sending the contrapuntal lines out to the audience in a nearly full hall. She is an exquisite performer.

The 38 volunteers arrived at the City Recital Hall the afternoon of the performance to receive their instructions from choreographer Gide Obarzanek and dancer Stephanie Lake. The lighting designer is Paul Lim. The lighting was a crucial part of the event – the hands and arms of the 38 participants swayed, bent and overlapped in intriguing ways to the music. Dressed in black, with sleeveless tops, the light on the bare hands and arms emphasised the movements. The visual aspect of the coordinated hand and arm movements were an intriguing accompaniment to the Telemann. These lucky 38 volunteers became the show itself. How wonderful to be able to share the stage with Genevieve and be part of a communal music-dance event.

This experimental 65 minute event was in the spirit of the Festival of Sydney’s innovative program.

There are some minor quibbles. The program provides little information about Telemann. Nor is there information about the recorder. It was a tenor.

There was only this one performance of SOLILOQUY  in Sydney.


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