Willoughby Symphony Choir is widely recognised as the region's finest community choir. Our choir exists under the auspices of Willoughby City Council and is partnered with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra with whom we perform regularly. Our repertoire comprises mainly classical works: oratorios, masses, requiems, operatic and symphonic works. As well as large-scale choral works, the Choir also performs a cappella and popular music.
Read Lynne Lancaster's full review in the Sydney Arts Guide, of our recent Elijah concert in The Concourse
This spectacular, magnificent performance of Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH almost lifted the roof off and set the concert hall at the Concourse alight. Under the enthusiastic, energetic baton of Maestro Peter Ellis Willoughby Symphony and Willoughby Choir combined for a thrilling oratorio. It was at times rather overwhelming...
As the stern yet charismatic prophet Elijah, Alexander Knight was extraordinary and in glorious voice, vocally confident and secure in his formidable bass.
Tenor David Hamilton as Obadiah, Ahab and a few other roles was exceptional. He had a glorious light, lyrical, captivating and lithe, expressive voice.
Soprano Penelope Mills had a lovely, lyrical extended aria which opened the second half – Hear Ye Israel – and was marvellous as the widow in Act 1.
Alto Nicole Smeulders was in excellent fine form too with her fluid but grave mezzo and eloquent phrasing...
George Sheldon was delightful with his clear pure treble as The Boy in the first half.
The Choir, a major participant as prophets of Baal, the assorted rabble and more, surged and swelled thunderously at various points with terrific, electric timing and phrasing, as led by Ellis. There was a consistent round full sound with nuanced shading. The Willoughby Symphony Choir was able to provide a delightful mixed double quartet and a high quality angelic trio. The prayers to Baal choruses vibrantly rang out and the following capture and slaying of the false priests was tumultuous and threatening. When they begged for rain we could feel their distress and the shimmering yet dull atmospheric brass, and iron as written in the lyrics.
This was a very exciting concert that, at times, gave me goosebumps.