Friday, October 10, 2008

Final performance: VERONA

Verona is the city of which Shakespeare wrote - "There's no life beyond these walls" - and upon entering the city you understand why. Verona enchants immediately with its cobbled streets all centred around the splendid arena.

It is easy to understand why Shakespeare chose Verona as the setting for the most romantic story of all time, 'Romeo and Juliet'.

And it appears that the Verona audiences fell in love with the Sydney Symphony. The performance at the Verona Teatro Filarmonica was a sell out. Following the first half of Ravel's 'La Valse' and Liza Lim's 'The Compass', the audience was treated to a spectacular encore by William Barton on didgeriodoo, combined with his own puppetry hand movements. The encore had people shouting in their seats for more.
The all-Ravel second half delighted audiences again with calls for two encores.
Verona audiences are notoriously conservative at concerts, but we saw no evidence of this. They showed their appreciation with cheers and a standing ovation.

The Verona concert was a magnificent way to end the Orchestra's Italy Tour. The performance summed up what we felt from audiences throughout the tour - an admiration for the Sydney Symphony and its exquisite music-making and an appreciation of bringing the sounds of Australia through the didgeridoo and Liza Lim's The Compass to Italy.

The tour has been extensive and exhausting for everyone involved. But the Orchestra works so tirelessly because we realise the value of international touring and introducing overseas audiences to the Sydney Symphony and Australian culture.

A tour as extensive as this is only possible thanks to the hard work of everyone involved behind the scenes - the tour manager, orchestra manager, technical crew (pictured here with their thank you bottles of wine from the Orchestra) - the list goes on and on.

But of course, it's the musicians of the Sydney Symphony who deserve the most praise. Without their fine music-making, the Orchestra would not have enjoyed the rapturous applause it recieved at every performance. Their professionalism and commitment to artistic excellence is what has made this tour such as success.

Following the final performance, the Orchestra celebrated in true Italian style - some great food and even better wine.