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Across the Channel

Fiore Chamber Vocal Ensemble

Step into a world of classical enchantment with Fiore. Across the Channel promotes renowned composers from the UK and France, and some of the timeless choral compositions that form their legacy.

Debussy’s Dieu! qu’il la fait bon regarder! connects the two countries through text by Charles d’Orléans, whose poem is an ode to France while he was imprisoned for 25 years in England. From France, some seasonal winter music follows – Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël (4 Christmas Motets), with four movements describing the magic of Christ’s birth.

Back to seasons in the southern hemisphere, Shelley’s text in Frank Bridge’s Autumn describes the dirge for the passing of summer and nature’s blossoming, leading to Bridge’s student, Benjamin Britten. Britten’s A.M.D.G. (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam) with text by Gerard Manley Hopkins is known as one of his most challenging and virtuosic works, speaking “to the greater glory of God’.

A selection of pieces from Gerald Finzi’s Seven poems of Robert Bridges offer glimpses into the beauty of nature and human spirit, before a final contemporary turn with Kirby Shaw’s arrangement of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, seamlessly blending classic and modern elements.

Concert Program:

Claude Debussy

Dieu! qu’il la fait bon regarded!
(Text by Charles d’Orleans)

Francis Poulenc

Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël
1 – O Magnum Mysterium
2 – Quem Vidistis Pastores
3 – Videntes Stellam
4 – Hodie Christus Natus Est

Frank Bridge

(Text by Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Benjamin Britten

A.M.D.G. (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
(Text by Gerard Manley Hopkins)
1 – Prayer I
2 – Rosa Mystica
3 – God’s Grandeur
4 – Prayer II
5 – O Deus, Ego Amo Te
6 – The Soldier
7 – Heaven-haven

Gerald Finzi

I Praise the Tender Flower
(Text by Robert Bridges)

My Spirit Sang All Day
(Text by Robert Bridges)

Kirby Shaw
(b. 1941)

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (Text by Eric Maschwitz)

Fiore Chamber is a newly formed choral quartet based in Melbourne, Australia. Dynamic, polished, sparkling and cheeky; they bring the full vibrancy of choral repertoire to audiences Australia-wide and have quickly established themselves as one of the most promising vocal ensembles since their formation in 2022.

Featuring four of Melbourne’s biggest choir obsessives: soprano – Monika Harris, countertenor – Alex Ritter, tenor – Anish Nair, and baritone – Lachlan McDonald, these performers know each other’s voices intimately through decades of combined experience singing with each other and strive to delight audiences with polished performances of pristine polyphony.

Since their formation, Fiore have toured Victoria extensively, headlined the 2023 Fairfield in Feb Festival with the City of Yarra, had multiple performances broadcast through 3MBS, performed as Bach soloists with the Australian Boys Choir, and have commissioned over 12 works from 9 Australian composers.

Expect a captivating performance with rich expression and incredible detail, coupled with seemingly effortless teamwork that is a testimony to lifelong friendship.

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