Magic Spirit


Friday 6 & Saturday 7 October 2023, 7.30pm

Perth Concert Hall

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West Australian Symphony Orchestra respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and Elders of Country throughout Western Australia, and the Whadjuk Noongar people on whose lands we work and share music.

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Magic Spirit

Maurice RAVEL Ma Mère l’oye (Mother Goose) – Suite (12 mins)

Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty
Tom Thumb
Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas
Conversations of Beauty and the Beast
The Fairy Garden

William BARTON Apii Thatini Mu Murtu (20 mins)

Interval (25 mins)

Gabriel FAURÉ Cantique de Jean Racine (6 mins)

Gabriel FAURÉ Requiem (38 mins)

Introït et Kyrie
Pie Jesu
Agnus Dei
Libera me
In Paradisum

Benjamin Northey conductor
William Barton
Rachelle Durkin
Samuel Dundas
WASO Chorus

UWA Symphonic Chorus

Wesfarmers Arts Pre-concert Talk
Find out more about the music in the concert with this week’s speaker, Olivia Davies. The Pre-concert Talk will take place at 6.45pm in the Terrace Level Foyer.

Wesfarmers Arts Meet the Artist (Saturday only)
Join tonight’s conductor, Benjamin Northey and soloist, William Barton for a post-concert interview immediately following the Saturday evening performance in the Terrace Level Foyer. Uncover more about the music and hear insights into the performance experience.

Listen to WASO
This performance is recorded for broadcast on ABC Classic. For further details visit

Did you know?

Ravel’s Mother Goose has nothing to do with the famous collection of English nursery rhymes. This Mother Goose (or Ma Mère l’Oye) is French, with the movements based on the tales of authors Charles Perrault, Madame Leprince de Beaumont and Madame d'Aulnoy.

Ravel was a student of the Paris Conservatoire, but was expelled (several times!) from the prestigious institution for not winning prizes.

William Barton began learning didgeridoo at the age of seven from his uncle. By the age of 12, Barton was sure enough of his passion that he left school to concentrate on music. He made his classical debut at age 17, performing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

William Barton holds multiple honorary doctorates, serves on the Boards of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Music Centre, has performed regularly in front of international Heads of State, and was the 2022 Queensland Australian of the Year. Most recently he was the recipient of the 2023 Richard Gill Award for distinguished services to Australian music.

Fauré was Director of the Paris Conservatoire for 15 years - Ravel was his most famous pupil.

It is rare for a full requiem to be played as part of a funeral (as requiems are generally too long for that!), but Fauré's Requiem was, fittingly, performed at his own in 1924.

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About the Artist

About the Artist

About the Artist

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Rachelle Durkin

Australian/American soprano Rachelle Durkin became an established solo artist at The Metropolitan Opera singing leading roles for many years - most notably Norina in Don Pasquale, Lisa in La sonnambula, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Miss Schlesen in Phillip Glass' Satyagraha, Frasquita in Carmen and many others.

Most recently, she sang Violetta in La traviata for Victory Hall Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for Pittsburgh Opera and the title role in Tosca for Opera Queensland. 2021/2022 engagements included Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Governess (The Turn of the Screw) in Adelaide, Morgana (Alcina) in Canberra and Musetta (La bohème) in Perth; in 2023, she returns to Opera Australia as Mrs Schlesen, to Perth as Musetta and is soloist with the Sydney, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.

Other highlights have included soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Detroit Symphony Orchestra (c: Leonard Slatkin) and West Australian Symphony Orchestra (c: Asher Fisch), performances with Bryn Terfel and Lisa McCune at Leeuwin Estate Winery and Gala Concerts with Placido Domingo and José Carreras.

© Patrick Togher Artists’ Management 2023

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Samuel Dundas

Samuel Dundas, formerly a member of Victorian Opera’s Artist Development Program and subsequently Opera Australia’s Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program, now performs leading roles with Opera Australia and the Australian state opera companies, New Zealand Opera and appears with all the major Australian symphony orchestras and choral societies.

2023 engagements include the title role in the world premiere seasons of Richard Mills’ new opera Galileo for Perth Festival and Victorian Opera; Marcello (La Boheme) with West Australian Opera; Wolfram (Tannhäuser) for Opera Australia; the Count (Capriccio) for Victorian Opera and ANAM, and Donner (Das Rheingold) with Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He will also be heard in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Auckland Philharmonia, Faure’s Requiem with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle for Festival of Voices and Haydn’s Missa Cellensis with the Allegri Ensemble, Hobart.

In recent seasons Samuel has performed the title role (Voss) for State Opera, Marcello for Opera Australia, Mozart’s Requiem for Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana for Adelaide Symphony, Ebenezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) for Victorian Opera.

Image credit: David Noles

About the Artist

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WASO Chorus

The WASO Chorus was formed in 1988 and consists of around 100 volunteer choristers who represent the finest form of community music making, bringing together singers from all walks of life. They regularly feature in the WASO annual concert season and are directed by Andrew Foote.

The Chorus has built an international reputation for its high standards and diverse range of repertoire. While its main role is to perform with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra the Chorus also maintains a profile of solo concerts, tours and community engagements.

The Chorus sings with the finest conductors and soloists including Asher Fisch, Simone Young, Stephen Layton and Paul Daniel. Recent highlights have included Britten’s War Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem. In 2019 the Chorus performed at the Denmark Festival of Voice and in 2018 toured China with performances of Orff’s Carmina burana.

In 2020 they performed two Gala events on the Kalbarri Skywalk. Earlier this year the chorus was invited to Hobart to perform Brahms’ German Requiem with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), the TSO chorus, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and members of the public, conducted by Simon Halsey.

Andrew Foote
Chorus Director

Gladys Chua


WASO Chorus On Stage

Lisa Barrett
Anna Börner
Alinta Carroll
Caitlin Collom
Clara Connor
Ceridwen Dumergue
Fay Edwards
Bronwyn Elliott
Davina Farinola
Lesley Goodwin
Ro Gorell
Diane Hawkins
Deborah Jackson-Porteous
Michelle John
Joanna Killgore
Gillian King
Katherine Langdon
Natasha Meyers
Elysia Murphy
Sue Nightingale Hingston
Lucy Sheppard
Sarah Shneier
Kate Sugars
Rebecca Thorne
Catherine Wade
Alicia Walter
Margo Warburton

Marian Agombar
Llewela Benn
Patsy Brown
Sue Coleson
Jeanette Collins
Catherine Dunn
Jenny Fay
Susanna Fleck
Dianne Graves
Louise Hayes
Mathilda Joubert
Emma Lejonberg
Kate Lewis
Deborah Pearson
Deborah Piesse
Fiona Robson
Neb Ryland
Louise Sutton
Jacquie Wright

Chris Bedding
David Collings
Nick Fielding
Allan Griffiths
John Murphy
Andrew Paterson
Christopher Ryland
Sim Taylor
Arthur Tideswell
Stephen Turley
Malcolm Vernon
Brad Wake

Justin Audcent
Michael Berkeley-Hill
Bertel Bulten
Paul Brayshaw
Tony Errington
Ken Gasmier
Francis Joseph
François Joubert
Tony Marrion
Geoffrey Massey
Hamish McGregor
Jim Rhoads
Mark Richardson
Chris Smith
Steve Sherwood
Robert Turnbull

About the Artist

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UWA Symphonic Chorus

The Symphonic Chorus of UWA is the Conservatorium of Music’s largest choir, open to all students studying at UWA. Directed by Dr Andrew Foote (Chair of Vocal Studies and current Director of the WASO Chorus), members are drawn from the UWA Vocal Program, the wider Conservatorium student-body and a growing number of non-music majors, who participate as volunteers or as students enrolled in one the Conservatoriums Music Ensemble units.

The choir regularly collaborates with the UWA Symphony Orchestra, UWA Wind Orchestra, schools and WASO to perform a wide range of repertoire at venues across Perth, including the Perth Concert Hall, St Mary’s Cathedral and Winthrop Hall. Recent highlights include: Elijah with West Australian Opera, Beethoven 9 with the UWA Orchestra, UWA Choral Society and the Aquinas College Schola Choir, the WA Premiere of Lili Boulanger’s Psalm 130: Du fond de l'abîme and Dvořák’s Mass in D with the WASO Chorus.

UWA Symphonic Chorus On Stage

Lizzie Bruk
Sanya Jones
Keeva Kirwan
Joanna Lim
Caitlin Morris
Peridot Poole
Emily Robertshaw
Aimee Ryan
Ciara Sadler
Phoebe Tait
Teddy Tasker-Murphy
Victoria-Grace Whiting
Esther Zhu

Samantha Anderson-Mayes
Jasmine Beehag
Vivienne Hingston
Emily Hobday
Sarah Huang
Lily Huntly
Bridget Hutchinson
Joscelyn Leahy
Sally Lee
Melanie Lin
Katie Lines
Aisling McGonigle
Shirley Ng
Elke Ruane
Ashley Sin
Phornchita Sullivan
Teagan Trinh
Martina Veneracion
Meher Virik
Kiki Wang
Shenghao Xion

Ciaran McChord
Molodon Mutoya

Thomas Allan
Glen Bain
Alexis Chin
Thomas Clarke
Ruben Davies
Felix Longworth-Baker
Cai Pitman
Rose Russell
Benjamin Samuels
Alief Scott
Ilario Sellitto
Sahil Sidhu
Harry Smith
Ka Ming Yu

About the Music

About the Music

About the Music

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Gabriel Fauré

Cantique de Jean Racine

Perhaps because he was already renowned as an outstanding organist and teacher, Fauré only slowly gained recognition as a composer. Although he wrote several works involving a full orchestra, his particular talent lay within the more intimate musical forms – songs, piano music and chamber music. His somewhat austere style and highly individual, impressionistic harmonic language contrasts markedly with the music of the Austro-German tradition which dominated European music from the time of Beethoven until well into the twentieth century.

The subtlety of Fauré’s music, and his concentration on the small-scale, led many to criticise him for lacking depth, a judgement based on the mistaken premise that the bigger and bolder a composer’s music the more worthwhile it must be. Fauré deliberately avoided the grander kind of orchestral music that could easily have brought him fame and fortune. He preferred instead to embrace an elegant and subtle musical language that has won him increasing numbers of admirers.

The Cantique is a setting of words by the 17th century dramatist and poet Jean Racine. It was Fauré’s first significant composition, written in 1865 whilst he was in his final year at the École Niedermeyer, the ‘École de musique religieuse et classique’. He submitted the piece for the composition prize, and won, though it was only published eleven years later, with a full orchestral version following in 1906. Fauré went on to write a good deal of religious music – most notably the Requiem, written in 1888 – but of the shorter sacred pieces it is the Cantique that has particularly captured the affections of choirs and audiences.

© John Bawden

Year of composition:
1865 (organ version).

Orchestral Publication:

two each of flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons; two horns, harp and strings.

Text & Translation

Verbe, égal au Très-Haut, notre unique espérance,
Jour éternel de la terre et des cieux ;
De la paisible nuit nous rompons le silence,
Divin Sauveur, jette sur nous les yeux !

Répands sur nous le feu de ta grâce puissante,
Que tout l'enfer fuie au son de ta voix ;
Dissipe le sommeil d'une âme languissante,
Qui la conduit à l'oubli de tes lois !

O Christ, sois favorable à ce peuple fidèle
Pour te bénir maintenant rassemblé.
Reçois les chants qu'il offre à ta gloire immortelle,
Et de tes dons qu'il retourne comblé !

O Word, equal of the Most High,
Our sole hope, eternal day of earth and the heavens,
We break the silence of the peaceful night.
Divine Saviour, cast Thine eyes upon us!

Shed the light of Thy mighty grace upon us.
Let all Hell flee at the sound of Thy voice.
Dispel the slumber of a languishing soul
That leads it to the forgetting of Thy laws!

O Christ, be favorable unto this faithful people
Now gathered to bless Thee.
Receive the hymns it offers unto Thine immortal glory
And may it return laden with Thy gifts.

About the Music


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Barton - 'Apii Thatini Mu Murtu' ('To sing and carry a coolamon on country together') [excerpt]

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Your Concert Experience

Reconciliation in action


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In 2022 WASO began a new chapter in the organisation’s history by committing to a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Our RAP gives the organisation structure and accountability as we play our part to advance reconciliation in Australia, addressing a range of actions based around the core pillars of respect, relationships and opportunities.

Our journey through the first stage of our RAP has already seen some fantastic outcomes that have occurred by intentionally focusing on reconciliation in the world of music. We were thrilled in January to see one of our brilliant Crescendo students, Sandra Hart, travel all the way from Kwinana to Sydney where she spent a week with Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO and Ensemble Dutala; Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander chamber ensemble. This was an incredible opportunity for Sandra to be mentored by musicians such as Deborah and Aaron Wyatt, and continue to develop her violin talents nurtured in WASO’s Crescendo program.

Aaron Wyatt will be familiar to many WASO supporters, having appeared regularly as a casual viola player with WASO. We have watched with pride as his career as a composer and conductor has grown, and were thrilled when Aaron accepted our invitation to return to WASO next year to open our 2024 season, conducting his work The Coming Dawn. Beyond the stage, our RAP work has focused on internal organisational growth and learning. So far this year, WASO staff have partaken in a smoking ceremony led by Elder Barry McGuire, learned about Noongar music traditions with Professor Clint Bracknell, participated in local events like the Walk for Reconciliation in Kings Park (Kaarta Koomba) and learned about the history of the Uluru Statement with Nolan Hunter. We are grateful for everyone who has shared their time, knowledge and culture with us so that WASO can be an increasingly respectful and culturally aware collaborator with First Nations artists.

To continue playing our part to advance reconciliation in Australia, WASO is proud to advocate for a Voice to Parliament. You can read WASO’s full statement of support on our website. We acknowledge the diversity of views on the voice and encourage our community to read the Uluru Statement and hear the invitation within it: “We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. In 1967 we were counted. In 2017 we seek to be heard… We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”

Image: Sandra Hart plays violin in a Crescendo end-of-year concert. Credit: Daniel James Grant.

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Meet the Musician

Community Engagement & Education


Upcoming Giving Circle Event

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Meet the Orchestra

The Cellos Tuesday 28 November, Duxton Hotel Join us for an evening with our exceptional cello section as they share their career experiences and artistic insights, while performing some of their favourite repertoire.

To join our Giving Circle family and receive an invitation to this event, kindly reach out to our Philanthropy team on (08) 9326 0014.

Ticket costs apply

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Lead Partner of Crescendo


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Beethoven’s Second Symphony

Following his outstanding debut in 2022, Umberto Clerici returns to WASO with a program of brilliant classics.

With his Second Symphony, Beethoven put aside his inner turmoil to write music brimming with optimism and joy. From its boldly dramatic opening to its mischievous scherzo and boisterous conclusion, Beethoven’s breathtaking musical imagination is on full display. In between overtures from Schubert and Mozart, WASO’s Liz Chee is soloist in a new oboe concerto by Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir.

Judith Weir’s Oboe Concerto co-commissioned by the Adelaide, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. WASO Songbook supported by Catherine Bagster in memory of Christine Bagster, Bernard & Jackie Barnwell, Geoff Stearn and Unnamed. Liz’s chair is supported by Ruth E. Thorn and Michael & Helen Tuite through the Duet program.

Fri 3 & Sat 4 November 2023, 7.30pm
Perth Concert Hall


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