Whether you’re having a ‘stay-cation’ in the capital or welcoming guests this Christmas, Canberra often…
In what is likely to become a Canberra tradition, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra is presenting its inaugural Christmas concert, A CSO Christmas, with performances from national celebrities and local musicians in a festive end-of-year spectacular.
Come the first Saturday in December, Llewellyn Hall will be transformed into a Christmas extravaganza with a mix of modern and traditional Christmas songs. This is sure to be an event for the whole family with a matinee concert at 2:00pm and an evening performance at 7:30pm.
Screen and theatre legend Rachael Beck (Hey Dad…!, Home and Away, Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music, Les Misérables, Singing in the Rain, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – the list goes on) and CSO stalwart will be the concert’s soprano having visited Canberra in September earlier this year to hand-pick a duet partner.
And a partner she picked indeed. To perform with in-demand TV personalities would be an amazing experience anyone, but it is 18 year-old Lake Ginninderra College student Cara Bessey who will take to the stage beside Rachel next month.
“I’m a little bit nervous,” she confesses. “This will be my first time properly singing on a stage. I’ve always dreamt of being on a stage singing Christmas carols; it sounds a bit cheesy, but this is a bit of a dream come true. And it’s a fantastic opportunity!”
Cara believes that she has always heard something in music that maybe other people don’t hear and considers it to be an important part of her life.
“Harmonies blow me away – it’s so amazing how people can sing in harmony with each other,” she says.
A regular guest artist with the CSO, Rachel has performed in the orchestra’s Noteworthy Education Program in front of approximately 10,000 ACT school children. The workshops and concerts range from close-up encounters with orchestral instruments to interactive concert experiences ,and has provided musical inspiration to over 53,000 children from the ACT since the program began in 2007.
“I am excited about performing at Llewellyn Hall this year. The Symphony is wonderful and I am sure the shows will be lots of fun,” says Rachel.
“I am particularly delighted to be introducing newcomer Cara, she is a powerhouse singer and performer, I am sure audiences will fall in love with her.”
South Australian music legend Timothy Sexton will conduct the two concerts, act as Master of Ceremonies, and sing alongside Rachael, the Woden Valley Youth Choir, and more.
“I know a lot of people are really looking forward to being able to sing in the concert hall. Normally making noise during a concert is taboo, but at A CSO Christmas it will be encouraged” says Timothy.
Whilst this is the last concert of the year for the CSO, they are already ramping up for 2015 with an impressive season planned for their 65th birthday.
CSO has gone from strength to strength in 2014 with all musical offerings completely selling out—a feat no other Australia symphony orchestra can match. They also boast the highest subscription renewal rate in Australia of over 93 per cent.
Those who have experienced the orchestra in all its glory know why this is the case, and for those that don’t, you’ve know idea out what you’ve been missing out on. I couldn’t think of better a time to find out.
What: A CSO Christmas
When: 2.00pm or 7.30pm, Saturday 6 December 2014
Where: Llewellyn Hall, ANU
How much: From $51 per person.
Tickets: Purchase tickets as part of your 2014 CSO subscription or book individual tickets through Ticketek either online or phone 1300 795 012.