Bel Canto Choir presents Maiden Voyage

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Composer Lorraine Milne (left) and Conductor Margaret Brown

Composer Lorraine Milne (left) and Conductor Margaret Brown. Photos supplied.

MT ELIZA’S Bel Canto Choir conducted by Margaret Brown will present the world premiere of Maiden Voyage, an Australian song cycle by award-winning Australian composer Lorraine Milne.

It will be held 2.30pm, Sunday 15 May at the Mary Herring Hall, Toorak College, Mt Eliza.

The work is a homage to Australia’s women pioneers: from winemaker Mary Penfold of Grange fame to simple immigrant grape pickers to activist Louisa Lawson (mother of a certain Henry!).

Lorraine Milne will compere the show. She has a long history of composing for theatre and the ABC and got her inspiration forMaiden Voyage from a joke line in the film Threepenny Opera: “But boss, she’s not the right man for the job!” which set her thinking about women’s roles in society.

This led Ms Milne to review the contributions of women to Australia, and her research unearthed several remarkable stories of people who battled all sorts of hardships. Her lyrics for Maiden Voyage were born of these stories, which she then set to music.

Ms Milne said that, in composing the work, she wanted to “celebrate the lives of these strong women”.

Choir conductor Margaret Brown, who has toured internationally with choirs and performed for TV and radio, said that she is “honoured to be bringing Maiden Voyage to the public for the first time.

“It is a wonderful work of great variety which I think will appeal both to music lovers and history lovers. The work reflects Lorraine’s own musical influences, which include Schubert and Debussy with a large helping of jazz.”

Details: Maiden Voyage by the Bel Canto Choir is 2.30pm, Sunday 15 May, at Mary Herring Hall, Toorak College, Old Mornington Rd, Mt Eliza.

Tickets: $20 adult; $15 concession.

Call: 9787 5383 or visit: thebelcantochoirmteliza.wordpress.com

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