Friday Music
May 2018

St Stephen's Uniting Church
197 Macquarie St, Sydney
(opposite Parliament House)

Donation welcome

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4 May

Claire Munting (mezzo-soprano)

Harry Collins (pianoforte)


Three Lieder - J. Brahms (1833 - 1897)
(i) Therese
(ii) Die Mainacht
(iii) Von ewiger Liebe

From the first book of Préludes - C. Debussy (1862 - 1918)
(i) Danseuses de Delphes
(ii) La fille aux cheveux de lin
(iii) La cathédrale engloutie

Three Songs - S. Barber (1910 - 1981)
(i) With rue my heart is laden
(ii) Rain has fallen
(iii) Sure on this shining night

La maja dolorosa - E. Granados (1867 - 1916)

La Rosa y el Sauce - C. Guastavino (1912 - 2000)

Lagrimas mias - P M Marqués (1843 - 1918)

Claire Munting

Dutch mezzo soprano Claire Munting performed throughout Europe, USA and Australia after her graduation from the Dutch Royal Conservatory.

After her graduation Claire was a member of opera company "Della Casa" which performed throughout Europe at venues such as the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt and St. James' Palace in London for the Royal Family.

Her operatic roles include Bizet's Carmen, Verdi's Eboli and Fenena, Mascagni's Santuzza and Bellini's Adalgisa.

She has appeared with several renowned orchestras such as the Britten Pears Orchestra, Con Brio Orchestra, Colla Voce Ensemble and the North Holland Symphony Orchestra.

Claire performed at the Aldenburgh Festival in the UK, the Grachten Festival in the Netherlands, the Glebe Festival in Sydney and the prestigious TNC in New York.

Since moving to Australia, she was invited to perform at the House of parliament in Brisbane, was both soloist and vocal coach for Queensland Music Festival 2013 and is the Artistic Director of Musica! with a festival in 2015 and 2018.

She sang the roles of Badessa and Principessa in Puccini's Suor Angelica with Opera Projects Sydney and created " A Tribute to Maria Callas " which recently premiered in Mosman, Sydney.
Future engagements include several recitals in the Netherlands, a concert for Beerdiva, Musica! 2018 and a recital for the Glebe Festival.

Harrison Collins

Conductor, pianist and baritone Harrison Collins studied voice at the University of New South Wales before pursuing a Masters of Music in orchestral conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium.

Over the past decade, Harrison worked as an accompanist with many singers and instrumentalists across a variety of genres, encompassing the classical, jazz, popular and music theatre repertoires in recital, concerts and in masterclasses.

In addition, Harrison has worked as a music director, conductor, orchestrator and repetiteur on a number of operas and musicals, including shows with the UNSW theatrical society (NUTS), University of Sydney music theatre society (MUSE), Rockdale Opera Company, Willoughby Theatre Company and many independent production companies. Highlights include music directing shows such as Into the Woods, Spring Awakening, next to normal and Company, as well as working on a number of operas including Suor Angelica, Orpheus in the Underworld and Così fan tutte.

As a baritone, Harrison has performed as both a soloist (including with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, UNSW Collegium Musicum Choir, and others) and as a long-time chorister (recently with the Burgundian Consort at UNSW, Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir, and others).

Harrison is currently conducting the UNSW orchestra for their next concert, as well as music directing Carousel for MUSE and working as assistant music director on Rockdale Opera's upcoming Tales of Hoffman amongst other projects.


11 May

Suzi Stengel (soprano)

Wendy Dixon (pianoforte)


Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)

1. Petrarch Sonnets (1838-42)
• Pace non trovo
• Benedetto sia'l giorno
• I' vidi in terra angelici costumi

These sonnets describe Petrarch's love for a woman named Laura (changed to Mauro for this performance). It is unclear whether she was a real or fictional character, but the text depicts a deep and passionate longing for this most unattainable and exquisitely unrequited love. They are intensely personal and full of conflict, unlike the style of poems that dealt with courtly love.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)

2. Merce dillette amiche – Elena's aria from I vespri siciliani (1838)

Just prior to her wedding, Elena sings of her great joy, love and gratitude to her friends.

3. Salce and Ave Maria – Desdemona's aria from Otello (1887)

The two connected arias, Willow Song and Ave Maria, take place in the final act of Otello. The Willow Song was one she learnt as a girl and she recounts the story of her mother's maid, Barbara. She prepares for bed, occasionally breaking off to issue instructions to Emilia, her maid, or to ruminate on her own impending fate. She is overcome with sudden fear, and bids Emilia an emotional farewell. After Emilia leaves, Desdemona prays to the Virgin Mary, then falls asleep. She will later be woken by Otello who, maddened by jealousy, murders his innocent bride.



Suzi Stengel - soprano

Suzi was born in Rome to founder members of Baroque chamber group i Musici. She grew up in South Africa and began her studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. Her debut performance in 1996 in Jean Paul Comelin's Ballet Le Nuit D'ete (Berlioz) became the first of many guest soloist engagements with the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. She had many solo recitals through the Friends of Music and Not the Grahamstown Festival, and performed regularly with the Baroque 2000 Orchestra as well as The Early Music Ensemble. In Australia she completed her Masters of Music at the Australian Institute of Music, appearing regularly in the St Andrews Cathedral and the Art Gallery of NSW Lunchtime Concert Series recitals. She performed the role of the First Lady in Aim's production of Mozart's Magic Flute and was costume designer for that production, as well as their subsequent production of Purcell's The Fairy Queen. She is a regular soloist in the St Stephens Friday Lunchtime Concert Series.

She has performed in concert for the Consulate of the Czeck Republic in Sydney, for Australian artist David Capra's Ecclesiastical Banner Project and in various recitals at The Flute Tree. She performed at the Sydney Opera House with the Hourglass Ensemble for the premier of Australian Composer Andrew Kennedy's 'Hourglass Beach' in 2015, and again with the ensemble in 2017 at the Melbourne Recital Centre, and the Utzon Room in their Danzas Amarosas program.

She taught singing in South Africa at the University of KwaZulu Natal, the University of Durban-Westville, Technikon Natal, as well as privately in Sydney. She now teaches groups and individuals on the Central Coast at Artists Central. She has directed various choirs and vocal ensembles from the NU Jazz Singers in Durban to the Lugar Brae Community Choir in Waverley and Vox Gloria in Sydney. She currently directs The Artists Central Community Choir, which she started in 2016, is a founding member of Divas on Demand and is the Creative Director of Artists Central.

Wendy Dixon – pianoforte

Wendy Dixon has maintained a successful international career in opera, oratorio, concert and recital work, and remains an active recitalist. She is an established singing teacher, currently tutoring at Open Academy USyd, the Australian Institute of Music and her own private studio. She is presently enrolled as a Doctoral student at USyd. Wendy is founder and director of Sydney Art Song Society Inc., producer and musical director of Opera Boot Camp Australia, curator of Cushion Concerts at CHIME and artistic director of Divas on Demand. She is a founding member with David Miller (piano) of Grevillea Ensemble renowned for their innovative programs.



St Stephen's will be closed for the last two weeks of May due to contruction work next door. There will be no Friday Music recitals on 18 and 25 May.


Please click here for details of the St Stephen's organ