FINE SHOW: Ipswich City Orchestra Conductor Patrick Burns in action.
FINE SHOW: Ipswich City Orchestra Conductor Patrick Burns in action. Contributed

Ipswich's extraordinary orchestra simply intoxicating


That is the only way to describe last Saturday's performance by the Ipswich City Orchestra. The music in the programme, Souvenirs d'Espana, was simply intoxicating.

The Ipswich City Orchestra is Ipswich's resident orchestra and is the only professional orchestra resident outside of a capital city in Australia.

Ipswich should be very proud to have this extraordinary orchestra.

Led by international conductor Patrick Burns, the ensemble performed some of the most stimulating music you will ever hear, beginning with the overture, suite No. 1 from Carmen by George Bizet, and finishing with España, a piece written in 1883 by French composer Emmanuel Chabrier.

The music performed between these two pieces provided excitement, colour, passion and vigour.

Lismore flamenco dancer Serena Joy thrilled the audience with a spectacular performance as she danced, The Miller's Wife, from Manual de Falla's, The Three-Cornered Hat Suite No 1.

Local coloratura soprano Angela Jacob had the spectators spellbound with her rendition of The Maids of Cadiz.

The program featured the tantalising and breathtaking performance by classic guitarist Alejandro Duque.

His playing of Francisco Tarrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra, written in 1896, was just beautiful.

Alejandro performed this piece using a difficult tremolo technique perfected by advanced guitarists which requires great strength.

Mezzo-soprano Shikara Ringdahl brought to life the sultry character of Habanerain a beautiful aria from Carmen that had as its main message "love is a rebellious bird”.

After the interval, everyone was on the edge of their seats being transported back to that unforgettable ice dancing routine of Torvill and Dean as they took out the gold medal in the winter Olympics of 1984 to the sounds of Ravel's Bolero.

This night, Laura McLean, who began her dancing career at age six with the Shayne McCormick Dance Centre, dances the Bolero.

It was originally written for Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein.

This was Lauren's debut with the Ipswich City Orchestra and she had her audience captivated.

These things don't just happen. They only happen because of people with vision like Gemma D'Aubbonnett who dreamt of Ipswich having its own orchestra. Yet it is still a battle. The orchestra has no major sponsor and maintaining a professional orchestra is quite expensive. All of the major professional orchestras in Australia exist only due to a combination of government and private funding.

Ipswich is supposed to be the "smart” city but when it comes to looking after the soul of the city through the arts we lag well and truly behind other places. This city has a multitude of talented people. Unfortunately, we do not give these people the recognition they deserve.

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