Sara Macliver & The Camerata – New Threads & Opportunities

A great voice like that of Australian soprano Sara Macliver, together with a thriving ensemble like The Camerata of St John’s at Brisbane, led by talented violinist Brendan Joyce, should be a dynamic combination. Sara’s voice is pure, strong and so wonderful in a chamber or intimate space. It is rich and resonates with clarity that sends goose bumps down your spine.  I will never forget hearing her singing first at a Musica Viva Concert,  and then as La Musica, Proserpina and Messsagiera in L’Orfeo for the Pinchgut Opera at Sydney in 2004. She is to be the featured soloist in the opening concert on March 16 and 17th for The Camerata of St John’s in Toowomba and Brisbane.  The Camerata apparently will be decked out in all ‘new threads’ designed by Masayo Jasuki of local fashion label Dogstar. They will also premiere a new work by Italian composer Guiseppe Valentini (1681- 1753). He was, while perhaps overshadowed by more lauded colleagues of his generation such as Arcangelo Corelli (1683-1713) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741), nevertheless a musician who made a noteworthy contribution to the whole development of what we now know as ‘Baroque’ music, of which Sara Macliver is Australia’s leading exponent.

The Camerata of St John’s is unique in that it has seventeen core string players who, together with their guest artists, take full ownership of the production of their own programs. Their leader, Brendan Joyce, commutes to Sydney to play for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra as well as teaching for the Griffith University Qld Conservatorium of Music.

Since their inception in 2005, the constantly evolving Camerata has developed two major concert series. They also undertake festival appearances, collaborations, regional tours, live-to-air national broadcasts, recording and fund raising activities. It is the only professional chamber orchestra in Queensland, and one of the busiest ensembles nationally.

At St John’s Cathedral music has always been integral to the place, as at any great Cathedral. It upholds high standards of repertoire, particularly of that of the Renaissance and the Baroque with a strong emphasis on contemporary sacred music. At the centre is the Cathedral Choir – a traditional cathedral choir of men and boys in which the boys receive a scholarship to study at the Anglican Church Grammar School. Many of the Lay Clerks are tertiary music students at local universities. There is also a mixed voice choir of Cathedral and, The Camerata performs at special services.

Program for Sara Macliver & The Camerata March 16 and 17th, 2012

Giuseppe Valentini Concerto Grosso for Four Violins in G Major, Op.7 No.7.
Robert Davidson Fantasia on a Theme of the Little Ragamuffin (world premiere).
George Frideric Handel Motet Silete Venti, HWV242 in B-fl at Major.
Edvard Grieg Fra Monte Pincio, Op.39, No.1 Solveig’s Song, Op.23. No.26.
Sting Fields of Gold.
Leroy Anderson Plink, Plank, Plunk!
Béla Bartók Divertimento for String Orchestra.
+ wild card mystery guest!


Tickets available for March 16 concert
Empire Theatre 1300 655 299.


Tickets can be purchased at Qtix 136 246 or

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 2012

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