Carol of the Bells

Particularly memorable is the haunting setting of the beautiful 15th century poem, ‘Of a Rose, a lovely Rose’ that Rutter inserted. It fitted the spirit of the motet movingly, both in meaning and in musical character, and it offered a proper opportunity to admire the choir’s studied and sensitive singing.

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Peter Mechen, November 2018

Verdi Requiem with Orchestra Wellington

Throughout, the sheer presence of the massed voices, whether singing softly or powerfully, and across the whole dynamic spectrum, made for a gripping and visceral experience.

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Peter Mechen, September 2018

Durufle Requiem

The striking feature of the singing was its subtlety and its subdued vitality……. The opening Introit set the tone and was in complete contrast: calm, tranquil, reverent, but the Kyrie involved a more clamorous plea for mercy in a short central section.

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Lindis Taylor, Middle C, May 2018


…I thought the chorus work among the best I’d ever heard in a “live” Messiah performance’

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Peter Mechen, Middle C, December 2017

Faure’s Requiem

“…the singing of the choir was first-rate in both works; even given the acoustic difficulties, there was a fine precision…”

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John Button, Dominion Post, September 2017

Faure’s Requiem

Orpheus Choir sets Wellington Cathedral alight with vibrancy, in Mozart and Faure

“The near-anguished full-throatedness of the singing in places such as “Exaudi orationem meam” kept us mindful of the intensities of human aspiration towards God, giving what I thought was a proper “edge” to the listening experience; and this fully-dynamic response to both text and music throughout made the performance a living, breathing one.”

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Peter Mechen, Middle C, September 2017

Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe – an Orchestra Wellington engagement

… the choir’s performance sounded as near faultless as I imagine it gets…

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Lindis Taylor August 2017

Daphnis and Chloe

The Orpheus Choir, with their many wordless moments were a major contributor to the unique sound the audience experienced. An amazing achievement, yet there was not a RNZ Concert microphone in sight! This was a major artistic oversight.

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Stuff August 2017

Chichester Psalms

James MacMillan – Seven Last Words From The Cross
Leonard Berstein – Chichester Psalms

Wellington Cathedral of St Paul

“…the performances by solo singers, instrumentalists and the choir, under Brent Stewart’s inspired leadership, along with organist Thomas Gaynor’s brilliant playing, certainly delivered the goods, enabling each work to make its own particular impact in grand style.”

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Peter Mechen April 2017


Kondalilla by Stephen Leek

Selections from Haydn’s The Seasons

Dirait-on by Morten Lauridsen

Cloudburst, Lux Arumque and Animal Crackers by Eric Whitacre

Wellington Cathedral of Wellington

“A packed Cathedral was here treated to a concert of variety and solid achievement…. [T]he choir sang […] beautifully, and the halo effect of the Cathedral’s acoustics suited it ideally.”

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John Button, November 2016

Mozart 1791
Ave Verum Corpus, K 618
Clarinet Concerto in A, K 622
Requiem in D minor, K 626

Michael Fowler Centre

Ave verum corpus … was brilliantly performed, the choir disciplined so keenly that it gave the impression of a skilled chamber choir of around 30 singers that had somehow acquired huge power and depth of tone, which has to be credited to their conductor Brent Stewart.”

“The same characteristics were clear throughout the Requiem: remarkable pianissimi alternating with magnificent, powerful outbursts as at the Dies Irae and the Rex Tremendae; and the Sanctus, accompanied by chilling timpani, seemed to leave no room for doubting Mozart’s religious convictions.”

“In the Requiem, the choir wavered, not for a minute, in the brilliance, clarity and energy exhibited in the Ave Verum, which could all have contributed, if one was so minded, to religious fervor; deserving further mention of music director Brent Stewart.”

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Lindis Taylor – August 2016
Lindis Taylor's review in Middle C of Orchestra Wellington's Mozart 1791, featuring the Orpheus Choir of Wellington.

“The performance of the Requiem was at its finest in the more dramatic moments. The Orpheus Choir […] was brilliantly incisive in the more rousing moments”

John Button’s review in the Dominion Post of Ave Verum Corpus and Mozart’s Requiem

John Button – August 2016
Review for Dominion Post of Orchestra Wellington's Mozart 1791, featuring the Orpheus Choir, 20 August 2016