The Sydney Town Hall has a rich musical history. Before the Sydney Opera House was opened in 1973, this sandstone architectural gem, recently superbly refurbished, was the handsome focal point of music-making in the city.
Its Grand Organ, now 120 years old, is one of the finest in the world. When it was installed, in 1890, it was the largest in the world and is still the largest ever built with tubular-pneumatic action.
For many years, the Town Hall was the performing venue of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The legendary Australian singers, Nellie Melba, Joan Sutherland, and Peter Dawson performed there, and its stage was graced by visiting artists of the stature of Victoria de los Angeles, Leontyne Price, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Nicolai Gedda, Igor Stravinsky, Otto Klemperer, Sir John Barbirolli, Alceo Galliera, Claudio Arrau, Yehudi and Hephzibah Menuhin, David Oistrakh, and Mstislav Rostropovich.
The Sydney Choir is pleased that in recent years (2007, 2010 and 2012), we have been able to play a role in reviving the Town Hall’s musical activity, by presenting large-scale community performances of Handel’s Messiah. We hope that our 28 April performance of Verdi’s Requiem will contribute to this process.
John BowanSydney Town Hall photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken by Greg O’Beirne, 30th January 2006.