Posted onAugust 14, 2018|Comments Off on Orphenians Bring Down The (Opera) House
Last month, the Staples High School Orphenians traveled to Australia. The elite singing group performed at the Sydney Opera House.
The teenagers are home now, but they’re still talking about it in Westport. I imagine they are in Sydney too.
But you didn’t have to be Down Under to hear their remarkable voices. Here, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, is a video of the entire concert.
The Orphenians’ individual performance — directed by Luke Rosenberg — begins at 23:49.
The combined choirs’ performance, including several other schools — directed by Craig Hella Johnson, one of the most popular conductors in any hemisphere — starts around 55:00. Staples’ rising senior Georgia Wright is featured at 1:45:30.
The Orphenian girls are in the second 2 rows, on both ends. The boys are behind them, in black ties.
(Hat tip: Kerry Foley)
Comments Off on Orphenians Bring Down The (Opera) House
From the 1960s through the ’90s, Staples’ Orphenians sang in the Virgin Islands, Austria, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, the UK and the Czech Republic.
Nearly 2 decades ago — after his freshman year of high school — Luke Rosenberg’s chorus traveled from Michigan to Europe. The month-long trip made an indelible impression — and sparked a desire to become a choral music teacher.
Today, Rosenberg directs Staples High School’s choral program. So when the Orphenians were invited to Australia, he seized the chance to take the elite a cappella group on its greatest adventure yet.
The 2018 Staples Orphenians
This summer, his singers will spend 4 days in Sydney. They’ll join ensembles from around the world — of all ages — rehearsing with Grammy winner Craig Hella Johnson, conductor of the famous Conspirare ensemble.
The capstone is a performance under Johnson at the Sydney Opera House. Orphenians will sing an eclectic assortment of choral music — including the world premiere of a piece by Jake Runestad.
The group then travels to Cairns. They’ll visit the Great Barrier Reef, a wildlife park and rain forest before returning to Westport.
“We get invitations regularly,” Rosenberg says of his ensemble. “But this one stands out. Craig Hella Johnson is one of the most highly respected and passionate choral composers, arrangers and conductors in the world. People say singing with him is a spiritual experience.”
Providing that experience — and all the others involved in a trip like this — is Rosenberg’s goal. He does not expect every student to have the same reaction he did, years ago in Europe — “they won’t all become music teachers,” he jokes — but he does hope they’ll learn a bit more about the world, and themselves, through music.
Choral director Luke Rosenberg. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)
Of course, taking a group of teenagers to Australia is not cheap. Orphenians are sponsoring a cabaret with Broadway star/Westporter Kelli O’Hara, and Broadway star/Staples alum Adam Kaplan. It’s already sold out.
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