by Helen Martin
Anyone walking past the old Helensville bank late one Saturday afternoon in early May would have been surprised to hear the beautiful sounds of live singing floating out from the interior, music generated by the concert ‘Opera in the Bank’ hosted by opera buffs Paul Kohlhase and William Robert Boyd in their home. The event was a great success, giving around 60 local music lovers a unique opportunity to hear some of Auckland’s best performers in an informal setting.
Sopranos EdriaVoursalle, Margaret Lyndsay, Kate Blazey and Phyllis Thorburn and tenor Everett Thorburn, accompanied by pianist Judy King, delighted listeners with solos, duets and quartets. The lighter first half of the programme included memorable numbers from Porgy and Bess, West Side Story and The Beggar’s Opera. In the second half arias and choruses from classical opera included works by Puccini, Strauss and Donizetti. While the singing was first class the atmosphere was relaxed, with the singers interacting freely with the audience and raising a lot of laughs.
The concert came about through Paul’s association with Edria, the wife of his late cousin, who has had a long international career as a professional soloist. Edria organised both the concert and the refreshments that followed, while Paul and William sorted out the venue and the invitations. Chairs were provided by the nearby Helensville Christian Life Centre and the posies received by the performers came fromLove Flowers.
Opera in the Bank was so well received a second concert will be held later in the year.