The Song Company’s artistic director Roland Peelman is nothing if not even handed. Regarding the ensemble’s upcoming concerts called Ship to Shore, he says: “Since we have girls AND boys in the Song Company ,we are combining sea‐shanties — the rough–and–ready sounds of men on boats — with songs that belong on land, the songs of the women left behind, waiting for men to return (or never to return), as it may be. The work on the boats was tough and physical. Singing on board was part of the social cohesion on the boat. The call of the great vast oceans, the adventure, the danger and the loss of life never was quite understood by the women, but OMG did it prompt some fantastic songs!!”
Joining the Song Company in this maritime musical adventure are guitarist brothers Leonard and Slava Grigoryan. Peelman is as excited by this collaboration as he is by the concept. “The guitar thing really suits this program. They will bring both rhythm and blues to the show. A laugh and a tear! We have worked before with Slava, so we know how great he is. Together with Leonard, there is a whole range of colours and styles we can cover, all the way from the sturdy British or American shanties to the more exotic songs from around the Equator.”
Stories will be told of Bobby Shafto – British Tory MP, Member for County Durham and he of the silver buckled knees; there’s ‘Sweet Molly Malone’ – was she a real person? There’s the perennially ‘Drunken Sailor’, written in the Dorian mode, and Kurt Weill’s sultry ‘Surabaya Johnny’.
As Grigoryan says, ” A show with the singers of the Song Company is another opportunity to extend ourselves. The musical possibilities are very exciting. With such repertoire, it promises to be a lot of fun! ”
The Song Company comprises: Anna Fraser, soprano, Clive Birch, bass, Mark Donnelly, baritone, Richard Black, tenor, Susannah Lawergren soprano, Lanneke Jones, mezzo- soprano.
For tickets phone (02) 8272 9500 or visit www.songcompany.com.au