The Judgement of Paris
West Australian premiere
this is a separately ticketed event, Friday Night, at the Civic Centre
New Holland Consort
Sarabande Early Music Ensemble
Denmark Baroque Opera Chorus
Music Director – Georg Corall
Stage Directors – Patricia Alessi, Neil Riddell
Vocal Coach – Patricia Alessi
Soloists: Rachel Martella – Brooke Shannon – Belinda Cox – Patrick MacDevitt – Wesley Williams
Like a modern day X-factor, this opera developed out of a competition. British nobles, jealous of the success of opera in France and Italy, put up the idea of the competition and the prize money to increase interest in home-grown English opera. The plot, based on Greek Mythology, concerns a shepherd, Paris, three goddesses — Juno, Pallas-Athena and Venus – and a beauty contest. Mercury, the messenger of the gods, descends to earth to tell the shepherd, Paris, of the contest, and to offer him the gods’ protection while Paris chooses the most beautiful of the three goddesses. Paris is to offer the Golden Apple to the goddess whom he chooses. Each of the goddesses sings of their individual beauty and skills, but Paris cannot decide the winner from these declarations alone: he requests that they each disrobe ‘for ’tis not a face alone that must carry the prize’. Naturally the goddesses are not happy about this request and prefer to sing to each of their gifts – warrior power, political distinction and the promise of Helen of Troy.
The Judgement of Paris, composed by John Eccles, is a one-act opera with an accessible and engaging plot. Originating from the masque tradition, this spectacle includes a variety of performing arts – solo singers, a chorus and a baroque orchestra, as well as dynamic stagecraft, lighting and sound production. Directed by internationally known baroque expert Dr Georg Corall, with baroque vocal coach and gesture specialist Patricia Alessi, the opera combines professional musicians and singers from Europe, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Denmark, alongside Denmark community members.
The Judgement of Paris has stimulated the creative responses of many artists including these two images by Cezanne and Renoir.
Dr Georg Corall
Dr Georg Corall began his tertiary studies in recorder and harpsichord in his hometown Berlin (Germany), continued studies of historical oboe instruments and recorder in Leipzig. He also holds a teaching degree in historical woodwinds from the Hochschule in Hamburg. He completed his practical education at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland) from 1996 to 1998 in Baroque oboe, Baroque bassoon, and harpsichord.
In Australia, Georg successfully completed his academic studies for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts at The University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2013. Most recently, Georg was granted a further scholarship, this time from Monash University in Melbourne, and commenced his studies for a PhD in musicology.
In addition to his own ensembles (les hautboïstes de prusse and New Holland Consort) he has performed and recorded internationally with musicians such as Hans-Martin Linde, Joshua Rifkin, and Herman Max; and ensembles such as Cappella Coloniensis, Orchester der Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Aradia Baroque Toronto, Tölzer Knabenchor, Montréal Baroque, and Musicalische Compagney Berlin.
Patricia Alessi, born in Revere, MA, USA, graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice (Performance) and Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (both Highest Honours) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2008; gained her Master of Music in Opera Performance in May 2011 from the University of British Columbia; and, has recently completed a PhD Candidate in Music (Research – Performance Practice) at the University of Western Australia on 4 July 2016 under the supervision of Assoc/Prof David Symons (UWA), W/Prof Robert White (UWA), Dr Jane Davidson (UMelb) and David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music Dr Tim Carter (UNC-CH). It is currently under examination.
An active opera singer as well, Patricia placed as a University Finalist (Boston) in the 2013 Classical Singer Audition Plus Competition as well as sung the role of Cupid in the ARC Centre for the History of Emotion’s August 2013 production of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis. In October 2015, she portrayed the role of the First Bridesmaid in the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Western Australia’s production of Trial By Jury at the Subiaco Performing Arts Centre. She also regularly performs with Perth Baroque, led by Artistic Director Dr Georg Corall (Perth Baroque; les hautboïstes de prusse; and CantatenBande Berlin). In 2017, she will be coaching and directing John Eccles’s The Judgement of Paris for the Denmark Festival of Voice. She will also be premiering a new work composed by Dr Georg Corall and herself on 4 June 2017, based on research conducted on the Fremantle Prison’s Crown Theatre. This research has been funded by The University of Western Australia’s inaugural Research Impact Grants (RIG) and the Paul Iles Bequest from the Society for Theatre Research (UK), as well as supported by the Fremantle Prison and the New Holland Consort. She is currently the Managing Director of New Holland Consort.
Further augmenting her vocal studies, she gained her McClosky Voice Technician Certification in July 2013 as well as studied at the International Baroque Institute in August 2013. In March 2016, Patricia began gaining accreditation as a Speech Pathologist (still specialising in professional voice users) at Curtin University. Upon graduation, she will be a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist.
A full artistic list as well as an updated calendar of activities and events can be found at www.patriciaalessi.com.