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Spirit and Hope

DARWIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (DSO) returns to the Darwin Entertainment Centre stage this month to present the aptly named, three-part performance, Spirit and Hope.

DSO Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Jonathan Tooby says the name reflects the current reality we find ourselves in.

“It’s very timely, I think. Everyone’s had such a difficult year. Even travelling interstate, you sense each state’s experience is unique and so we feel not only disparate as individuals but as broader communities,” he says.

“All things considered, in the NT, we’ve been very lucky. What people overwhelming want to do is to be together and enjoy a sense of community, and I think community is pretty much what this concert speaks to.”

Kicking off the evening is the exciting premiere of Miyapunu by Galpu Songman, Guwanbal Gurruwiwi, and the DSO’s Netanela Mizrahi. Newly arranged for full orchestra and youth choir, this unique cross-cultural collaboration is a must-experience.

“Netanela and Guwanbal have been collaborating for a long time on many different works and songs. Just this year, they’ve recorded an album, soon to be released called The Djari Project, and Miyapunu is one of the songs from the project,” Tooby says.

“It’s a very beautiful song about place, community and belonging. We have this large classical symphony orchestra born from a very conservative European tradition alongside a very spiritual traditional Indigenous story, sung by Guwanbal, it makes for a stunning combination.”

Themes of place and belonging continue throughout the night, the second piece a spirited performance of Joseph Haydn’s loved Cello Concerto No. 1, featuring Tooby himself on cello.

“The program, which we actually curated last year – call it a fluke – fits perfectly with how the year has panned out. Two of the works speak a lot about place,” Tooby says.

The third piece is the deeply moving Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius, a composer who wrote very much about Finland, his beloved home.

“Anyone who has heard his music will tell you it sounds warm and proud, as if he’s expressing something very personal and dear to him. It is a large scale landscape piece that makes you feel connected, and although it has some darker moments, finishes with a very powerful and positive message which I think we all need,” Tooby says.

“This program is a beautiful journey from beginning to end, something to bring us all together.”

Spirit and Hope
WHEN SAT 31 OCT | 7.30PM
COST $20-$60

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