Monday, November 07, 2016

Ayse Goknur Shanal and Evgeny Ukhanov: a most moving performance

"Artists are there when the world forgets what is important!"

These were the words of soprano Soprano Ayse Goknur Shanal following a most moving performance with pianist Evgeny Ukhanov at the Utzon room of the Sydney Opera House on Sunday.
Ayse sings

She had sung works in French, Spanish, Turkish, German and English, often love songs but also Stauss' Four Last Songs, songs which were his final compositions and sung at his funeral.
('But they are not sad songs,' insisted Shanal, 'he had lead a long, fruitful and happy life.' )

Despite the joy of the presentation and the mostly happy songs, I saw more tears shed at this concert than at any other I have attended. Was it the sublime voice that moved us so, or the sympathetic playing? Or was it the state of the world and the wish that Canberra's politicians could hear and be moved by these works? Probably all three. 

This concert by Australians of Turkish and Ukrainian heritage was a testament to Australia's successful multicultural experiment and I think the tears carried the fervent hope that this wonderful multicultural experiment not be sacrificed for short term political goals.

Bravo Ayse and Evgeny, and thank you, thank you!

Part of the program
(with my sketch of the view from the Utzon room)
Hear Ayse on soudcloud

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