Aug 7 & 8: I Was Glad

Saturday 7 August 2021 (7.30pm)
Wellington Cathedral of Saint Paul

Sunday 8 August 2021 (3pm)
Kapiti Coastlands Theatre / Te Raukura ki Kapiti

Self-presented concert

I Was Glad is a programme of two halves. Accompanied by an instrumental ensemble, the programme first explores awe-inspiring works from Parry’s glorious anthem, I Was Glad, to Hopkin’s mysterious Past Life Melodies featuring harmonic overtone singing.

To finish, Orpheus Choir Wellington is thrilled to bring together soprano Barbara Paterson, mezzo Margaret Medlyn, and bass Wade Kernot in a performance of Szymanowski’s masterpiece, Stabat Mater. This work combines traditional liturgical text with Polish folk music, fluctuating between powerful drama and poignant sorrow.


Barbara Paterson, soprano

Soprano Barbara Paterson is pleased to return to the Orpheus Choir for I Was Glad, following her 2020 appearance with the choir for their Gloria concert. Barbara returned to Aotearoa-NZ from New York City in 2016, having worked steadily as an opera and concert singer across the USA for several years. Since returning to NZ, Barbara has sung for Stroma, Java Dance, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the CANZ annual Nelson workshops, the SMP Ensemble, Wanderlust Theatre, NZ Opera, the Audio Foundation, the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Unstuck Opera, Eternity Opera, NIMBY Opera, CubaDupa, Avenue Opera, the Metamorphosis Artists, and as a soloist for choral societies around NZ. Her performances of Francis Poulenc’s The Human Voice for the 2020 NZ Festival of the Arts were critically acclaimed as “magnificent” and “exemplary”. Barbara was a 2020 Freemasons Resident Artist and a 2007 – 2008 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist for NZ Opera.

In 2021, Barbara’s work ranges from standard opera (Wellington Opera’s Don Giovanni) to premiering and recording Earl Maneein’s heavy metal meets orchestra anthem The Brightest of All Possible Futures (for the APO and Carnegie Hall’s Link-Up Education Programme). Barbara is undertaking multiple collaborations with dancers (Performance Arcade, Java Dance, Metamorphosis Artists, collaborations with dancer and drag artist Björn Åslund), as well as premiering and recording contemporary Kiwi music (composers Gemma Peacocke, Michelle Scullion and Celeste Oram). Barbara is particularly excited to present multiple art music recitals in 2021 (Messiaen’s Harawi with pianist Gabriela Glapska, Eve de Castro Robinson’s Three Thumbnails with the SMP Ensemble, and Cathy Berberian’s Stripsody and Jennifer Walshe’s G.L.O.R.I for Stroma).

In addition to her performing work, Barbara conducts Wellington’s Capital Choir and regularly leads community choral outreach workshops with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She maintains full teaching studios at St. Oran’s College and Wellington East Girls’ College. Barbara has a BA in German (Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington), a BMus in Voice Performance (Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music) and a MMus in Voice Pedagogy and Performance (Westminster Choir College, Princeton NJ USA) . She has also studied at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and completed a fellowship at the Académie Francis Poulenc in Tours, France.
 Find Barbara online and @sopranoonabicycle

Margaret Medlyn ONZM, mezzo

Known as a singing actor, Margaret Medlyn ONZM is one of Australasia’s finest singers, with consistently highly acclaimed performances in opera, oratorio and recitals. Margaret has sung in the U.K. and Europe, particularly for English National Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, and opera companies in Australia, including Opera Australia. Roles include Salome in Salome, Marie in Wozzeck, Agathe in Der Freischütz, Giorgetta in Il tabarro, Leonore in Il trovatore, Maddalena di Coigny in Andrea Chénier, various RheinmaidensSieglinde and Fricka in Die Walküre, Gutrune in Götterdämmerung, Kundry in Parsifal, Aida and Amneris in AidaTosca and Turandot, Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Isolde in Tristan und Isolde.  Recent engagements are the solo in Gareth Farr’s Relict Furies, Kostelnicka in Jenufa and Kabanicka in Kat’ya Kabanova.  Her position as Head of Voice at the New Zealand School of Music combines her teaching experience with the lessons learnt in her performance career, and as well as conveying these lessons through teaching, has prompted her to articulate her experience in her doctorate and recently published book, Embodying Voice, Singing Verdi, Singing Wagner.

As a National Recording Artist for Radio New Zealand, Margaret recorded an extensive list of recital programmes and has also released four CDs: Burning Bright featuring the work of four New Zealand women composers under the Kiwi Pacific label, “A Stranger in a Strange Land’ featuring the songs of Richard Fuchs for Rollover Productions, the vocal works of Jenny Macleod for Wai-te-ata Press and Stephan Prock’s song cycle Cages for the Wind. Recent performances were La zia principessa in Suor Angelica, Rod Biss’s Bird Songs Rachmaninoff’s The Bells for Orchestra Wellington.

Wade Kernot, bass

Photo © Clive Barda

As a founding member of Opera Factory, Wade Kernot performed roles in Orpheus in the Underworld, Cheryomushki and A Christmas Carol. In 2003, he joined the NBR New Zealand Opera for productions of Boris Godounov and Tosca. He also performed the role of the Speaker and Sarastro in productions of Die Zauberflöte and was a PwC Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist at the NBR New Zealand Opera. Wade was awarded the 2008 Patricia Pratt Scholarship in Music Performance, and was a semi-finalist representing NZ in both the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Neue Stimmen, in Germany, as well as a runner-up in the Lexus Song Quest.

From 2010-2015 Wade held a full-time principal position at Theater St Gallen, Switzerland, where his roles included Monterone (Rigoletto), the Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Zuniga (Carmen), Père Laurent (Roméo et Juliette), Gubetta (Lucrezia Borgia), Jacopo Loredano (I due Foscari), Wotan/Wanderer (Siegfried) in concert, Truffaldino (Ariadne auf Naxos), Il Pedone di Schnals (La Wally), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Melisso (Alcina), Méphistophélès (La Damnation de Faust), Sarastro, Sprecher, Erster Priester and Zweiter Geharnischter (Die Zauberflöte), Sam (Un Ballo in Maschera), the main bass roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Frank (Die Fledermaus) Comte des Grieux (Manon), 1st Nazarene (Salome), and Handwerkbursche (Wozzeck). Wade has also sung Pogner and the role of Nachtwächter (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at the Tirolean Festspiele in Erl.

Last year Wade returned to Orchestra Wellington for Faure Requiem and Rachmaninov The Bells, to Orpheus Choir Wellington for Bach’s B minor mass, and to Auckland Choral Society for Messiah. Wade had also been engaged to return to Pinchgut Opera to sing the role of Argante, in Handel’s Rinaldo. In 2021 he will return to both Orchestra Wellington and to the Orpheus Choir, Wellington.

Martin Setchell, organist

Martin Setchell ( is a concert organist of international reputation, recently called ‘New Zealand’s most widely travelled concert organist’ since over the last 20 years he has performed in New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada, Europe, the UK and the Far East. Highlights include the Spreckels organ in Balboa Park, San Diego, the Mormon Tabernacle Organ in Salt Lake City USA, Sydney Town Hall, Australia, Oliwa Cathedral in Poland, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai, the Esplanade Concert Hall Singapore, Musashino Civic Cultural Hall Tokyo, Birmingham Town Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, London, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Weingarten Abbey, Regensburg Cathedral, Germany, and the Bergen International Festival in Norway.

As Christchurch’s Town Hall (city) organist, he is frequently heard on Radio New Zealand Concert FM.  He was born and educated in England where he was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists. He taught for over 40 years at the University of Canterbury School of Music, resigning as Associate Professor of Music in 2014 to freelance fulltime as soloist, conductor, writer, music editor, speaker and teacher.

Whilst his international concerts are on hold owing to Covid 19, he is in demand within New Zealand as conductor, soloist and accompanist. Upcoming engagements include solo organ concerts in Christchurch and as guest conductor with the Kapiti Concert Orchestra, and Chroma Chamber Choir, Nelson.

Note: Madelaine Pierard was originally booked as the soprano soloist for this concert. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19 travel restrictions, Madeleine is not going to be able to get back from the UK in time for the concert. We’re delighted that Barbara Paterson – who sang with us in last year’s Gloria concerts –  has agreed to step in

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