Tina Gelnere and Olivia Moss delight at Funtington Music Group’s Christmas concert

REVIEW BY Chris Linford

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 7:59 am
Olivia and Tina
Olivia and Tina

Funtington Music Group’s Christmas Concert was held at the University of Chichester on 11 December. The Group was delighted to welcome back Tina Gelnere [mezzo-soprano] who was a previous Funtington Music Group Bursary Holder, and Olivia Moss [soprano], recipient of The Gus Christie Award 2018 from Glyndebourne, awarded to support young singers with exceptional promise. They performed a varied series of songs involving 15 composers across three centuries of music.

Olivia Moss began with a rousing and effective performance Meine Liebe ist Grun by Brahms and this was followed with Tina Gelnere singing two arias from La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart. The first aria Parto was particularly emotionally challenging and she sang with a radiant and refreshingly direct expressive performance.

The two singers were ably accompanied by Chris Coote whose playing throughout the evening was thoroughly supportive and sensitively caught the changing moods of the variety of compositions that flowed flawlessly throughout the concert.

It is difficult to compare the two singers, whose performances were equally engaging for the audience, who were extremely appreciative throughout the evening. Both charmed with their straightforward style, youthful tone and temperament, and their amusing and educational introductions to their songs. Both showed equal ability to sing challenging music, as Olivia did with her haunting and expressive interpretation of Come, Now a Roundel by Britten, and, as Tina did, with a convincing performance of the changing lyrical emotions demanded by Faites-lui mes Aveux by Gounod.

The programme included more light-hearted performances from Gershwin and Cole Porter where we were transported from the concert hall to the cabaret. However, for this reviewer the highlight was a duet of the well-known Flower Duet from the opera Lakme by Delibes. Both singers brought plenty of emotion to their performances, their voices melding together seamlessly, their singing often tastefully understated, yet they caught the poignant mood required, vividly, sensitively, and professionally.

Tian Gelnere, now working in Wales, included a short song Anfonal Angel by Arwyn, and she must be particularly congratulated for her rendition of the words in Welsh.

Chris Hough, Chairman of the Funtington Music Group, said, “This was a wholly engaging and wonderfully entertaining programme from two rising musicians, who performed perfectly. We give Olivia and Tina our heartfelt thanks. I must also congratulate our Treasurer Chris Coote on his sensitive piano accompaniment which so effectively caught the mood of the music. A thoroughly successful evening”

Further details of the Funtington Music Group can be obtained from the Membership Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Brooks, on 01 243 378900.

Chris Linford