Arts Review: La Revolution - City Recital Hall, Sydney (11.07.15)

Just days after the landing of the First Fleet at Botany Bay in 1788 the La Perouse expedition landed in the bay. Had they been a few days earlier perhaps we would all be speaking French. This piece of Australian - French history is relayed to us by Jane Rutter, flautist and Artistic Director of La Revolution, a concert in celebration of Bastille Day.

Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on the14 July 1789. In remembrance of this historical event Rutter, opera singers Taryn Fiebig and Andrew Jones, accordion player Marcello Maio, harpist Owen Torr, guitarist Giuseppi Zangari and pianist Vincent Colagiuri join forces to present a French musical feast. The stage is set up as an intimate Parisian salon, each of the musicians with their part to play. There is something incredibly theatrical about the performance, with such attention to detail with set design and costuming.

Playing some memorable French classics such as La Vie en Rose, Canteloube’s Chants D'auvergne, Belle Nuit & Le Cancan and C’est Magnifique, the audience is transported back to the French Romantic Operatic era. Their sound is exceptional, with Maio’s accordion transporting me right back to the cobbled streets of Montmarte. As corny as it sounds there is something magical about La Revolution, and the power of music never fails to astound. Funnily enough the moments when some of the musicians forgot where they were supposed to be or what song they were involved in were some of the highlights. It was these moments that were truly intimate, unplanned and endearing, which gave an insight into the beautiful friendships playing out on stage. The performance was at times surprisingly humorous, extremely poignant and incredibly beautiful.

I would never have considered myself a classical music lover but to enjoy La Revolution you don’t have to be. It takes little more than an open mind to be swept along on this Parisian adventure that entertained and inspired.