Festival concert will be something special

Mezzo soprano Laura Griffin is a soloist in the Manning Winter Festival concert. Her mother and grandmother are part of the massed choir.

Mezzo soprano Laura Griffin is a soloist in the Manning Winter Festival concert. Her mother and grandmother are part of the massed choir.

A choral concert to be held as part of the Manning Winter Festival will be a special moment for three generations of one family.

One of the invited soloists, mezzo soprano Laura Griffin, will be singing alongside her mother Renata Moores and grandmother Doris Stokes, who are both part of the massed choir.

The concert, Music for the Winter Heart, will feature the 70 voices of the combined choirs from Manning Valley Choral Society, U3A Silvertones and Kantabile Chamber Choir, singing the Schubert Mass in G.

The concert is on Sunday June 3, 2pm at St John's Anglican Church, Taree, and will showcase outstanding young musicians, instrumentalists and vocalists who have connections within the Manning Valley. 

For the three generations of sopranos, Doris, Renata and Laura, it is a rare opportunity to perform together.

The family has a long history of singing.

Doris started singing at Newcastle Conservatorium at 16 and then moved to Sydney Conservatorium to study. She also studied privately with Irene Kertez who’s skills as a pupil of Kodaly were inspirational.

She followed her astronomer husband to Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra and became a member of the chamber Choir “The Canberra Society of Singers” which provided opportunities for solo singing.

Three generations: Doris Stokes, Laura Griffin and Renata Moores.

Three generations: Doris Stokes, Laura Griffin and Renata Moores.

Doris went on to join the Canberra Choral Society, an auditioned choir that performs four to six major works with soloists and orchestra each year.  A must-do each year is a trip to Sydney to sing with Chorus OZ at the Opera House on the June long weekend. 

Renata has spent many years singing with the Llewellyn Choir at the Canberra School of Music performing major works such as the Berlioz Requiem, both the St John and St Matthew Passions and the Messiah.

She undertook voice studies in Canberra and after moving to the Manning, now studies with Dierdre Sutherland and sings with The Manning Valley Choral Society.

Renata has fond memories of Laura sitting on her lap at age three learning the Berlioz requiem and of taking Laura to the Canberra School of Music for lessons at age 4.

Laura is now an Australian based mezzo-soprano and a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music Studies in classical voice.

After completing her degree, Laura spent a year living in Vienna, Austria to undertake training in singing and language and is currently studying under the tutelage of renowned Australian soprano Amelia Farrugia with coaching by tenor Robert MacFarlane.

In February this year Laura starred in the title role in Handel’s Ariodante, with the new Apollo Opera Company as a part of the Sydney Baroque Festival.

Recent operatic roles also include Prince Orlofsky in Operantic’s Die Fledermaus, Edith in Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Sydney’s The Pirates of Penzance, Yum-Yum from The Mikado and Emmie in the Australia National University’s production of Albert Herring.

Oratorio performances include solo performances in Faure’s Requiem and Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

Laura’s solo roles include the Maroubra Carols were she sang for the Governor of NSW, Operantic’s 2018 ANZAC Day Concert and the Mosman Concert series.

She will be traveling to Berlin in August this year were she has been awarded a coveted place at the Berlin Opera Academy Summer School.