The concert at the Globe Theatre on Sunday April 28 is a rare opportunity to hear a Schubert masterpiece. As a young man Franz Schubert was already changing the way songs were being written by making the piano accompaniments on an equal level with the singer in the drama and colour of the writing.
At the end of his life Schubert was very much aware of his need to depict the winter of his life in a great work of art. And so he came to write the Winter’s Journey, or Winterreise, still attending to the proofs of the publication days before his death. The song cycle is in effect a drama for one singer telling this story:
After his beloved falls for another, the grief-stricken young man steals away from town at night and follows the river and steep ways to a coal burner's hut, where he rests before moving on. He comes across a village, passes a crossroads, and arrives at a cemetery. Here being denied even the death on which he has become fixated, he defiantly renounces faith before reaching a point of resignation.
Finally he encounters a derelict street musician, the first and only instance in the cycle in which another character is present. The mysterious and ominous nature of the musician leave the fate of the wanderer open to interpretation. The songs are said to require performers of great maturity. For this performance Wellington bass-baritone is accompanied at the piano by Guy Donaldson.
Roger Wilson is one of New Zealand's most experienced resident singers. Originally from Dunedin, he studied in Zürich, Detmold and Cologne, beginning his professional career in Germany, France and Switzerland in the 1970s. Since 1978 he has lived in Wellington.
He has a comprehensive concert and opera repertoire and has been engaged frequently as a soloist by the NZSO, NZ Opera and other orchestras, opera companies and choirs throughout New Zealand. In August his appearance in Eternity Opera’s Rigoletto will mark 50 years since his first opera role. He is also known as a recitalist, broadcaster and recording artist.
Roger has been a frequent soloist in Palmerston North over the years. From 1976 he has sung in recitals at Massey University accompanied by Guy Donaldson at the piano, as well as singing with the PN Choral Society and the Renaissance Singers in concerts when Guy was their conductor and music director.
Guy Donaldson received his formative piano instruction from Maurice Collier, and then at Canterbury University with Maurice Till. In 1984 he studied in London with Paul Hamburger and Roger Vignoles.
Guy was a senior lecturer in music education at Massey until 2004, when he took leave to pursue his passion for performance and music teaching. He is active in the Manawatu as a teacher, adjudicator, piano soloist, accompanist, chamber music player and music coach, and was from 1989 to 1018 music director of the Renaissance Singers.