ArtsACT funds Diggers' Requiem

GOOD news for Australian War Memorial artist in residence, Chris Latham, and his project “Flowers of War”, which includes “The Diggers’ Requiem”, which has just been funded by ArtsACT to the tune of $29,400. 

The orchestral event, which commemorates the ending of WWI, will officially be performed in Canberra in October 2018.

The Requiem will include the Australian premieres of commissioned works by Australian composers Elena Kats-Chernin, and Richard Mills, which will be previewed this November. It will be the companion to the  popular “Gallipoli Symphony”, which was premiered in Istanbul in 2015.

Latham is presently in France and Belgium with his “pocket opera”, “The Healers”, but will be back in time for the last 2017 concert in the series, “1917-The Night is Darkest before the Dawn”, which will preview four of its 20 short movements.

1917 was one of the most tumultuous years in a terrible war. The 1917 concert on November 8 in the High Court of Australia is a musical portrait of that year. Events included the 3rd battle of Ypres, which lead to the mud and gore of Passchendaele, the French army mutiny after one million French soldiers had died, the birth of Finland and the Russian Revolution, and the astonishing and successful Australian charge on horseback at Beersheba in Palestine.

“1917-The Night is Darkest before the Dawn” includes music uncovered by Latham and written at the time by lesser-known composers from Australia, England, France and Czechoslovakia, as well as Sibelius and Prokoviev. It will feature singers Louise Page, Christian Wilson, and musicians Paul Goodchild on trumpet, Timothy Young on piano, with the Sculthorpe String quarte.

“1917-The Night is Darkest before the Dawn”, High Court of Australia, 6.30pm, November 8. Bookings to

Article by Helen Musa published in Canberra City News on 19 Oct 2017