Ahead of next week’s epic SOLD OUT performances of Carmina Burana; we spoke to James Clayton (baritone) and Perry Joyce (tenor) to find out what our return to the stage means to them.

How does it feel to be able to perform with a full Orchestra on stage during these crazy times? 

James: It's actually quite surreal almost like I had a whole other life and now this one has started up again. Of course, I also feel blessed to be one of the few performers being able to work in Australia at the moment!

Perry: I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to perform on stage with a full Orchestra, especially when other parts of Australia and the international community are not so fortunate right now. There’s nothing like performing with, and being in the presence of, a full Orchestra and hearing and seeing the music brought to life right in front of you. It’s an incredibly moving, life-affirming, and humbling experience. 

James Clayton (baritone)

What is it about Carmina Burana that makes it so amazing? 

James: What's not to love? It's got everything you want in a piece of entertainment, every shade of every colour you can imagine, it's filmic yet not tacky, the pacing is sublime and there's something for everyone.

Perry: Carmina Burana is an incredibly powerful and stirring work. The dying swan aria that I’ll be singing has been a favourite of mine since my youth. There’s something about the shimmering and fluttering of the strings and woodwinds, evoking the flickering embers roasting the poor swan to a turn, which so cleverly captivates the imagination.  

There are also many beautiful moments contained within the work, bookended by the primal wheel of fortune choruses which are instantly recognised by anyone who hears them. 

How has music been important to you during the last few months of restrictions? 

James: It has absolutely been a saviour, never have I been more present to the healing ability of music than during these times.

Perry: Music is my life. Restrictions have reminded me just how important being able to perform to a live audience is. Making music online can be fun (and necessary at times) but there’s nothing like being able to communicate with, and move audiences through live music on a stage. While we can, we should be able to experience music and feel connected to each other through the arts and live performance.    

Perry Joyce (tenor)

What do you love most about performing with WASO? 

James: They are my home orchestra, over the years I have come to know a great many of the players and its like performing with family.

Perry: WASO are an amazing group of people and the highest calibre of performers and musicians we are lucky enough to have access to in Western Australia. Performing on stage with WASO is like being part of a highly skilled team of experts at the top of their game and when you create music together, something truly magical happens. They amaze and inspire me by their ability to bring music to life in such a sensitive and invigorating way, whether it be on the operatic stage at His Majesty’s Theatre or performing in concert at the Perth Concert Hall, whenever WASO are around there is always great music to be had. 

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