The Song Company celebrates 40 years with Superbloom, a program curated by American-Australian soprano and Guest Director, Jane Sheldon.

The title refers to that natural phenomenon in which desert flowers bloom in an abundant riot of colour and diversity when rains follow a period of drought. In her programming, Sheldon aims to express the contrasting themes of “aridness and lushness” with new and ancient works in which text and texture, harmony, melody and extended vocal techniques, along with percussion, illustrate these ideas in music.

Sheldon directs and at times, joins the unaccompanied six-voiced ensemble of sopranos Susannah Lawergren and Amy Moore, mezzo-soprano Jessica O’Donoghue, tenor Timothy Reynolds, baritone Hayden Barrington and bass-baritone Andrew O’Connor – some of the finest ensemble and solo singers on the scene.

The Song Company: Superbloom. Photo © Oliver Miller

Paying homage to the early specialist repertoire of the ensemble, the curtain-raiser, Flos Regalis (Royal Flower), is a charming motet for three female voices written by an unknown composer. Lawergren, Moore and O’Donoghue transport us back to the 14th century with this whirling, uplifting piece, in which sparse open harmonies alternate with the melody tossed from one voice...