Who would have believed that 50 years after a group of outraged LGBT + protesters took on the thuggery of the New York Police outside the Stonewall Inn, that 3 to 4 million people would celebrate in the same streets of NYC?
WITH that very firmly in our thoughts, the Rainbow Chorus latest show could not have been more timely. Brighton is amazingly lucky to be blessed with so many LGBT+ choirs, all of whom have their own strengths and their own followers.
In the sweltering heat of our hottest day of 2019, they showed how a choral group can grow, mature, broaden and deepen their tonal qualities and give 100 per cent commitment to all they do.
There were a few old favourites on the bill, including the magical Rhythm of Life and the startlingly good Bohemian Rhapsody.
The phenomenon that is their charismatic director Aneesa Chaudhry, seems to not so much conduct as squeeze every note out of her singers, pulling their enthusiasm towards her and past her to us.
New members have certainly improved the tone and sheer power of the group and yet they are also capable of great moments of tenderness and beautiful harmonies – as in Eric Whitacre’s composition the Seal Lullaby, written for the movies and rejected by Disney.
Time to Say Goodbye was cleverly reconstructed as was their Andrew Lloyd Webber Pie Jesu – written for high trebles and here solo performed by representatives from the four vocal sections of the choir.
If the evening could have got more poignant it did so when the group dedicated In This Heart to the memory of the tragically early death of Actually Gay Men’s Chorus member Richard Tredgett, who passed away less than 2 weeks ago on the eve of his own group’s summer concert.
LGBT choirs have a very important part to play in the history of the fight for gay rights – literally giving a voice to a community that still faces death and persecution in many parts of the world.
St. George’s Church is a great venue but sometimes difficult acoustically. The sound team balanced the voices better than I’ve heard before in this venue. But the obtrusive disco-style lighting effects are unnecessary when all our senses need to be concentrated on the glorious voices.
Rainbow Chorus can be seen and heard again on Brighton Pride Parade .
For more information about the chorus, click here:
The Rainbows in Summer concert on Saturday, June 29 at St Georges Church, Kemptown was review by Brian Butler.