It is going to be battle, in next year's khaki-coloured Australia (the year of the centenary of Gallipoli), for those who want to speak up to say that war is not a glorious thing.
But there are going to be some battlers for this cause and they're going to include Canberra's Chorus of Women. Next year, at exactly the time when Anzackery will be peaking, the Chorus of Women will be presenting an alternative, contrary view.
Their specially-written "community oratorio" A Passion For Peace will be performed at the Albert Hall from 28 April to 2 May, just after 2015's Anzac Day commemorations. Those of us who next year will go to both the Anzac Day Dawn Service and then to A Passion For Peace will get exactly the intellectually stimulating kinds of contrasting experiences one should get in a big, clever city like ours.
Tuesday (today) is Remembrance Day and tonight there is to be work-in-progress fund-raising concert that looks ahead to next year's big performances of the oratorio. "Work-in-progress" doesn't really do tonight's occasion justice because it is a performance graced by the participation of, among others, soprano Louise Page, mezzo Angela Giblin and cellist-composer David Pereira.
A Chorus of Women spokechorister enlightens us that "The Canberra-grown Passion is inspired by ... 1100 women from 12 warring and neutral nations who met in The Hague for for what was the only peace conference of the First World War. This International Congress of Women – held during the same week as the Anzacs' Gallipoli landings, from 28 April to 1 May 1915 – is often called 'the forgotten congress' because of its omission from military histories and commemorations."
And so exactly 100 years after it, A Chorus of Women and a large chorus of Canberra citizens will in 2015 rattle the Albert Hall's heritage-listed rafters with A Passion for Peace. Tonight's interim extravaganza is also a recruiting drive because it's hoped that some of you who attend will be beguiled into signing up (and we use that expression advisedly) so that you can be part of the enormous community choir at 2015's contrary event.
Tuesday's event is at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall St Barton, at 7.30pm.
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