1. What is your name, voice type, how long have you been in the choir?
Luke Iredale, tenor, 8 years
2. Why did you decide to audition for the Choir? What is special about singing in The Choir of St James’?
I was singing in the UNSW chamber choir and Warren had come in as a guest to demonstrate Anglican chant. At the time there was an opening at St James’ for a tenor, so Warren invited me to prepare two short solos – which I had never done before – and give it a go at an audition.
Singing in the choir has resulted in some of my most valued friendships, and of course getting to know and falling in love with the choral repertoire has been very special as well.
3. What is the most special, memorable or stand-out moment you have had singing in this choir?
There have been so many, but one that especially sticks in my mind is performing John Rutter’s Hymn to the Creator of Light at Sant’Ignazio in Rome – it was at the end of a wonderful but long tour and there’s a modulation into E major for the final section of the work, which re-harmonises the beautiful chorale melody Schmücke dich. In that moment on the tour, exhausted but elated, it felt especially poignant.
Winchester Cathedral, which we visited on our 2016 tour, was also an incredibly special place – there was an atmosphere there unlike any other building we sang in. It’s hard to describe in words!
4. What do you do when you are not singing at St James’? ie. Where else do you sing? What is your day job?
I am Artistic Administrator at Musica Viva Australia, which means I work with our artistic director on mainstage chamber music programming. We bring the world’s best chamber musicians to Australia, and I deal with agents about bookings, fees and programs.
5. What is your top-ten list of sacred choral music to listen to and why? Which records can you recommend?
There are so many, and I am sure I will forget some! You will have a very enjoyable day indeed if you listen to all of these:
1. Carwood, The Cardinall’s Musick – Byrd, Infelix Ego
2. Philips, Tallis Scholars – Palestrina Missa Papae Marcelli
3. Layton, Trinity Cambridge – Howells Requiem
4. Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir – Bach motets
5. Hill, Westminster Cathedral Choir – Treasures of the Spanish Renaissance
6. King, King’s Consort – Monteverdi Vespers 1610
7. King’s Singers – Gesualdo Tenebrae Responsories
8. Hillier, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir – Rachmaninoff All Night Vigil
9. Hogwood, Academy of Ancient Music – Mozart Requiem
10. Tafelmusik Choir and Orchestra – Messiah
6. Who is your singing hero and why? Have you sung with a superstar?
I love the recordings of the tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson, but the heroes for me are the world’s great directors of choral music, many of whom we’ve had the privilege to work with at St James’, including David Hill, Andrew Lumsden and Andrew Carwood. Singing with Yvonne Kenny and Teddy Tahu Rhodes were also highlights, of course.
7. What is your dream church/concert hall to sing in?
Church – St Paul’s London (though it is extremely huge!)
Concert Hall – Carnegie Hall, NYC
8. What other musical instrument(s) do you play, and can you recommend a favourite piece and recording of that instrument? Do you compose, and if so, what have you written?
I studied the clarinet for a few years – the Mozart concerto with Donald Westlake and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is worth seeking out. Otherwise I’ve played the guitar a bit over the years. If I had to recommend one rock/pop album it would be Revolver by the Beatles, or Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys.
9. Name your favourite thing to do when you're not singing?
I love record collecting – there aren’t many shops left but I enjoy visiting them on the weekends and seeing what I can find. The best ones I’ve got are an original Australian box set from the 70s containing all the Beatles’ LPs.
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I’m very happy here in Sydney, but it would be great to give London a try some day.