“Composers in Exile is a rich, entertaining step back into the Weimar Era, guided by the bronzed sounds of the musically well-matched Peter Coleman-Wright and the Nexas Quartet. Well worth checking out...The quartet brought loads of energy, effortless virtuosity and drum-tight ensemble work to the performance, their playing precise and powerful, but with a vibrant agility that kept the music moving… ”
“It may have seemed like a curious combination, a singer and four saxophones, but in reality in proved to be a match made in heaven. Coleman-Wright drew on his considerable operatic experience to colour his rich, baritone for his portrayals of protesting miners, seedy lowlifes, or cabaret performers about whom the songs were written. He was equally effective with the more sentimental love-songs, especially Weill’s lovely September Song which drew tears from more than a few of his rapt audience...the five performers, their easy charm and obvious affection and enthusiasm for the material, proved a seductive combination in a presentation which informed the mind while pleasuring the soul. Quite an achievement. ”
“A bold and intelligent theatricality pervaded this concert of cabaret music from the Weimar period and its aftermath. It was a very special opportunity to hear rarely performed repertoire, ingeniously arranged infused with both darkness and humour and performed with great artistry and insight.”
Composers in Exile
Discover the lost songs of Weimar Germany
The show follows on from the first collaboration of Coleman-Wright and Nexas earlier in 2017 which saw the production of the Weimar-Era themed CD Ballades of the Pleasant Life produced by ABC Classics.
Composers in Exile features political songs from the turbulent times prior to World War II and showcases the musical theatre of Weill, and cabaret of Stolz, Eisler and Korngold. The musical palate is varied and evokes the Weimar period with great energy.
During the show, the musicians assume the roles of the various composers and give voice to their feelings and frustrations. The performance is further enhanced by projected images.
Peter Coleman-Wright OA has enjoyed a stellar opera career and has sung lead roles in the world’s leading opera houses including Covent Garden, The Metropolitan Opera New York, La Scala and La Fenice to name a few.
Composers in Exile is Mr Coleman-Wright’s first foray into writing a music-theatre piece. He has been ably assisted by Sydney’s Nexas Saxophone Quartet. The arrangements of the songs for baritone and saxophone quartet were created especially for the CD and show and reflect a combination that would have been familiar to the clubs and bars where much of this music was first performed.
The show has received universal acclaim since it's premiere at The Independent Theatre in Sydney. It has since been performed all over Australia including the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Camelot Lounge, The Concourse and the Street Theatre in Canberra.
Composers in Exile has recently been picked up by Musica Viva for national touring. The show is also set to feature on the 2020 Bravo Cruise.