Hobart’s Festival of Voices is Australia’s premier festival to honour the role vocalists play in the musical sphere. Thousands of choral singers and vocalists raise the winter skies in this unique celebration of the power of song. This is truly a family festival with over 100 events held between 30 June – 17 July. With many free performances on offer, this is an excellent time to schedule Hobart into your holiday plans.
In order to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of the festival, head to Hobart’s city centre at lunchtime. Pop-up performances from various choirs will be heard filling spaces from cafés to laneways and even ferries. This should whet your appetite for the Bonfire and Big Sing at Salamanca Place on 8 July. This flagship event unites the entire community to sing with one voice, creating a massive choir to fill the night air. For a more subdued experience, Wrest Point’s Birdcage Bar will have talented local performers reinterpreting the works of songwriting greats such as Stevie Wonder each evening from 1 – 9 July.
A special aspect of this festival is the opportunity to attend reasonably-priced workshops and short courses conducted by the performers themselves. Gospel music enthusiasts can attend a ten-day boot camp or five-day workshop. Those seeking a less intense experience might choose to spend a morning with the Modern Maori Quartet on 9 July. Men who are just a little hesitant can join the Spooky Men’s Chorale in preparation for The Big Sing. Free workshops such as that held by the Choir of High Hopes on 6 July are also available. Book classes early as some have limited spaces.
Some of Australia’s internationally-acclaimed singers will hold concerts during the festival. There are contemporary trail-blazing artists such as Ngaire or more traditional performers such as the UTAS singers from the University of Tasmania conservatorium. Fabulous entertainment such as the Cabaret Showcase and The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir exemplify the breadth of music on offer. Some concerts will also take place in Launceston and other towns on the east coast, so do check the schedule if you are visiting these areas.
Tasmania is rightly famous for its natural wonders; however, you now have the chance to combine your sightseeing with one of Australia’s most inspiring and interactive festivals. Loosen up those vocal chords and browse the Festival of Voices program in order to plan a holiday to remember.
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