After taking a bold step into the unknown as lead singer in Dunedin Symphony Orchestra’s experimental 2015 concert “Tally Ho!”, soprano Anna Leese is more than happy to repeat the experience.
Now Dunedin-based, Leese will return to the Dunedin Town Hall stage with the DSO and a line-up of fellow singers and “Dunedin Sound” musicians for “Tally Ho! 2” on November 4.
“It’s a fun thing to be involved in, and quite an unusual experience for an opera singer like me,” Leese said.
“Tally Ho! 2” features a new selection of songs spanning 40 years of the Dunedin Sound, orchestrated by The Verlaines frontman and music lecturer Dr Graeme Downes.
Performing with the DSO, under the baton of Peter Adams, the singers will include Leese, Downes, Shayne Carter, David Kilgour, Martin Phillipps, Metitilani Alo, Molly Devine, Nadia Reid and Anthonie Tonnon.
Among the songs Leese will perform will be The Verlaines’ Cathedrals Under the Sea, The Bats’ Smoking Her Wings and Block of Woodand The 3Ds’ Spooky, and she will be part of finale The Chills’ Submarine Bells
“It has been an interesting process learning the songs through listening to the original versions, and now hearing them with the orchestra’s backing,” Leese said.
“It’s a big change, and picking up the cues will keep me on my toes.
“Having Peter Adams as conductor again will be really helpful. We have worked together a lot and I’m comfortable performing with him.”
As in the original “Tally Ho!” concert, Leese’s performance will be a mix of opera and pop singing styles, and she is looking forward to seeing the audience’s reaction.
“Last time, I was really nervous about how it would be received, and it went down very well,” she said.
“So, I’m hoping it is as successful this time.”
“Tally Ho! 2” is a return to the stage for Leese, who has been busy this year caring for 18-month-old son Matteo and husband Stefano Guidi, who is unwell.