C9 Of Fairies and Fools

  • May 2, 2023

    7.30pm - 9.00pm

  • Fitters' Workshop

    Printers Way, Kingston, ACT 2604

Enter a world of wonder in this evening concert inspired by rustic folk tales and elflike fantasy.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales hit the bookshops in 1812, and by the time H.C. Andersen was ready to publish his own fairy tales in the 1830s, a new literary genre was born.  Robert Schumann followed suit with several instrumental works, as reflected in this late clarinet trio.  Dvořák found different reasons to delve into his country’s folklore. It inspired major operas, as well as the very charming yet rarely performed Moravian Duets.

Janáček drew on the Czech folk traditions with even greater zeal.  From the nuptials of the beetroot to the comic picture of a cow in the knacker’s yard, the musical miniatures of Říkadla (Nursery Rhymes) arguably are some of his most playful and catchy creations. Equally upbeat and almost clown-like is Elena Kats-Chernin’s Village Idiot, conjuring the wry image of a fool who in a world of madness dares to speak a clearer truth.



Robert Schumann,  Märchenerzählungen op 132 (1853)

Antonín Dvořák,  Moravian Duets (1876)


Leoš Janáček, Říkadla (Nursery Rhymes) (1924)

Elena Kats-Chernin, Village Idiot (2006)



James Wannan, viola

Oliver Shermacher, clarinet

Susannah Lawergren, soprano

Anna Fraser, soprano

Roland Peelman, piano

Ronan Apcar, piano/keyboard

Theo Carbo, electric guitar

Fletcher Cox, trumpet

Jackson Bankovic, trombone

Aidan Gabriels, horn

Veronica Bailey, percussion

Alister Price, accordion

Jacques Emery, double bass

Luminescence Chamber Singers

Alma Moodie Quartet


This concert is supported by Gail Ford

ARTIST Learn more about the artist

Artist Roland Peelman AM - Festival Artistic Director

His encyclopaedic understanding of performing and visual arts and his theatrical instinct place him in constant demand as a musician of flair and imagination.” – Antony Jeffrey, Many Faces of Inspiration. At the helm of the Festival since 2015 is Artistic Director Roland Peelman, an acclaimed musician of great versatility who has established a reputation as one of Australia’s most innovative musical directors. Born in Belgium, Roland Peelman has been active in Australia over 30 years as a conductor, pianist, artistic director and mentor to composers, singers and musicians alike. For his commitment to the creative arts in Australia, he has received numerous accolades, including the NSW Award for “the most outstanding contribution to Australian Music by an individual’ in 2005. In 2006 he was named ‘musician of the year’ by the Sydney Morning Herald and he has since featured regularly as one of the most influential people in the Australian arts scene. In 2023 he won the APRA AMCOS Art Music Award "National Luminary - Individual." Over a period of 25 years, he transformed The Song Company into one of Australia’s most outstanding and innovative ensembles. In addition, he instigated and directed an impressive list of new work, orchestral, vocal, and operatic. Roland worked with Opera Australia for seven years (1984-91) before becoming The Song Company’s Artistic Director (1990-2015). During this time, he was also the Music Director of Sydney Metropolitan Opera (1989-94) and the Hunter Orchestra in Newcastle (1990-97).   Roland Peelman is supported by Anna and Bob Prosser

Artist Anna Fraser

Anna Fraser has gained a reputation as a versatile soprano specialising predominantly in the interpretation of early and contemporary repertoire. Anna is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and New England Conservatory (Boston) and furthered her studies in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program featuring as a soloist at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK) under the direction of Richard Egarr and the late Antony Rolfe-Johnson. As a core ensemble member of the Song Company for over a decade, Anna has had the pleasure of performing in a myriad of traditional and exploratory programming expertly demonstrating the versatility and virtuosity of a cappella singing. Equally at home as a dramatist on the stage presenting opera and historically informed chamber music, Anna is a strong exponent in music education, particularly with Moorambilla Voices and Gondwana Choirs.   Anna Fraser is supported by Peronelle and Jim Windeyer

Artist Luminescence Chamber Singers


Luminescence gives voice to human experiences of all kinds.

Luminescence Chamber Singers is a vocal ensemble based on Ngunnawal country [Canberra, Australia], and the umbrella organisation for the Luminescence Children’s Choir. Performing music from all times and places, Luminescence champions the unbound expressive potential of our original instrument - the human voice. Both ensembles deliver artistic and educational programs that ignite the imagination of audiences, and give voice to human experiences of all kinds. Luminescence presents an annual concert programme in Canberra and surrounding regions, and performs at a wide range of festivals, events and collaborations. Recent highlights have included performances of David Lang’s Pulitzer prize winning work, ‘little match girl passion’, appearances for Canberra International Music Festival, Four Winds Festival (Bermagui), Musica Viva, Flowers of War, and numerous performances in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia for Patricia Piccinini’s ‘Every Heart Sings’ Skywhale project.

Artist Susannah Lawergren

Sydney soprano Susannah Lawergren has developed a reputation for her versatility, “stunning vocal expression” and “beautifully clear soprano”. She has worked with some of the foremost ensembles in Australia including Ensemble Offspring, Opera Australia, Australia Ensemble, Cantillation, Sydney Chamber Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Salut! Baroque, Willoughby Orchestra and Hourglass Ensemble and international ensembles like Voces8, the Wallfisch Ensemble and Forma Antiqva. From 2011-2019 she was a full-time member of the Song Company, singing an incredibly diverse range of music around Australia.   Susannah Lawergren is supported by Peronelle and Jim Windeyer

Artist Alma Moodie Quartet

The Alma Moodie Quartet features four of Australia’s finest string players in an exciting new collaboration. Led by acclaimed violinist Kristian Winther, violinist Anna da Silva Chen, violist Dana Lee and cellist Thomas Marlin bring a fresh and fearless approach to the string quartet repertoire.
Named to honour internationally significant Australian violinist of the 1930s and '40s, the Alma Moodie Quartet is committed to invigorating the classics and exploring new works with their combined virtuosic talents.
Photo credit Brontë Godden

Artist James Wannan

Violist James Wannan is a founder of the Australia Piano Quartet (APQ), Co-Artistic Director of the Ensemble in Residence at the University of Technology Sydney, a member of Southern Cross Soloists and an Artistic Associate of Sydney Chamber Opera. He teaches chamber music and viola at the Sydney Conservatorium’s Rising Star program and has been a guest teacher at the Australian National Academy of Music. He is currently based in Sydney, having previously studied viola with Alice Waten and Caroline Henbest in Melbourne, Janet Davies in Sydney and viola d’amore in Vienna with Marianne Rônez. He explores his passion for music from ancient to contemporary on a number of instruments. James has appeared as a soloist with many of Australia’s orchestras including the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, ACO2, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Artist Ronan Apcar

Ronan Apcar is a young Australian pianist, composer, and musician who is quickly garnering a reputation of versatility, edge, and tenacity. His love for music across many styles – jazz to the avant-garde, classical to contemporary music – translates into his open-minded, exciting, and unique work as a musician. Though always striving to be a well-rounded musician, Ronan is best known for his work with contemporary classical and modern art music – particularly by Australian composers – and has a passion for challenging and breaking the stereotype of “the piano recital.” Beginning as a self-taught pianist, Ronan went on to study piano performance and composition at the Sydney Conservatorium High School and the ANU School of Music, where he graduated as dux. He has gone on to perform as a soloist in both concert halls and unusual, intimate venues, and as a collaborator with renowned musicians and ensembles across Sydney, Canberra, and regional NSW. Ronan has appeared as a soloist with the Penrith Symphony Orchestra, the ANU Orchestra, and later this year with the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra. He has also appeared in festivals, including the 13th International Music Festival in Moscow and the 2021 Canberra International Music Festival where he was the Young Artist. In 2021, he released his debut album, Dulcie Holland Crescent – a collection of forgotten, unrecorded, and unpublished pieces by the great Australian composer Dulcie Holland. Both Ronan’s album and his live concert performances are regularly broadcasted on the Fine Music network and ABC Classic, where Dulcie Holland Crescent was made one of the ABC’s feature albums.

Artist Theo Carbo

Theo Carbo (b. 1999, Melbourne, Australia) is a guitarist, composer, electronic musician, producer and sound engineer. Growing up as an astute student of jazz, Theo’s proficiency as a guitarist has seen him working in groups of Australia’s most important improvising musicians including Barney Mcall, Andrea Keller, Sam Anning, Nadje Noordhuis, Joseph O’Connor and Paul Williamson. A keen philosopher of music and a student of composition at the Victorian College of the Arts, Theo has recently been developing a broader practise which involves elements of experimental composition, electronic processes, solo and ensemble improvisation and studio engineering. "Theo is a naturally gifted artist with a unique and refined take on things. His musical maturity is a great argument for the collective unconscious" - Barney Mcall