A multi-faceted musical performer, Jason Barry-Smith’s accomplishments include those of operatic and musical theatre baritone, composer, arranger, musical director, chorus master, as well as creative director. This recital demonstrated his versatility in the aptly named A Life in Many Parts,including repertoire from film, Broadway musicals, Gilbert and Sullivan and 20th-century English folk music. Though presented by Opera Queensland, surprisingly there was no opera in the mix – a major component of this singer’s career. All the songs chosen originated from the English language, possibly a deciding factor in their choice.
Based on the theme of Shakespeare’s seven ages of man, Barry-Smith explored – with Luke Volker on piano – the detailed elements of Jacques’ speech from As You Like It, whilst adding an inspired eighth age, that of fatherhood. It was a cleverly constructed program scrutinising a man’s life from birth to death through relevant musical choices woven around Shakespeare’s remarkable text.
Choosing to open and close the program with Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, he introduced the traveller’s journey in the jaunty Vagabond,closing...