Getting a five-day event featuring 17 concerts and 20 musicians up and running has been less than easy for Bendigo Chamber Music Festival co-directors Howard Penny and Chris Howlett. Pandemic issues aside, violinists Grace Clifford and Sulki Yu both had to be replaced at the last minute and when an expected grand piano could not be delivered, a team of volunteers helped lift a replacement up several stairs to the concert stage.

But as Howlett told the audience at the opening Gala Concert of the third festival in the town’s Capital Theatre, sometimes doing it hard is good.

Bendigo Chamber Music Festival 2022

There were no changes to this program with BCMF debutant, Canberra soprano Chloe Lankshear, opening proceedings with Vivaldi’s challenging secular cantata In Furore Iustissimae IraeRV 626. The Sydney-based vocalist is fast becoming one to watch with her regular appearances with The Song Company and Pinchgut Opera, where she has become the inaugural Taryn Fiebig Scholar for 2021–23.