After half a year of hard work and rounds of verbal promises, the doors to the Civic Theatre reopened in time for the annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music, despite the major flooding that shook the entire town of Townsville earlier this year. The opening night concert, titled Creations, kicked off the festival with five culturally and ethnically diverse works, that had the audiences reeling in pleasure.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music Aura Go and Lotte Betts-Dean. Photo Supplied. 

Opening the concert in pure darkness, and beautifully priming the evening to come, was Eric Coates’ light and short, but brilliantly bright and youthful Bird Songs at Eventide,pianist Aura Go and mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean already on stage when the lights went up. The opening light, bird-like flourishes in the higher registers of the piano coupled effectively with Betts-Dean’s powerful but subtle voice. Her tone, without excessive vibrato, carried across the delicacy and exotic nature of the work

At its conclusion, host for the festival, former ABC Classic announcer Christopher Lawrence, chatted to the audience whilst the stage managers wheeled in Ruth Wall’s harp for the next work, Recur. Graham Fitkin not only wrote the...