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2007 Media Release - Choir of Hard Knocks

Issued Thursday 7 June 2007


A truly special performance at Sydney Opera House 8:30pm, Tuesday 17 July

‘affecting, inspiring, entertaining’Sydney Morning Herald

‘You can hear their rocky journey through their voices, which makes their
happiness punch you in the guts and makes your heart sing.’
The Age

Sydney Opera House is honoured to announce that the Choir of Hard Knocks, currently the subject of the inspirational and moving five-part series on ABC TV, will perform at the Concert Hall on Tuesday 17 July. All profits from the concert will go directly to keeping the choir singing.

This special performance will see the Choir perform for the first time outside of Melbourne. Indeed, it will be the first time many members of the choir have travelled interstate.

Brought together late last year by one of Australia’s finest tenors, Founding Choir Director Jonathon Welch, and a small team of dedicated individuals, the Choir of Hard Knocks has given a musical voice to an diverse group of homeless and disadvantaged men and women who have no voice in society.

“The Choir are so excited. It’s all their Christmases come at once. To be given the opportunity of a lifetime to continue this wonderful journey they’re experiencing by performing at Sydney Opera House is really very overwhelming for all of us,” said Jonathon Welch. “It’s a powerful celebration of the human spirit and courage.”

Their journey as documented by the ABC TV and witnessed by hundreds of thousands of viewers each week, has been nothing short of inspirational. The Choir recently performed to sell-out Melbourne audiences and has just released their second CD Songs of the Series which debuted at #1 on the ARIA Classical charts and #11 on the Top 20 Australian Albums Chart this week.

"The Choir of Hard Knocks has become a phenomenon," said Rachel Healy, Sydney Opera House Director of Performing Arts. “The TV series broadcast on the ABC is viewed weekly by over 800,000 people across Australia and the first release of the
CD released in conjunction with the broadcast has sold out. But the most joyous part of it all was watching the lives of a group of people being positively transformed by the power of performance, just as our lives are enriched through the privilege of
sharing the life experiences of fellow Australians. The Choir of Hard Knocks will continue to be an intensely personal and immensely rewarding journey for everyone involved, audiences included. Sydney Opera House is proud to be part of it."

The Choir of Hard Knocks has created a unique and powerful sound that captures the spirit of human endeavour, persistence and resilience. Support these dedicated people and this truly special event in their only Sydney performance in the Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House. The final episode of Choir of Hard Knocks airs on Tuesday 12 June, 8pm on ABC TV.

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