Sydney’s City Recital Hall makes itself heard

“Hidden gem is a lovely thing in this current trend of hidden bars and hidden places. But it’s a terrible thing for a venue.”

Now the venue, tucked away in Angel Place, is trying to put itself front and centre for local and tourist audiences with the launch of its first quarterly program booklet, promoting its curated events program that goes beyond performances staged by its core “tenants”, such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Pinchgut Opera and Musica Viva.

Among the offerings will be folk music, jazz, cabaret and free lectures.

“If you pick up an ACO book or an ABO brochure, you think that’s all that happens here,” says Ms Chia. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you actually present it with one book then people are looking at it and going, ‘Wow, I had no idea that happens here.’ “

The new program will be launched on Friday in Martin Place with one of the recital hall’s hugely popular flash-mob choirs.

Conducted until recently by the late Richard Gill, the events regularly attract up to 700 singers, all contacted by text message, for a quick burst of choral activity.

“I have to thank my dentist for Sydney Flash Mob Choir because it was the reminder text message that triggered the thought of calling a choir by SMS,” says Ms Chia.

There was initial doubt that the scheme would work, but with more than 9000 people now registered, Chia says it is a resounding success.

“When we started it two years ago we had 3000 registered so we stopped promoting it. We thought we were in big trouble!

“I think we’ve hit on a great way of communicating. It’s non-committal but it’s fun and people don’t mind getting it.

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