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Paul Eldon

Photo credit: Peta Rudd (http://www.petarudd.com)

Photo: Peta Rudd
(www.petarudd.com)

Paul was born in Hong Kong and spent the first decade of his life moving around Asia with his parents living first in the former British colony, then in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and finally returning to Hong Kong where his family still live. Born to a Scottish father and South American mother, Paul was influenced by music from a young age. At five years old when he was in Riyadh, a mosque was built across from his house and he distinctly remembers the melodic sounds of the Muezzin calling the Muslim faithful to prayer.

Paul started at The Oratory School, a Catholic boarding school in England, at the age of 10 and it was here, after years singing with choirs at international schools, that he began his training in the British choral tradition. Arriving late in the game compared to some of his fellow choristers who had been singers at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, he started as a treble and eventually worked through all voice parts as puberty took hold – alto, tenor and bass – before settling as a tenor. In his last year Paul was appointed Head Chorister.

After university and a break from Sunday masses, psalms and Latin chants, Paul moved to Beijing, China and sang with the International Festival Chorus (IFC) for seven years. Set up in 2003 by British-born conductor Nicholas Smith, the IFC performs three main concerts a year ending each season with Handel’s Messiah. With the IFC, Paul has been conducted by internationally successful invited guest artists Anne Randine-Øverby (Director, Opera Bergen, Norway), Fan Tao (National First Class Conductor, National Film and Radio Philharmonic, Beijing) and Martin Ennis (Fellow and Director of Music, Girton College, Cambridge).

Noted guest soloists Paul has performed with include soprano Emma Kirkby (Bach Mass in B Minor) and tenors Justin Lavender (Handel Messiah) and Ted Hands (Bach St Matthew Passion). He has also performed with singers from the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto “A. Belli” (selections from Verdi La Traviata and Puccini Messa di Gloria) and percussion ensemble Les Percussions Claviers de Lyon (Off, Off Offenbach the works of Jacques Offenbach arr. Gérard Lecointe). While with the IFC Paul has performed the tenor solo from the Mozart Requiem and has participated in a number of smaller chamber performances of varied repertoire with invited singers, as well as part of the 13th Beijing International Music Festival as a singer in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under conductor Yu Long, Principal Conductor China Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since relocating to Canberra in 2009 Paul has sung with The Oriana Chorale and The Pocket Score Company. He was a member of the chorus for the 2011 Melbourne Opera performance of Puccini’s Tosca at The Canberra Theatre. In 2012 he co-founded Coro, a collaborative performing arts ensemble with a vision of performing infrequently heard works in Canberra. Along with The Pocket Score Company, Coro has been nominated as a finalist for Best ACT Choral/Vocal Group in the 2012 MusicACT Annual Music Awards.

The Pocket Score Company were also selected as finalists in the ABC Classic FM Vocal Romp competition held earlier this year. Paul’s CD credits include New Carols and Songs for Chaucer’s Pilgrims, a collection of songs and carols of medieval texts reimagined for modern listeners by Canberra based singer and composer David Yardley. In addition to the ensemble work that he has done in Canberra, Paul performed the lead role of David in From a Black Sky by Sandra France and Helen Nourse as part of the First Seen series of programmes at The Street Theatre.