Anna Pope, Artistic Director

After several years directing groups in Cambridge and Adelaide, Anna founded the Lumina Vocal Ensemble in 1999. Lumina brought together experienced, like-minded singers particularly interested in performing rare music from periods such as the middle ages. Since 1999, Anna Pope has been the artistic director of all programs performed by the group, as well as coordinating singers and developing democratic management procedures. Due to injury, 2012 is the first year in which guest conductors have been invited to lead the performances of the group.

As musical director, her tasks have ranged from transcribing, arranging and interpreting rare mediæval works, to sourcing and sharing challenging contemporary Australian repertoire, to creating coherent, inspiring and thought-provoking programs, and sharing Lumina’s work with international audiences via youtube etc. Anna loves working with Lumina because the quality, musicality and commitment of each singer, and the wealth of wonderful rarely-performed music emerging, provide so many exciting possibilities and result in numerous moments of magic.

Anna has particularly enjoyed exploring the rhythmic and rare music of the mediaeval period with the group, as well as returning to her heartland of the Renaissance and introducing brand new Australian music to the world. She has felt privileged to be able to bring together so many varied and inspiring performances. Anna has also composed over 20 choral works, and loves singing, both in chamber ensembles such as Lumina, and occasional solos with various groups.

Musical musings…

In the last 28 years, I have sung under conductors such as David Wilcocks, Stephen Cleobury, John Rutter, Nicholas Braithwaite with orchestras from London Phil to Adelaide Symph, singing Mahler in Ely Cathedral, Handel in Kings College Chapel & Vaughan Williams in Royal Albert Hall. I have also been privileged to work with Hilary Weiland, Carl Crossin, Tim Sexton, Graeme Abbott, Kynan Johns, Dominic Wheeler, Olari Elts & Judy Clingan, as well as hundreds of wonderful singers. I have learnt so much from them all - but most fulfilling for me has been working with smaller unaccompanied choirs, especially 12 years with the Adelaide Chamber Singers, and the last 13 years with Lumina.

On singing in a choir:

  • You cannot be a good singer if you are not a good listener
  • If you think you are always right, there is something wrong
  • Good singing is about teamwork as much as about individual prowess
  • The more you feel, the more you risk – inspiration is about emotion, not just perfection

On directing a choir:

  • Every voice contains infinite variety – explore that variety rather than moulding it to be uniform. Too homogenous can be boring.
  • Treat your singers with loyalty and respect and they will be able to give of their best
    Anna Stirling Pope
  • Encourage the best in your singers and they will reward you
  • Challenge singers to try things differently and work outside their comfort zone

On repertoire:

  • Avoid mainstream choral repertoire – try something new
  • Explore new music and find neglected old music
  • Performing old music in new ways
  • Try improvisation