Trial by Jury – Bar Choir and the bicentenary of the Supreme Court of NSW

Talitha Fishburn

Hark all! Mark your diaries for the end of May!

In musical celebration of the bicentenary of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Banco Court will open its doors for two nights to stage Trial by Jury, conducted by maestro Peter Hidden and performed by the Bar Choir.

Written by Gilbert & Sullivan, this much loved comic opera is a legal drama that concerns a ‘breach of promise of marriage’ lawsuit. Various characters call for solo parts, including The Learned Judge (being performed by pitch-perfect Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM), the perfidious Self-Represented Defendant (dulcet tenor, his Honour Justice Kunc) and the Jilted Bride Plaintiff (seasoned solicitor soprano, Catherine Kelso). Other characters include Counsel for the Plaintiff, Foreman of the Jury, the Jury and a Chorus of Bridesmaids.

The idea was the brainchild of barrister Victoria Hartstein who, in addition to singing in the chorus, is producing the show and has wordsmithed some of the libretto with her characteristic wit.

Running for two performances, the show will be performed on two evenings: Thursday 30 May 2024 and Friday 31 May 2024. Following each performance, canapes and drinks will be served on level 14 outside the Banco Court.

Don’t be late to secure a ticket!

For those interested in joining the Bar Choir, it generally rehearses once a week in the foyer of the Supreme Court Building at 5pm for one hour. It comprises singers from the legal profession (including judges, barristers, solicitors, and law students) and friends.

The Bar Choir formed in 1995 when his Honour Justice Hidden, well known for his musical skills and love of music, was asked by the CEO of the Bar Association to identify and rehearse some legal minstrels to perform carols in the Bar Common Room.

Some of the founding members are still singing today, including his Honour Justice Davies, her Honour Justice Katzmann, her Honour Judge Olsson SC, her Honour Judge Tupman, Emeritus Professor Croucher, and Victoria Hartstein.

Since that time, many voices have comprised the Bar Choir and delighted ears at various functions, including the Opening of Law Term Service and Evensong at St James’ Church, judges’ soirees, solicitors’ dinners, and more. But regardless of whether there is an impending ‘gig’ on the horizon, coming together to sing on a regular basis is a very wonderful thing. BN

Maestro the Hon. Peter Hidden AM and Victoria Hartstein

Talitha Fishburn

Black Chambers