As I write this Cyclone Yasi a category five cyclone is about to cross onto the land in the north of Queensland. It is important never to forget just how out of our control nature is and how important it is for humankind to remain connected with it…
The ‘big society’ must be a crucible for change. There is plenty to do and very little money to spend so we need to work out if we do all share the vision. Progress always needs a beginning, one that only realism can engender.
If it can be said that if a positive aspect has come out of all the flooding in Australia this summer it would have to be about connecting people at local, state and national levels. In every aspect, harnessing the capacity and creativity of the community to deal with this unbelievable crisis together has produced amazing results.
We have started the year talking about gardens including Flora, First Fleet to Federation. Then there is First Impressions and Lasting Impressions with the art of gardens in France. And, in Japan we talk about the bountiful beauties of old gardens that are really breathtaking. Our On Line Video of the month is Culture in the Colonies just in time for Australia Day.
It goes without saying the city of Brisbane in Queensland has a huge task ahead in the aftermath of the devastation from floods that infiltrated the city, surrounding suburbs and the CBD. While chaotic in nature they did have a day or two to prepare, although many it seems suspended belief in what would happen.
Adversity brings us together in times of peril and it is what makes us strong. However everyone’s strength is being stretched to its limits as the rain, terrible events and tragic stories continue to unfold in Australia this summer as mother nature unleashes its fury.
Costume is, and remains an important footnote to culture. It is both a changing and eternal form of human expression. In the new English series Downton Abbey, which we recently reviewed, the costumes for both men and women are truly superb, mostly tailor made for its bevvy of actors both upstairs and down.
Each year Ian and Lee Lucas open their lovely parklands at beautiful Montville in Queensland for you to enjoy music from the great composers.
The act of reading has been for me, in my lifetime, both saviour and friend. I particularly love reading about people. So biographies are always near the top of my list. And, having worked in the creative industry for much of my life, poetry, classic novels, art, design and style books are next…but
G’day Oprah. Welcome to Australia. The first image we have of you in Australia is cuddling a Koala, the quintessential shot to have. As you tour around Australia in these last weeks before Christmas in pursuit of happiness on your ‘farewell tour’ we would wish that you go well. For many you are the Santa Claus coming down the chimney or in the door this holiday season.
Dramatic soprano Jane Eaglen sings with the Metropolitan Opera, la Scala, Covent Garden, the Deutsche Opera in Berlin and in Glasgow with the Scottish Opera. She is being brought to Australia by Sound Thinking Australia to mentor singers in a Summer School at Brisbane in January. She will give one concert performance only while she is here at GoMa
WOW, was all I could say when I viewed the trailer for The Borgias, the next blockbuster from Showtime, which brought us The Tudors, one of the most fabulous television series of all time. This new series will star one of my all time favourite actors, Jeremy Irons, as Pope Alexander VI (1431 – 1503), best known for his corrupt rule. What he lacked in morals he made up for by trailblazing intrigue with a capital I.
It seems someone believes the Harrington Commode is likely to be by eighteenth century master craftsman Thomas Chippendale based on the price received at Auction overnight at Sotheby’s, London
An alert about the Christmas Can Can was sent to me by a friend in Shanghai, who always finds the time to source out some of the most creative, charming and amusing videos around. Enter into the spirit of Christmas. Enjoy
Elena Xanthoudakis as Eurydice and Andrew Goodwin as Orpheus in the 2010 Pinchgut Opera production of Franz Joseph Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice – photographs by Simon Hodgson
There was a breathtaking moment during the first hour of the 5pm Sunday performance of the Pinchgut Opera’s 2010 production of composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)’s L’anima del filosofo, Orpheus + Eurydice when I became aware of a most beautiful moment of stillness yet attained by any audience I have ever known at the Opera.
It seemed to me as if it was collectively holding its breath so as not to disturb the sheer beauty and depth of the emotional intensity attained in a duet being sung so superbly by the lovers Orpheus and Eurydice portrayed so brilliantly by soprano Elena Xanthoudakis and tenor Andrew Goodwin. Their voices blended into a moment of such perfection that it was truly hard to comprehend and for me, quite literally hard to come to terms with. It felt like dying and going to heaven all that the same time.
How clever of the Opera Company of Philadelphia to infiltrate the shoppers at Macy’s Department Store in New York and sing the Hallelujah Chorus as a surprise recently. Well done! The premise was simple, and it worked.