It is certainly a long time since the undisputed first lady of the American musical stage Ethel Merman sang There’s No Business Like Show Business, the theme song of her life that built an expectation in the public’s mind that despite all the things that happen if you are an entertainer ‘the show must go on’.
As the conductor said, it is never a good sign when he walks onto the stage before a scheduled concert is about to start. Regular concert goers know it means a huge change.
Although no one would have perhaps believed the change would be what British born Sir Simon Rattle principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, soon to move to the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) would announce that internationally acclaimed Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena would not be appearing.
She was to sing on the concert with the once thought of as logistically impossible Australian World Orchestra (AWO), which he was conducting on August 1, 2015 at Hamer Hall in Melbourne for one night, having completed two nights in Sydney.
Magdalena Kozena was to perform a new arrangement orchestrated by Australian composer Brett Dean of the original song cycle for the voice and piano by French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918), the Ariettes oubliées or forgotten songs 1885-1887.
It was the second work on the first half, the longest by far. Kozena not being able to be there for whatever reason left a big hole in reality.
This meant that immediately following the orchestra playing Debussy’s beautiful ten-minute symphonic poem for orchestra, a breathtaking slow meditative work of musical impressionism Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), it was suddenly interval.
To say this was awkward would be an understatement. In anticipation the audience were ready to embrace a big program and it would not be honest of me not to say the announcement took the ‘edge’ off their anticipation and enjoyment of the initial work.
Also taking everyone in and out again in such a short time was disruptive to the mood and ambiance to say the least, and there were some very unhappy people about during the 15 minute break.
The rave reviews and lead up promotion preceding the acclaimed Australian World Orchestra’s arrival in Melbourne had worked. Basically they were playing for a sold out audience, many of whom seemed young newbies.
Despite being grown ups, which means being be able to take disappointment in our stride, in fact some were struggling. This is an age of ‘feeling’ after all and perhaps some had never been challenged to think about such an eventuality, believing someone should have enacted a miracle and fulfilled their expectations.
The AWO and Sir Simon Rattle were left relying on the success of their presentation of one of the last great symphonies of the ‘romantic age’ Anton Bruckner’s lesser known stunning Symphony 8 to both win and wow the crowd.
The standing ovation seemed a long time in coming, taking a few curtain calls before sections of the audience scattered all over the auditorium started to rise.
Once they had it was like a huge wave that just kept rolling on.
The impact of Belinda Giblin’s vivacious energy, exuberant optimism and eloquent responses to interview questions filled me with joy and excitement.
Her capacity for life, compassion, courage, adventure and challenge was endless. She possessed all the qualities inherently necessary for performing the challenging role of Stella Goldschlag in Gail Louw’s Blonde Poison, which had its Australian premiere at the Old Fitz Theatre in Sydney, Australia on 28th July and runs until the 15th August, 2015.
Belinda Giblin’s solo performance in this thought provoking drama delivered the broad range of character complexities of a tormented woman from a true story set in war-torn Berlin.
She is one of Australia’s most celebrated and talented actresses and it was fascinating discovering her thoughts and reactions.
What were the influences or events that attracted you to the acting profession?
I grew up in a family that was very passionate about literature, theatre, music…anything to do with the Arts. Any activities associated with these were fostered and encouraged.
I learnt piano, flute and ballet for many years and my ballet teacher, Bruno Harvey, (ex Borovansky Ballet soloist) was a huge inspiration for me.
I went to University to do an Arts degree, then NIDA, so it was no surprise that I ended up working in this profession!
I was a fan of your strong and dramatic performances in the soap operas of the 70 and 80’s. What did you learn from these consistent television roles?
A lot of bad habits! Quick colour- wash performances! A facility for learning lines in a very short time!
What have been the rewards of some of your other roles as teacher, freelance trainer, facilitator and coach?
I have a huge curiosity and like to be mentally stimulated. I’m very bad at relaxing; in fact, I don’t think I have the gene for it! So I tend to take on things I’m a bit scared of just to prove that I can do them!
Sometimes you just need to colour your world, and last night I did just that.
I had the pleasure of reviewing a fantastic new documentary revolving around the flamboyantly dressed 93 year old style maven Iris Apfel.
If you don’t know the name, it’s more than likely that you would recognise the oversized black rimmed glasses and “more is more” attitude.
The diminutive figure swathed in technicolour reminds us that dressing and indeed life is nothing but an experiment.
An outsized presence in the New York scene for decades, her free spirit is captured beautifully by the late documentarian Albert Maysles.
Born on August 29th 1921, she was once told …
Capturing Italy’s essence, the internationally renowned Brisbane artist David Henderson will present his annual exhibition at Graydon Gallery, New Farm in Brisbane 21st August – Sunday 30th August, 2015. David spends the best part of his year in Italy, painting outdoors in Venice, where he produces works that capture the ambiance and the colour of this unique city in the water. David hosted his first European painting and art history tour of Paris this year and held his first Italian exhibition in Rome in late April 2015. This led to an invitation-only residency at the esteemed Creta organisation.
In the past 12 months David Henderson‘s passion for painting in Italy has grown even stronger with the artist immersing himself in Rome, Florence, Tuscany as well as from his base in Venice. “Italy’s humanised landscapes and harmonious urban spaces have attracted artists for centuries. For me, her subjects are inexhaustible. With every passing hour and from season to season with new possibilities, new moods,” David said. From Roman times water was at the forefront of Italian culture The bath was one of the centres of Roman social life and today Italy’s fountains and gardens have become an opportunity for it to show off the national love of festive display such as David’s wonderful image of the Tartaruga Fountain in Rome.
A centrepiece for the show will be the larger work inspired by the artist’s residency in Rome, Afternoon in the Roman Forum, which David Henderson will be entering into the prestigious invitation-only Tattersall’s Club Landscape Art Prize, which opens in September 2015 in Brisbane. “Whether I am painting famous monuments or lesser known views, what I look for in a subject is a synthesis of light and form. While my practice is based very firmly on direct observation and the plein air tradition, I am as concerned with the enduring characteristics of my subject as with fleeting effects,” David said.
Capturing the mesmerizing qualities of their light and tonality is important. “Since Italy is further from the equator than Australia, light at this hour lasts longer. This means I have a greater window of opportunity to depict it – to get it down on canvas before “I am particularly drawn to the subdued harmony of evening, when the low sun casts surprising patterns of light and shade and its mellow warmth seems to coax the colour out of objects,” David Henderson said. Venice is a favourite.
For many of us Italy today becomes a pilgrimage in search of our own heritage. Its wealth of historical remains and art treasures provide the magnate for us as they document man’s journey from prehistory. In the glorious garden at the Villa Gamberaia near Florence laid out during the eighteenth century the incredible clipped topiary encloses a kind of outdoor boudoir for use on hot summer afternoons in a spectacular fusion of nature and culture captured superbly by DAVID HENDERSON, Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Road, New Farm Friday 21 August – Sunday 30 August, 2015
Sir Simon Rattle conducted Anton Bruckner's Symphony 8 to WOW and WIN the crowd in the Hamer Hall Melbourne, and the audience's standing ovation kept rolling on
Capturing Italy's essence internationally renowned Brisbane artist David Henderson presents his annual exhibition, Graydon Gallery, Brisbane 21 - 30 August 2015
Carolyn McDowall The Culture Concept Circle highlights great works of art in the exhibition at the NGV showcasing Catherine the Great's arts and cultural legacy
StreetSmart Australia's CafeSmart initiative will be held Friday 7th August and they need all our support, Cafe's donate $1 of coffees sold to help the homeless
Pinchgut Opera is presenting Armida: Love is a Cruel Mistress and Theodora: Innocence is No Defence, both special experiences for its 1st subscriber season 2016