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Australian World Orchestra, Hamer Hall – The Show Must Go On


Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Australian World Orchestra, 2015

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.

Rattle Best

British born Sir Simon Rattle principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, soon to move to the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)

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.

Rattle & Strings

Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Australian World Orchestra, 2015

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.

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Blonde Poison, Old Fitz Theatre in Sydney – Rose’s Interview

Belinda Giblin

Australian actor Belinda Giblin courtesy artist

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!

Red Belinda

Australian actor Belinda Giblin in Black Poison, courtesy Old Fitzroy Theatre, Sydney

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!

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Passionate Pursuits

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