I’ve just had a lovely four day break there and disagree with the Lonely Planet’s livable city rating – it’s a five on my list, right after Melbourne, Paris, Buenos Aires and Geelong.
The gorgeous beaches, the heritage architecture (lots of art deco), a great regional art gallery together with cafes, boutiques, antique shops, affordable accommodation and friendly locals, make Newcastle a delightfully laid back cool holiday destination.
Australia’s second oldest city, its heritage streetscapes and historic sites, most within walking or biking distance, are a fascinating step back in time.
If you are an Australian history buff or of a military bent, a good place to start a tour is Fort Scratchley. There’s a lot to do at the Fort: picnic on the grassy slopes, wander around the site and marvel at the beauty of the harbour views.
The large and elaborate state of the fort constructed during the 1880s, reflects the importance of the region’s resources at the time and the apprehension the population felt for their safety.
The only coastal fort in Australia to have returned fire at an enemy vessel during a time of war when a Japanese submarine attacked Newcastle in June, 1942, Fort Scratchley offers regular guided tours of the fort’s underground tunnels. They provide an insight into the important national coastal defense role the fort has played in Australia’s history since it was built.
Sited at the base of the historic King Alfred Park, it was originally built for the personal use of Newcastle’s Commandant Morrisett in about 1820; an amazing achievement by prisoners who were forced to labour in harrowing conditions.
Glittering melancholy and killing your best friend over a flirtation gone horribly wrong, is the central motif of Eugene Onegin, a tormented tale about a St Petersburg intellectual who enjoys a dalliance with a young country girl. He insensitively rejects her when she ‘embarrassingly’ declares her love for him in a letter.
Featuring wonderful music and a storyline about the doomed love between Onegin and Tatyana, two members of Russian high society during the romantic era this tormented tale was successfully lifted from the poignant poetic pages of a novel in verse form by Russian writer Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837). He was considered the literary giant of his age.
This is an extremely demanding piece of theatre on every level.
It was a total triumph for Russian composer Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) during his own age, and again in ours when Opera Australia presented Eugene Onegin during their autumn season 2014, as a co-production with the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London and Fondazione Teatro Regio at Turin in Italy.
Tatyana’s was love given freely but is rejected by Onegin with scorn. It is regretted when it’s all far too late and after a lot of heartbreak, soul searching and a duel between best friends that ends in death for one of them, it is finally and firmly consigned to being but a memory tinged with remorse.
It is about aching all over for what might have been, and desire haunting your dreams.
After years of travelling having affairs with many women, but always finding he was missing that certain something in his life, Onegin discovers Tatyana once again, although she’s married now to one of his relatives. What is that commandment…“I shall not covet my neighbour’s wife”
Tatyana is not only a beautiful graceful mature woman when they meet again, but also one of the highest rank. She has married her Prince and despite holding Onegin first and foremost in her heart, loves Prince Gremin too and will not merely walk away from him at Onegin’s behest.
She has courage of her convictions, a distinctive moral compass and above all a very good heart.
The Australian born Soprano Nicole Car is the lovely Tatyana, and what a sublime performance she gave at the Melbourne premiere.
Full of courage, glorious singing at every aspect of her voice’s range, confident while modest and so full of grace and beauty it was hard for the audience not to ache all over for her predicament.
Hers wasn’t a decision of spite, but one of true love. She displayed great pathos; musical melody exploited by the human voice, in a powerful performance of sensuous beauty and soaring vitality.
We all know that lovely Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge is very good at recycling. Her Orla Kiely dress in rich chocolate brown with its stand out print demonstrates just how down to earth she is.
Purchased at a charity auction, Kate wore her Orla Kiely dress while visiting a school at Oxford in England in February 2012.
She’s a girl after our own heart and if she loves a dress she wants to wears it again and again. And who can blame her for wanting to rock this cute number!
As the Orla Kiely range has it’s roots in the “stem” motif, it seems a natural progression …
Tony Ellwood, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) said recently that “… while the NGV holds one of the most substantial collections of fashion and textiles in the world, there are a large number of works that remain completely unattributed, and this is common throughout museum collections world-wide. These enigmatic objects incite our curiosity and make us question how these objects came to be; who created them, why were they made and who wore them?”
Become a Fashion Detective and help solve the mystery right along with the curators and conservators. This is an investigative exhibition, which seeks to uncover the histories of the clothes by using material evidence, x-rays, infrared photography and dye analysis. Adding imaginative scenarios devised by Fashion Detective authors Sulari Gentill, Leigh Redhead and Phillipa (P D) Martin (all members of Sisters in Crime) will add another dimension.
The distinction between today’s superstar couturiers and global luxury labels like this Pierre Cardin Jacket and Dress 1969 donated to the NGV by Bulgari Australia, with those of the nameless dressmakers and tailors of earlier centuries, could not be greater. It will be fun for viewers to imagine countless contexts the clothes on show may have been made for and the lives of the characters who may have worn them.
A range of forensic conservation techniques including X-rays, infrared photography, dye analysis and microscopy were employed to help visitors piece together information about the items. There will be information about poisonous dyes, concealed clues, mysterious marks, fakes and forgeries, as well as missing persons to whet your appetite so that you can use your art of detection to enjoy your encounter with long forgotten makers and owners.
These 70 mysterious, unattributed garments and accessories will be on display from 9th May to 31st August, 2014. “Fashion Detective will present a series of cases for close examination encouraging visitors to think differently about what we see and what we know,” Mr Ellwood said. Fashion Detective : Level 3, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia | 9 May – 31 August 2014 | Tues–Sun, 10am–5pm | Free entry
Become a fashion detective uncovering the social life of clothes at the NGV where clues help us understand the characters who wore them and events they were for
Eugene Onegin a tale of love given freely, rejected with scorn and regretted when it’s all far too late, finally consigned to being a memory tinged with remorse
The ACO's Timeline will celebrate the sound of music our nation enjoys on many different levels, beautiful music by the world's great composers and songwriters
Should traditions in society be preserved at all costs or, from time to time, evaluated to see if they need to be transformed for a new age or discarded forever
At Easter the challenge in Christian theology is managing the two sides of the coin together, commerce and Christianity. They must be held in a unique tension.