Cultural Development

Margaret de Burgh Persse Hockey O.A.M. – Memories of Nindooinbah

Margaret de Burgh Persse Hockey O.A.M. – Memories of Nindooinbah

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I am writing this on the seventh anniversary of the passing of Margaret de Burgh Persse Hockey O.A.M. (8 January 1941 – 11 February 2004). She lived all her life in one of Queensland’s most historic houses, Nindooinbah, which is sited superbly in a lovely valley nearby to Beaudesert in Queensland…

Celebrating Percy Grainger 2011 with pianist Jayson Gillham

Celebrating Percy Grainger 2011 with pianist Jayson Gillham

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Expat Australian musicians who are friends in London are among those honouring the works and 50th annniversary of esteemed Melbourne born Australian composer and pianist George Percy Grainger 1882 – 1961. They are all participating in The Grainger Festival, a four-day event at Kings Place, reports brilliant young Dalby born pianist Jayson Gillham from London.

The Music of Friends with Christopher Wrench & Louise King

The Music of Friends with Christopher Wrench & Louise King

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Commencing on the 28th February at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art at Brisbane the Chamber Music Series will include works from all the great composers spanning all the eras of music from the Baroque to the 21st Century.

The music of friends, as chamber music is often described today, is indeed appealing. Designed originally for a close up and personal encounter, it gently consumes the listener, providing a memorable experience that lifts the spirit and rewards the soul.

Connectivity, compassion, collaboration – a reason to cheer

Connectivity, compassion, collaboration – a reason to cheer

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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.

Brisbane – in the aftermath of nature’s fury

Brisbane – in the aftermath of nature’s fury

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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.

Costume, a footnote to culture in Downton Abbey and The King’s Speech

Costume, a footnote to culture in Downton Abbey and The King’s Speech

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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.

Carolyn’s Reading Choices for the Holidays 2010/2011

Carolyn’s Reading Choices for the Holidays 2010/2011

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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

The Oprah Phenomenon – Putting the O in Oustanding and the D in Dream

The Oprah Phenomenon – Putting the O in Oustanding and the D in Dream

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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.

BOOK NOW – Jane Eaglen, greatest Wagnerian singer of her generation at Brisbane in January

BOOK NOW – Jane Eaglen, greatest Wagnerian singer of her generation at Brisbane in January

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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

So the Tudors is finished Showtime. Bring on the Borgias!

So the Tudors is finished Showtime. Bring on the Borgias!

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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.

A Pinchgut Opera Xmas Treat – Pure Poetry in Musical Motion

A Pinchgut Opera Xmas Treat – Pure Poetry in Musical Motion

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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.

Choir by Della Robbia

Hallelujah Chorus: Surprise & Elation at Macy’s, New York

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How clever of the Opera Company of Philadelphia to infiltrate the shoppers at Macy’s in New York and sing the Hallelujah Chorus as a surprise, lighting a spark

Make a Difference This Christmas – help people experiencing homelessness

Make a Difference This Christmas – help people experiencing homelessness

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StreetSmart Australia is a unique organization with a simple idea that really works. They have partnered with many great Australian restaurants where, in the lead-up to Christmas, every table is asked to add $2 or more to their bill, not even the price of a coffee or mineral water. It’s a simple idea that has a big impact on the lives of people who are homeless.