Design History & Decorative Arts

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

The Tourist, would you be ready to go to Venice in 20 minutes?

The Tourist, would you be ready to go to Venice in 20 minutes?

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The Tourist is a movie all about an American tourist’s playful dalliance with a stranger that begins on a train and leads to a web of intrigue, romance and danger. To coin the words of super sleuth author ‘Richard Castle’, “I know, isn’t it great!”

Alchemy, pure gold performing music for strings and harpsichord

Alchemy, pure gold performing music for strings and harpsichord

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Alchemy performs regularly on original and replica instruments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when the art of harmony of music expressed perfect happiness and inner peace through bold and harmonic forms that could also be enjoyed by the soul in heaven. Based on the same principles of proportion and harmony present in architecture and gardens, Baroque music (circa 1600 – 1750) was all at once a triumph of structured symmetry and the manifestation of an ideal and a model for the community and its life.

Music of the Month: Laique, ‘Cravin just a little Misbehavin’ – An Album review of Jazz to keep you Swinging

Music of the Month: Laique, ‘Cravin just a little Misbehavin’ – An Album review of Jazz to keep you Swinging

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All those at the launch night of the first album by the all new slightly offbeat, awesome, cool, definitely new age groovy jazz group Laique, must have certainly enjoyed getting down with Cravin just a little Misbehavin their premier album. At the end of the day it would have been just the right mix to keep everyone going all night.

L’anima del filosofo – Orpheus+Eurydice Premiere at Sydney

L’anima del filosofo – Orpheus+Eurydice Premiere at Sydney

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Eighteenth century Composer Franz Joseph Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo will premiere at Sydney, Australia Thursday 2 December 2010. It is being sung for four nights only. 2, 4, 5 and 7 December at the Angel Place Recital Hall. It is an opera in Italian in four acts whose libretto is based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, as told in first century Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Adventures in Art with Amelia Batchelor – Sagittarians rock!

Adventures in Art with Amelia Batchelor – Sagittarians rock!

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Meeting New Zealand born painter, sculptor, drawing and chalk artist Amelia (Mealie) Batchelor, whose view of life is a continual journey of discovery, has been one of great joy. We met at Brisbane where we had both found ourselves after leaving the cities where we were born. Me Sydney, she Auckland.

King, Prince, Duke, Queen, Princess, Duchess…what will Kate, not waity be?

King, Prince, Duke, Queen, Princess, Duchess…what will Kate, not waity be?

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Well the world is agog this morning with the announcement that the favourite royal Prince, William, will finally marry the girl of his dreams after a long courtship. Kate’s wait many believe is now over and she has finally nabbed her prince, but will she be a princess? Well, yes eventually. However it seems that Katherine as she will now be known, will have to continue to play her waiting game if normal tradition and protocol is to be followed. So what will Kate, now not waity be?

Harrington Commode at Sotheby’s Auction by Chippendale?

Harrington Commode at Sotheby’s Auction by Chippendale?

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From London comes the announcement by leading auction house Sotheby’s that it has a very special marquetry commode coming up in a sale in December. Lot 69 is declared as ‘almost certainly by Thomas Chippendale’. Entitled the Harrington Commode it is described as an important George III Gilt-lacquered brass mounted fustic, rosewood, tulipwood and marquetry commode made circa 1770 (within ten years either way). The estimate is 600,000 to 1,000,000 GBP

Editorial – Muse News November 2010

Editorial – Muse News November 2010

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There has been a great many posts added to the website during October and it will be the same during November so that there is a lot of holiday reading, or viewing on our You Tube Channel for you to catch up on over Christmas. Who would believe that it is only 53 days until Christmas…yeeks, where did the year go?

Firth @ Fifty – Speaking King’s English in the King’s Speech

Firth @ Fifty – Speaking King’s English in the King’s Speech

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The sets and stunning settings for The King’s Speech take us all back to an epoch when people really knew how to live at every level and had the ready necessary and style to do it. The critics certainly all agree. The King’s Speech is a movie with style to burn and a script of wonderfully witty dialogue that resonates with just the right amount of emotion to draw us in.

Throttling down, Top Gear gaff, simply unacceptable

Throttling down, Top Gear gaff, simply unacceptable

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A story in the press today about a gaff by Britain’s Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson should give us all pause for thought. Mr Clarkson, just like many other celebrities, has discovered success and fame come at a price. However it is often not just paid in dollars, but by the society that offers its support. Mr Clarkson there is simply no occasion, in any way shape or form, when it is acceptable to denigrate an individual, or group of people through a careless remark, especially about those with special needs, those who are disabled or disadvantaged in society and for whom, often just the daily ritual requires a great deal more effort than the rest of us.

Looking forward to tenor Andrew Goodwin as Orpheus, questing for love for the Pinchgut Opera

Looking forward to tenor Andrew Goodwin as Orpheus, questing for love for the Pinchgut Opera

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The highly skilled and accomplished young Australian born tenor Andrew Goodwin will sing the challenging role of Orpheus in the Sydney based Pinchgut Opera’s production of Joseph Haydn’s l’Anima del Filosofo: Orpheus+Eurydice this December.