Melbourne Summer Savvy – Music, Markets & Art at Xmas 2013

Christmas, coming faster than you expected? Here’s a list of fabulous events that will fill your heart with glorious festive season music and also provide opportunities to have a great day out with family and friends

Noël! Noël! on December 7th, celebrates the spirit and flavours of the festive season at the Melbourne Recital Centre, when the MRC, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Brandenburg Choir present Noël! Noël! in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall.

The angelic voices of the Brandenburg Choir combine with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra on period instruments, to infuse ancient melodies with a sound that is simple, pure and completely joyous. The result will leave you uplifted. It is absolute bliss.

Paul Dyer surprises us each year with this wonderful program. Along with the serene beauty of the strings, we hear the gorgeous sound of a single soprano, medieval hymns infused with contemporary sounds and much more, as Paul takes us on a magical journey to round off the year. Some music you will be intimately familiar with and other works you will hear for the very first time.

Noël! Noël! is the perfect gift to share with family and friends. Beloved for its timeless and ageless appeal, this concert is the perfect way to step aside from the madding crowds and be inspired by glorious music. Book Fast for this very heavenly occasion

Jane Rutter, Flute Dreaming: Landscape of the Soul Concert presented by the Melbourne Recital Centre, corner of Southbank Boulevard and Sturt Street, on December 13th, 2013 at 9 pm in the Salon.

Internationally renowned flautist, Jane Rutter is a virtuosic disciple of French flute masters Jean-Pierre Rampal and Alain Marion, a concert soloist, classical free spirit and number 1 recording artist – Jane presents the flute as a Bel-canto “voice”.

In this intimate performance for the MRC, Jane plays as many as 12 different silver, gold, wooden, bamboo, ebony and Irish flutes. With works from Baroque to contemporary, including exciting new works by Jane herself, she invokes the flute spirits and relates through music to the interior of the soul.

A musical bonus is the charm of lilting Celtic pieces on the Irish whistle.

Haunting, meditative works by Telemann, Debussy, Ravel, Ravi Shankar, Irving Berlin, Ross Edwards, Sarah Hopkins, Jane Rutter and traditional Celtic pieces. Prose by Shakespeare, Patrick White, Anais Nin and Charles Baudelaire.

This event is presented in Cabaret mode, with seating at shared tables of two or four. Avoid disappointment and save by purchasing a food and beverage package in advance.

A word of warning, Jane’s early performance is already booked out. If you don’t want to miss a virtuoso performance, book her final performance NOW

A feast for the ears and now a feast for the eyes, the Hawthorn Arts Centre presents: Marker: 10 years of the Town Hall Gallery Collection in the Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn.

Local Council’s are great at collecting garbage, enforcing by-laws and keeping suburbs under their domain neat and tidy. What is not generally known is that Council Town Halls are often home to extensive art collections.

Top marks to the City of Boroondara for undertaking an 18 month renovation of the Hawthorn Town Hall to create the Hawthorn Arts Centre’s three new public gallery spaces.

Boroondara are celebrating the new venue by an exhibition which allows the public to view, free of charge, sixty-five artworks by twenty-three artists – the result of 10 years of collecting.

Marker: 10 years of the Town Hall Gallery Collection runs until January 4th, 2014 and highlights a decade of active collecting supported by the City of Boroondara. It focuses on the commitment of the gallery to the community in providing opportunities for engagement with the rich history of the area in new and innovative ways.

Artists include: John Brack, Eric Thake, Robert Clinch, Helen Maudsley, Matthew Sleeth, Selina Ou, Fred Williams and Alice Bale, amongst others. This exhibition has been supported by the Museums Australia (Victoria) Exhibition Grants and the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.

Hawthorn Arts Centre, easily reachable by public transport (Glenferrie Railway Station is nearby).

So French, so chic… French Xmas Market & Open Day, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8th December from 10am to 6pm.

The Alliance Française de Melbourne encourages and promotes French language and culture. It provides the means by which people can learn the French language and become engaged in the many different aspects of French culture including art, books, poetry, film, history, gastronomy, contemporary affairs, thoughts and ideas in a welcoming environment.

The Annual Christmas Market, at the Alliance Française de Melbourne’s Eildon Mansion, St Kilda, is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a French weekend without the usual twenty four hours flying time.  The two-day FREE event is family friendly and a fun destination for young and old.

This year’s tenth anniversary market will showcase French products sold or made by French designers living in Australia and offers a range of free activities which include a welcome drink, theatre/cabaret performances, food and wine, plus activities for children.

Alongside market stalls there will be French classes, theatre performances, kids’ activities, film screenings and French cabaret. Ooh la la! And don’t forget – Entry is free and it’s easy to travel from Melbourne’s CBD by public transport.

Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar Saturday 7th December from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 8th December from 11.30am to 4pm at the Swedish Church, 21 St Georges Road, Toorak.

After you’ve absorbed all that wonderful French culture why not try Swedish? This popular event is a showcase of Scandinavian arts, crafts and design in the beautiful surrounds of the Swedish Church in Toorak.

For two days you’ll have access to a wide range of imported textiles, handicrafts and glassware, as well as Scandinavian food and traditional Scandinavian entertainment. You can even win a trip for two people to Scandinavia. Admission is free but donations are welcome. 

Log on and Like their Facebook page now.

And now for some family freebies: Cinema Nights at Piazza Italia, Argyle Square, Lygon Street, Carlton. 

The outdoor film screenings are held from 6:30pm and seating is provided, however it is recommended families bring along a blanket.

In December Toy Story 3 will kick of proceedings, it will screen on December 3rd, the children’s favourite Ice Age 3 will screen on December 10th and there will be a double feature of the Easter themed comedy Hop and the live action feature Santa Clause 3 screening on December 17th.

This is Melbourne though folks, do also remember to check the weather conditions.

Merriment, music, films, video games, family portraits and secret picnic places – Melbourne’s Federation Square does Christmas a little bit differently! With its array of family-friendly events and activities, Fed Square’s free Christmas program Spirit of the Square is one of Melbourne’s great December traditions.

At Xmas Fed Square is taken over by a large public art installation of more than 100 Christmas trees by urban artists, The Projects.

They will also take a quirky photo of you and the family among the trees with free family portrait services every weekend, which is again free. They are there every Saturday from 12 noon to 4pm.

The month of December is also the season for free movies at Federation Square. Bring a blanket or pull up a deckchair and kick back and unwind with classic Christmas films as well as chart toppers on the Big Screen. The important dates to note are 3, 10, 11, 17, 18 and 21 December 2013, from 6:30pm onwards.

Federation Square is located opposite Flinders Street Railway Station’s Swanston Street entrance. They have a great range of events for you to check out.

So folks, lots to see and do around Marvellous Melbourne – we will be back soon with more sensational summer events.

Merry Merry!

Janet Walker, Special Features Victoria, The Culture Concept Circle, 2013



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