Spring in Marvellous Melbourne 2 – Janet Walker Muses

Okay, so Marvellous Melbourne’s spring weather (particularly after dark) has been a little chilly and you don’t feel like going out –  no problem with the events listed below though; they’re all undercover, so rain, hail (sometimes does this time of year in MM) or shine if you venture out you’ll be warm, dry and having fun.

I am delighted to announce that in September and October, The National Trust will open Como House for guided night-time tours. A Melbourne icon, The National Trust closure of Como public tours through lack of funding has been a tragedy for both Melbournites and visitors to Victoria.

Built in 1847, heritage listed, Como House and Garden is an intriguing mix of Australian Regency and classic Italianate architecture. Established by Edward Eyre Williams as a new home for himself and his wife Jessie Gibbon, Como has been immersed in glamour and romance since its early beginnings. A romantic tale suggests that Edward had proposed to Jessie at Lake Como in Italy, and they named their new home in honour of this happy occasion.

Members of the Melbourne colonial elite, Edward and Jessie hosted many a gathering in the elegant interiors or outside in the extensive landscaped gardens. The couple and their four children, however, did not reside at the property for long, selling it in 1852.

There were two other owners who enjoyed the luxurious accommodation Como House provides before the Armytage family purchased it in 1864; Charles Armytage with his wife Caroline, raised ten children in its gracious surroundings. Charles and Caroline’s family and their descendants were to remain at Como for over 95 years, until they handed it over to the National Trust in 1959 to preserve a beautiful representation of colonial Victoria and its prosperity.

The house, still furnished with Armytage family furniture, provides a glimpse into the lives and times of a dynasty.

Como’s Night Tour focuses on past residents and events in the house and offers a completely different experience to a day time tour. You can view Como by flickering light and hear the history of the house as well as anecdotes from staff and visitors about their experiences of the more unusual happenings on the property.

The lamp lit tours are kept to small groups to ensure participants can truly absorb the ambiance and make their own decisions about the haunted nature of the property! Bookings are required for night-time tours

National Trust
Cnr of Williams Rd and Lechlade Ave, South Yarra

Tour Dates and Time: September 18 & 25, 2013 and October 16 & 23, 2013 – 6.30pm – 7.45pm

Arrive at the Gatehouse on cnr Williams Road and Lechlade Avenue 15 minutes before start time.

For more information call The National Trust Bookings Office on 03 9656 9889 or email [email protected] To book online click here.

Melbourne Opera Company Ltd was founded in 2002 as a not-for-profit public arts company dedicated to producing opera and associated art forms at realistic prices. And you know what? They do just that.

Their current production of Verdi’s La Traviata, features: leading International soprano Antoinette Halloran, as the doomed courtesan Violetta and Melbourne favourite, tenor, Roy Best shares the role of Alfredo with Sam Sakker.

True to the Melbourne Opera’s charter, A Reserve tickets are on offer at amazingly low prices. For more info click here  http://www.melbourneopera.com/buy-tickets

Opera is life lived large, the final act (particularly if the composer’s Italian) nearly always means the death of the main character who expires while singing an aria.

Tone exquisite and of exceptional clarity, the soon-to-be-deceased is accompanied in song by the chief mourner (usually a current amour) and an orchestra of skilled musicians (love those violins).  

La Traviata or The Strayed Woman is no exception. An opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, it is based on La dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. The libretto has an upbeat beginning, the orchestrations and arias, wonderfully melodic. Things, though, don’t pan out for Violetta and Alfredo, her main man – the final act, sung with pathos and great beauty is an orchestrated tearjerker… absolutely adore it.

Melbourne Opera has toured regional and interstate venues since its very first production in 2003 and is now second only to the national company as the most active opera company in Australia. This has been achieved relying entirely upon philanthropic support. Let’s give Melbourne Opera much needed support by attending one of the performances listed below:

Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne

September 18, 20 at 7:30pm, 15 and 22 matinee – 3:00 pm

Bookings: (03) 9650 1500 or 13 28 49 and www.ticketek.com.au

Alexander Theatre, Monash Uni

Friday October 11 – 8:00pm

Bookings: Monash.edu.au/mapa/ or (03) 9905 1111

We gave you some insight into the fabulous Melbourne Festival last week, now here’s another Festival date to diarise:

Wendy and Sebabtso looking at test shots © Pete Maune

Making Models: The Collaborative Art of Wendy Ewald

Award-winning American photographer Wendy Ewald is coming to Australia to present an inspiring model for creativity.

‘For more than forty years, Wendy Ewald has been making art with children, families and teachers in countries across the world, from the US and Colombia to India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Both artist and educator, Ewald embraces the principles of experiential learning. Using pictures to teach children and teaching children to take pictures, she combines their astonishing images with her own, and adds their rich, colourful and often poignant stories of coming to terms with situations of social conflict and rapid change.

Melbourne Festival presents Ewald’s work in Australia for the very first time with an extensive photographic survey that spans four decades and four continents.

A remarkable and utterly unique body of work, we see how Ewald has learned to recognise what other people see, the questions their visions ask of the world and, finally, how to allow their perceptions to surface with her own.’

The above is from The Melbourne Festival Program guide and not only does the event look really interesting, interestingly, it’s free.

Join Wendy Ewald on Saturday 12 October for a walk-through of the exhibition, as she discusses her unique collaborative artistic process and her experiences working with communities across the globe.

For more info click here

Panthu Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory – Elements of Light

Melbourne Recital Centre – Elisabeth Murdoch Hall

A remarkable show deserves a remarkable support performance, in this case by Oval (aka Marcus Popp).

Regarded as the godfather of glitch, Oval’s legendary early album releases sent shock waves through the 90’s electronic landscape. After a long hiatus, Oval is back to change the game all over again, with a new, ground-breaking hyper-real style.

Pantha du Prince and The Bell Laboratory is presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and Melbourne Music Week in association with the Goethe-Institut.

This event sounds like nothing I have experienced before and I have to admit that ‘glitch’ and I have not been introduced but I do love percussion: marimba, xylophone and cymbals – seriously wonderful instruments that don’t often get the attention they deserve. I’m feeling well disposed to this show… definitely interested.

The following comes from the desk of the MRC publicist.

‘Elements of Light is an unusual live concert developed in collaboration with Oslo’s The Bell Laboratory. The project explores the intersection between electronica and classical composition in a 40-minute “symphony” of bells, percussion and electronics. Created for a Norwegian music festival, Elements of Light has since toured the world and been recorded for respected indie label, Rough Trade Records.

A visual and sonic spectacle, Pantha Du Prince and the six-member group The Bell Laboratory coax magical sounds out of gongs, large and small bells, and a swathe of tuned percussion instruments including marimba. xylophone and cymbals. Centred on the enveloping ambience of the bells, Elements of Light explores their resonance layered with organically-created electronic textures and beats in an unbroken, continually-developing 40 minutes of music. ‘

The sublime acoustic and stunning surrounds of Melbourne Recital Centre’s Elisabeth Murdoch Hall is the best place to hear the gorgeous music of this world-renowned producer.

Panthu Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory – Elements of Light

Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
Monday 18 November 6.30pm

Click here http://www.melbournerecital.com.au for more info

PS: Hint for all Australians and International Tourists – an umbrella and a sweater or cardigan make good companions all year round in Melbourne.

Janet Walker, Super Sleuthing in Spring, The Culture Concept Circle 2013


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