Friday, April 19, 2013

Circus Oz Under-Construction

The weather was undecided, the hard-hatted media had to negotiate building site puddles, but the Circus OZ troupe didn’t miss a beat when they posed for the cameras in Melbourne yesterday ahead of World Circus Day on Saturday 20th of April.

And Circus Oz has several reasons to skite. The company, that has become something of an Australian institution, is back from its US Tour that included five weeks of standing ovations in New York. In the company’s 35th year, Cranked Up will open in its hometown of Melbourne in June, before moving into a brand new home in Johnston Street Collingwood. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10 Ideas for the Queen's Birthday

At Eastertime we have hot cross buns, easter eggs, and religious ritual.

On Labour Day we have fireworks and a parade.

ANZAC Day is the annual march, the war memorial ceremony, and consumption of ANZAC biscuits.

Melbourne Cup Day we stop to watch a horse race, although it may be the only time in the year we do so.

And Christmas, of all days that is the public holiday loaded with the greatest number of personal rituals.

But what of the Queen's Birthday?

My lighthearted suggestions for commemorating the Queen's Birthday holiday are now published by Weekend Notes. Read the article here.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: A Masked Ball (Opera Australia)

Giuseppe Verdi

Any Verdi opera promises to be a feast of lavish music, with voices, costumes and set design to match.  We have come for the music, for the endlessly soaring melodies, and for the grand spectacle typical of the late Romantic period.

Soloists, Mexican Diego Tore (Gustave III), Hungarian Csilla Boross (Amelia) and Argentinian born baritone Jose Carbo (Count Ankarstrom), were warmly received, as was home grown talent Lorina Gore (Oscar) who thrilled with exquisite coloratura.

The dramatic highlight, below the gibbet towards the close of Act II, was the realisation of an intensely sinister overtone.

Orchestra Victoria, under the sensitive baton of Andres Molino, was silky smooth.

But all this was very nearly swamped. While I appreciate the artistic intention in contemporising this work through costumes and set design, it’s cold austerity failed to elicit any kind of empathy with the players, and occasionally distracted from the main event - the music. Continue reading on the Stage Whispers site here.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum Kabul

Image Courtesy Melbourne Museum
In the latest temporary exhibition at Melbourne Museum comes this collection with a story as compelling as its exhibits.

Smuggled away from the museum and into vaults by a small number of museum staff, these 230 precious items were saved from bombing and looting.

Read my exhibition review here

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