MonthApril 2019

Pete Smith, Deborah Perrow and John Pratt – The Crossing

Strathnairn Arts Gallery 1, 90 Stockdill Drive Holt
 2 –26 May, 2019
Official opening by Rob Painter 11.30am, Saturday 4  May

The concept for this exhibition of mixed media collages created by Deborah Perrow and John Pratt came from a gift.

In 2017, Deborah was given 12 sketches of Lake George by the late Canberra artist Pete Smith and invited by his partner to use them in ‘whatever way you wish’.

Listen to an interview with Deborah Perrow and John Pratt
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Canberra Opera – Letters: Scribed and Sung

Wesley Music Centre at 2.30pm on Sunday 12 May 2019
Soprano Louise Keast, Mezzo Naomi Flatman and tenor Asher Reichmann accompanied by pianist Ella Luhtasaari

In this recital, Canberra Opera features excerpts from Italian, French, German and Russian operas in the form of letter scenes. This opportunity to focus on character will provide a rich platform for the singers – what better way to delve into emotions like love, despair, anger and joy than through the theatrical device of the letter.

Listen to Barbie’s interview with Louise Keast

Works by Mozart, Verdi, Nicolai and Tchaikovsky.

ANU Choral Society – Gloria!

Sunday 19 May 2019 at 5pm
St Peter’s Lutheran Church, 6 Boolee St, Reid ACT

The ANU Choral Society (SCUNA) is proud to launch their 2019 concert season with Gloria!, a dynamic celebration of two favourite Baroque composers.

Conducted by Leonard Weiss and accompanied by the versatile pianist Anthony Smith, who will fulfil roles as both harpsichordist and organist during the performance, the choir will be joined by the SCUNA Orchestra, which includes many of Canberra’s top musicians.

Listen to an interview with Lenny Weiss
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Ausdance ACT – Dance week

27 April to 5 May 2019
Launch event Monday 29 April 6pm

Each year the Ausdance network celebrates and promotes dance in all its forms during Australian Dance Week with the aim of raising awareness of professional dance and dance in the community, and to celebrate its diversity.

This year marks a series of anniversaries and several of these significant milestones will be celebrated during Australian Dance Week.

  • Dr Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM celebrates the 30th anniversary of Mirramu Creative Arts Centre and invites all of those who have been part of these wonderful years to a weekend of shared creativity.
  • 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the Canberra International Music Festival. CIMF will present the world premiere of English Baroque with Circa.  

Many local studios and arts centres offer free, trial and taster dance classes during Dance Week. Experience a Dance for Wellbeing Class at Belconnen Arts Centre, immerse yourself in the world of high hop with a week of free classes at Project Beats Dance Studio, try a counter technique class with Ausdance ACT or an afternoon of folk dancing with Canberra International Folk Dancing Association.

The Dance Week launch event is on Monday 29t April 6pm, free but booking required due to limited capacity via Eventbrite

Information at on Facebook.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music

Townsville, 26 July to 4 August 2019

Under the artistic direction of Kathryn Stott, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music presents more than 30 musicians from around the world 

There are 25 concerts and five special events, including the hugely popular morning conversations, twilight concerts, full-length evening concerts, as well as a magical concert on the beach of Orpheus Island and one on Magnetic Island. Masterclasses also form part of the program.

Barbie talks to festival artistic director, Kathryn Stott
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Geoff Page – Elegy for Emily: A Verse Biography of Emily Remler (1957 – 1990)

Puncher and Wattmann, Australia 2019

With beguiling rhythm and cadence Geoff Page tells the story – or parts thereof – of the short life of jazz guitarist Emily Remler. This is a sad story of a life gone too quickly and marries Page’s passion for poetry as a storytelling form with his love for jazz.

The work is a set of 24 glimpses into parts of Emily Remler’s life from a small child to her death. Geoff Page found what he could, mainly on the internet, to piece together a story that feels surprisingly full.

Barbie speaks with Geoff Page
Continue Reading“Geoff Page – Elegy for Emily: A Verse Biography of Emily Remler (1957 – 1990)”

Natasha Lester – The French photographer

Hachette Australia 2019

The French Photographer is the fourth of Natasha Lester’s historical fiction novels. Like the previous book, The Paris Seamstress, it has historical and contemporary story lines running parallel and intersecting.

The story begins in New York in 1942 with fashion model and our future war photojournalist heroine Jessica May. It moves to the European war front and the focus is then strongly on both the horrors of war and the extraordinary efforts of women like her to be allowed to operate in an arena previously reserved for men. Much of the future action shines a light on the effects of war on women, whether it be as professional correspondents or as victims of war atrocities.

Listen to Barbie’s interview with Natasha Lester
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Bettina Ehrlich – The Goat Boy

Second edition published by For Pity Sake Publishing, 2019
First published by Oxford University Press 1965

This is the second in a series of picture books by the late Austrian artist Bettina Ehrlich to be re-published by For Pity Sake Publishing.

Working from the artist’s originals, the company has brought these books back to life for a new generation of children and their parents. The original books are much loved possessions of For Pity Sake founder Jennifer McDonald’s family, so much so that FPS obtained the rights to re-publish a series of them.

The Goat Boy is a tale within a tale. Miss Patricia Higgins who teaches German in an English girls. School goes to Austria for her holiday to practice the German language and enjoy the mountain scenery. Whist on her walk one day she encounters an elderly gentleman, who recounts the story of Toni, a goat boy who must take his family’s herd to the mountain pastures each day to graze.

He is a very good child but suffers from a terrible fear of thunderstorms. And it is this that brings him undone for he is caught in a storm one day and flees, losing three of the herd. However, a touch of magic, in the form of a naiad, saves the day for Toni.

We are left to wonder if the story may also bring something magic into the lives of Miss Higgins and the elderly gentleman.

Bettina Ehrlich tells her stories with a delicate touch, with great empathy for her characters and with deceptively simple, graphic prose. These are stories to be read aloud to children and grandchildren many times, searching in the pictures for details and in the layers of the story for secrets and nuances.

Sarah Ford: BE A UNICORN, & live life on the bright side

Illustrated by Anita Mangan
Spruce, an Hachette UK Company, 2017

I received this charming little bright pink book as a gift, possibly prompted by my recent habit of signing off my texts with three unicorn emojis (since visiting the Lady and the Unicorn exhibition at Art Gallery of NSW last year).

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Michaela Burger – Exposing Edith

The Spiegel Tent Canberra
Thursday 18 April 2019 at 6.30pm

Nominated for a Helpmann Award, this critically acclaimed show charts the life of French icon, Edith Piaf.  Created and performed by Michaela Burger [vocals] and Greg Wain [guitar], Exposing Edith is a stunning mix of authentic French chanson and contemporary sounds.

Hear an interview with Michaela Burger
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Four Winds Easter Festival 2019: wrap-up

Updated 24 April 2019

Now well established as one of the two annual festivals in the Four Winds’ year long program, the Easter festival in Bermagui and surrounds this year gave patrons a delicious musical feast.

Living Arts Canberra attended as media guests the full day program in the sound shell on Saturday and the half day on Sunday. We sincerely thank the Four Winds for their generous hosting, fine organisation and inspired programming.

Listen to Barbie’s interviews with Executive Director of Four Winds David Francis, composer/pianist Elena Kats-Chernin, and pianist/conductor Stefan Vladar. We’ll shortly also have interviews with Artistic Director James Crabbe with scholarship holder Nyah Cockle, and lutenist Jakob Lindberg.

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National Folk Festival

Queensland harp player Elska

Exhibition Park In Canberra
Easter 2019 Thursday 18 to Monday 22 April

The National Folk Festival has had a permanent Canberra home since 1992 and the 2019 iteration brings its faithful audience music, dance and spoken word in the now customary relaxed and joyous atmosphere. Hear from some of the performers below.

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