photo by Camilla Wilson / GW Photography and Onstage Pix at Impala and Peacock Tea house
TRAVELING MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA WITH STYLE!
SQUIZZY TAYLOR'S BALL NEW
Squizzy Taylor's Ball 2016 – Feathers on the dance floor
Oh golly, what a whoopee! Squizzy Taylor's Ball is an annual event of gangster drama and Gatsby-esque reminiscence not to be missed. Why would you let go a chance to join a massive dress-up party with unusual entertainment and a retro flair in it?! The hired actors brilliantly spread out amongst the “normal” folk (common, everybody gets a little bit mad with their 1920's - 1930's style outfits) will keep you wondering whether you are really time-travelling or having a funny dream. They seem so natural in their roles of the famous gangsters Squizzy Taylor and Harry Stokes, the legendary Two-Up King of 1920's Melbourne; Squizzy's girlfriend and brothel Madame Dolly with her pretty feathered-up blondes; his young protégé 'Shorty' and many more extras who make you hold on to your pockets and giggle nervously when approached with the compliments for your taste in jewelry.
Set up in a beautiful building of Fitzroy Cathedral Hall, the event went on from 7pm till very late at night. It was full of surprises and special guests. Honestly I believe everyone felt special and welcomed there. We saw so many happy faces – people were genuinely having fun, dancing and drinking and taking pictures in the huge luxurious bed with burlesque beauties. There was a dining room full of the lucky people who managed to snatch a bite. And for those left hungry, there were two beautiful gramophones pleasing the audience with the sounds of vintage music. Speak Easy, the vinyl’s collector and DJ, graciously swapped the discs filling the air with the ambience of the early XXs century.
Meanwhile another sort of magic was happening on stage with performances by stunning Marilyn Monroe’s double; strong Italian man balancing with his head on the turned upside down wine bottle settled on top of a boxes’ tower; suspender pants-clad songstress who managed to dance vigorously while singing, thus charging the crowd with immense energy. There were acrobats and aerial artistes, doing their risky tricks under the high ceilings of the cathedral. And of course, the Ball would not be this great without the fantastic dancers swinging and foxtroting to the tunes of sensational Dixieland Band all night long.
The dance room was full of hotsy-totsy flappers, lounge lizards and ritzy bimbos, some of them acting like a really big cheese; and altogether the party went on bee's knee's (could not resist some of the era’s slang – just hope I’m using it right )!
DAMIEN VOSk: THE AVERAGE NEW website review by Bryanna Reynolds.
It was refreshing to see someone like Damien perform in front of such an intimate crowd.
If you are one to visit the International comedy festival in Melbourne frequently you would be familiar with the wonderful places, artist and comedians have the chance to perform in. Damien’s performance was held at the Improv Conspiracy Theatre and it was the perfect place for the show. Although I hope in the future, more people can see Damien in a live performance or even maybe one day in films and TV shows because he has talent just waiting to be discovered.
The setting for Damien’s performance was cute and held the audience together close-knit. If you are looking for one of the next big refreshing acts to come out of this years comedy festival over the next couple of years I am certain that Damien will continue to please crowds and entertain around the clock.
I would recommend the show to anyone looking for a good night out with friends and family over 18 years of age. It is the perfect opportunity to get together, have a drink and sit back and be entertained.
Without giving too much away, Damien makes the audience question themselves and the world around them in a comedic, laidback fashion. I loved hearing about his observations the most and his analysis of the world that we live in.
Good luck to Damien in the future, I am sure he will be entertaining us for years to come.
UNITED WE DANCE BY ALISA NEW photos are review by Glen and Camilla Wilson at GW Photography and Onstage Pix website
United We dance
United we dance – a spectacular dance event held at `The Space` Dance & Arts Center Prahran. United We Dance featured a spectacular display of, Hip Hop,Bellydance, Bollywood, Ballet, Classical Indian and Colombian Dance! The event was organized by Alisa Nikitina and Anjali Sengupta, with stunning dance routines performed by students and teachers. The audience was treated to an amazing display of dance and color. The evening wrapped up with a mass Bollywood lesson where all the audience were encouraged onto the stage to strut their stuff – a finale unlike any I’ve ever seen at a dance performance before. This made for an unforgettable highlight.
The event was a fund raiser for ASHA Her Space, a charity supporting women who are abused in the sex workers industry, helping them out of exploitation. http://asha.space/her-space
I’ve been a dance photographer for 8 years and United We dance has been a highlight – Bollywood is just so much fun, it brings a huge sense of joy to the viewer – and I’ve never seen dancers smile so much.
WINE AND CHEESE FESTIVAL NEW website photos ad review by Glen Wilson
Wine & Cheese Festival 2016
This year’s wine & Cheese festival was held at the Meat Market heritage building North Melbourne. The overall atmosphere and layout of the new venue is a vast improvement over last year’s event held at the Williamstown maritime museum. As well as a great selection of Victoria’s finest wine and cheese makers, this year’s festival featured a much larger presence of food and condiment manufacturers. Products included cured meats, Handmade Chocolates, spices, dips & sauces, pastries – all perfect accompaniments for fine wine. Along with over 40 vendors the festival featured live jazz music and a kid’s area with plenty to keep the young ones amused. Pricing for the event is $24.00 for early ticket purchases or $30.00 at the door. Tastings are by the glass, purchased by tokens @$2.00 each. The Melbourne Wine and Cheese Festival is a great event for all lovers of fine wine & foods. If you haven’t been, make sure you add it to next year’s Calender.
If you want a great entertaining night out! Speakeasy HQ is the place to go. The new venue in Flinders St is amazing, and as soon as you walk in you have the feeling you are in for something special.
The cabaret/vaudeville feel is terrific and the various acts on show is diverse and interesting. Comedy, music, burlesque and magic are just some of the acts that are part of Speakeasy HQ. So authentic is the atmosphere, that anyone who has researched history or seen films about cabaret, is immediately transported back in time to the early 1930s berlin before the second world war broke out.
Berlin in the early 1930s was incredibly diverse and progressive and thrived with art and culture, especially vaudeville and cabaret.
Well done Roy Maloy for creating this sense of magic again in Melbourne!
I believe Joshua is a very talented artist with very pleasant personality who - no doubt - is extremely hard working considering the amount of paintings he has created being still such a young man . I loved his art set called Dark Phoenix which keeps audience's attention for quite a while. There is another amazing and quite promising set called Methamorphosis. Joshua uses his art works as prints for T-shirts, iPhone covers etc. His Methamorphosis series work perfectly well for this purpose and I believe will have its fans among younger and open minded audience who appreciate striking art-house style designs. Having said this his fans are mainly the younger people and he had a sensational young age and genuine crowd at the exhibition opening. The exhibition atmosphere was very relaxing and cozy with all the people who came to support Joshua's works. It is a great opportunity to have fun time and see Joshua's works at the same time. I highly recommend our readers to go to Club Voltaire Gallery and see Joshua's works.
NIKKI NOUVEAU: NO REGRETS NEW website photos and review: Kieran McNamara
Nikki Nouveau - "No Regrets - The Edith Piaf Story"
Last night we attended the Nikki Nouveau show "No Regrets - The Edith Piaf Story". It was a wonderful evening of beautiful music and singing mixed with Nikki providing some background stories about Edith Piaf in between the songs. The performance was beautiful and emotional with Nikki singing some songs in French and some in English. The stories were interesting and provided a glimpse into Edith Piaf's life and highlighted the challenges she had in her life growing up and in love. Nikki also provided some personal insights into her love of the music and French.
There was a nice moment with Nikki calling a member of the audience on to the stage for a quick dance and she also walked through the audience singing one of the songs. She also performed a tribute song to Marlene Dietrich who was great friends with Edith. It was beautiful listening to Nikki sing La Vie en Rose. Nikki kept the costumes simple and elegant with two different outfits. It was nice to see a performance of gentle, smooth, elegant and languid movement as Nikki performed, drawing the attention of the audience to her in a beautiful way.
What a great show in a beautiful and intimate venue at Speakeasy HQ on Flinders St, Melbourne. The Speakeasy HQ is a beautiful venue with an ornate curved ceiling and clean and crisp white ceiling decorations with a friendly and warm staff who also perform at the venue. We sat down at our table with the tables arranged in a semi circle around the stage.
The next show is on the 14th April and worth going to for a night of beautiful singing and entertainment so I recommend you purchase tickets for an emotional night of spectacular music and performance by Nikki.
BUGLE BOYS NEW website review: Irina Ivanova photos: Ina Parakhina
Bugle Boys – A Salute to the Andrews Sisters
Brilliant actors, warm atmosphere, rather kind jokes and endless positive energy – that’s how I would describe the performance of Bugle Boys in a few words.
The beauty of the cross-dressed singers was so striking, no legs were walked unnoticed. And my friend’s memory brought up the famous Ukranian pop-scene character Verka Serduchka, loved by many, who’s also a big fan of sparkly uniforms and large breasts, and also the proud owner of two fabulous pins (being a man off course)! There’s only one thing Verka’s missing that was the key in the Bugle Boys performance – fantastic voice! And I mean really fantastic female voice demonstrated splendidly by Maxene, performed by the fabulous Jon Jackson, who has an opera singer background. I was so impressed – I could not believe it’s possible for a guy (even cross-dressed) to have such a great soprano, especially considering his manly appearance and the personage’s drinking problem. The other “girls”, Patty and La Verne, played by Michael Dalton and Andrew Dessmann were accordingly the soul and the body of the trio. All three of them were so fabulous and cute, that even their sibling rivalry’s puns and squabble could not stop the adoring “awh”s.
Everybody in the audience was definitely having lots of fun and one guy at the back row could not stop laughing for a second (even when it wasn’t quite appropriate)! People were singing along with the Andrews Sisters’ best hits like “Drinking Rum and Coca-Cola”, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” And the famous song “I Wanna Be Loved” melted the coolest hearts.
It was a great pleasure to be a part of such a fun time shared with comedy-lovers of all ages. We truly enjoyed the stunning performance of the Bugle Boys trio, and promptly enrolled into their fan list, taking a picture with the boys-girls for the nice memories.
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL: Improvolicious NEW website review by Blue-Jayd Saffire
Improvolicious review. Ahhh, improv. Quite possibly the most difficult comedy to perform. Cassie and Ben devilered a high energy, fast moving and witty performance on the traps and trimmings of the internet and social media. Directed mostly at teens the show included plenty of audience participation with a few laughs for the older audience members. Ben and Cassie are very talented at what they do and i recommend seeing them in action as no two shows are the same.
MYSTIQUE - MAGIC AND ILLUSION SPECTACULAR SHOW WITH MICHAEL BOYD NEW website
photos and brief: Kieran McNamara
Mystique - Magic and Illusion Spectacular
Tonight was the first night in Melbourne of the Mystique magic and illusion spectacular featuring Michael Boyd. The show was excellent with a mix of magic, illusions, dance and audience participation. Several audience members were called on stage to help out during the show and there were some parts for a couple of kids from the audience to get up on stage. I enjoyed the story telling and the magic portions of the show. The dancing parts were interesting with either one or two female dancers and the two male dancers in various costumes that were bright and colourful.
There were some great illusions including levitation and my favourite was a table that floated off the floor and around the stage with the help of one of the children from the audience. There were plenty of laughs throughout the show and Michael had a lot of energy on stage and wondered into the audience a couple of times. The lighting and music was interesting and varied to add to the show.
The show also had Lawson Reeves and Cat Law perform with Lawson performing a few tricks which was entertaining. After the show, Michael, Lawson, Cat and the dancers were available for photos with the fans. Fun merchandise was available including magic kits and DVDs for those kids and adults that are interested and want to learn magic. It was nice to be able to enjoy a drink and some treats during the show and an intermission provided everyone with an opportunity to step out to the bar.
It is a family friendly show so take the kids along for some family fun and thoroughly entertaining. There is one more show in Melbourne at The Palms in Crown on Tues 29th March before the show travels to Jupiters Gold Coast on Sat 2nd April for two shows.
TRAVELLING WA: PERTH
20TH ANNUAL WA FASHION REWARDS CEREMONY NEW. website brief and photos: Manish Bolla
FREMANTLE label Morrison was named WA’s Designer of the Year at the 20th anniversary WA Fashion Awards at the State Theatre on Tuesday night.
Kylie Radford and Richard Poulson, the husband-and-wife team behind WA’s most successful label, also took out the $5000 Stephanie Quinlan Award.
Morrison, established in Fremantle in 2002, has 15 stores across Australia. “It’s not easy at times,” Ms Radford said. “At times it’s pretty bloody hard. But when our two boys put their little hands on me and say they are proud of me, it makes it all worthwhile”.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi presented the award in front of a crowd of more than 500 of WA’s fashion elite, media, bloggers and personalities.
Christine Fox, head of Vivien’s WA modelling agency, was recognised for her contribution to the local industry.
A plaque in her honour will be placed on the King Street Walk of Fame, near the site of the agency she opened in 1997 with Vivien’s founder Vivien Smith.
Fox has kickstarted the career of many household names, including Gemma Ward, Nicole Trunfio and Courtney Eaton. The last person to be inducted into the King Street Fashion Walk of Fame was Wheels & Dollbaby designer Melanie Greensmith in 2008.
Claudia Todman took out the STM Model of the Year award. The Chadwick model has walked for more than 20 shows at the New York, Paris and Milan fashion weeks over the past year. “It’s been a huge change from last year,” Todman said. “I especially loved walking for the men’s New York fashion week and experiencing a totally different scene”. Other winners included Teagan Sewell, STM’s former fashion editor, who was named Stylist of the Year, and regular STM fashion photographer Chantel Concei, who won Photographer of the Year.
Stephanie Caulier was awarded the Emerging Designer of the Year award for her label I Love Mr Mittens, while Varga Girl won Retailer of the Year.
Periscope was the winner of the inaugural Perth City Shoppers’ Choice Award. This year’s winners were selected by an industry judging panel that included stylist and PR consultant Zara Bryson, retailer Jessica Chisari, designers Megan Salmon and Sarah Watanabe and Telstra Perth Fashion Festival co-founder/FCWA Creative Director Mariella Harvey-Hanrahan.
WINNERS OF THE 20TH ANNUAL WESTERN AUSTRALIAN FASHION AWARDS: WA Designer of the Year: Morrison (Kylie Radford and Richard Poulson) Emerging Designer of the Year: I Love Mr Mittens (Stephanie Caulier) Retailer of the Year: Varga Girl (Leith Groves) Photographer of the Year: Chantel Concei Stylist of the Year: Teagan Sewell King St Fashion Walk of Fame: Christine Fox STM People’s Choice Model of the Year: Claudia Todman of Chadwick Models Perth City Shoppers’ Choice Award: Periscope (Shantha Cokis)
TRAVELING MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA
COMEDY FESTIVAL MELBOURNE: QUIZ IN MY PANTS NEW website review by Irina Ivanova
Quiz in My Pants: Hardcore Trivia
30th Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Melbourne is heading towards winter, and the weather’s getting colder, but the Comedy Festival will keep you warm with blankets of fiery pranks and fuzzy mischief.
This Wednesday night Melbourne’s hidden treasure The Butterfly Club welcomed its guests with an Adult-Only Trivia, red-head-mastered by popular Melbourne quiz host Cassie Vagliviello. Accompanied by a hot-blooded brunet
Rusty, the night mistress ruled out the gaps in SEX education of the amused audience. There were naked torsos and dirty talks, informative videos and sultry challenges – everything that a playful heart could wish for.
The Trivia winners get free drinks at the club’s bar, and all the rest enjoy their paid-up cocktails and lots of sparkly giggles. Quizzy might get lost in the frills of her fascinating costumes [by burlesque costumier Cherie Hewson – whoo-hoo for her!], but make sure to stay afloat on the streams of the saucy current. http://alwaysworkingartists.com.au
ROSIE WATERLAND SHOW: MY LIFE ON THE COUCH WITH VODKA NEW website photos and brief: Kieran mcNamara
Rosie Waterland - My Life On The Couch (With Vodka)
Tonight was the opening night of Rosie Waterland's My Life On The Couch (With Vodka) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and also her first ever live show. The show was at the Yarraville Club and had Rosie sitting on a couch on the stage drinking an overly strong vodka while describing interesting, funny and sometimes awkward stories of her life.
From the beginning of her father being on the run from bikie drug dealers, her parents drug, alcohol and mental health issues to her experience on Tinder, the stories are interesting and we experience the range of emotions from the happy, sad and tragic to her observations of her life so far. Her stories can be quite emotional as she is open and honest about some experiences that are quite painful. It was refreshing to see someone open and sharing but also providing some very funny insights with plenty of good laughs as well.
Rosie is also a writer and has a book called "the anti cool girl" which can be purchased and autographed by her after the show during the fans meet and greet. Rosie was great with her fans and happily posed for photos and chatted with them after the show. The show has two sessions on Saturday 26th March so be quick to see the show.
For Melbournians coffee is an important part of the daily routine. We can’t talk we can’t breathe without the morning coffee. That’s why The Melbourne International Coffee Expo makes a lot of sense. Café owners and baristas, distributors or independent roasters, equipment manufacturers, big or small, domestic or from overseas, they all had a meeting point: MICE 2016 Wandering around in the expo is hard not to notice everybody’s passion. I was really impressed with small roasters talking so proudly about their beans or with baristas offering you a freshly made coffee. Initially I thought that my main interest at the expo is the coffee itself, either brewed, grinded or roasted beans. After a short talk with one equipment distributor I realized the importance of the machines in achieving the best taste. Even though I politely explained my purpose there and that I might never be a customer for that type of equipment they were talking so passionately so it was impossible to refuse the chat. But it worth every second. I generally drink just one coffee a day but here I tried about 5 types of coffee (and 2 of tea) and was surprised how quickly time goes by. I was late afternoon just like that! I left the expo happy and alert (from 5 coffees) and promised myself that next year I should dedicate more than one day for this event. Eugene Pitulice, 18th March 2016
YOUNG AND HARDY: POLICE COPS! NEW review and photos by Kieran McNamara website
Tonight was the first performance of Police Cops outside the UK with a three man cast at the Kelvin Club in Melbourne. It is a part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and was a high energy show. The story is about a guy avenging the death of his brother. The story was entertaining and fun and there were a lot of pop culture references from the 1970s and 1980s cop shows.
It was fun seeing the physical comedy, tossing props across the stage to each other and the quick changes at the side of the stage. Quite a physical work out as they jumped, danced and ran across the stage while delivering witty and clever lines. Plenty of action with dancing and fight scenes with interesting use of props adding plenty of laughs and enjoyment for the audience.
I was lucky enough to be able to take photos during the performance so I hope you can see how dynamic and action packed the show was. A great show and I highly recommend purchasing tickets and going along for a very entertaining and well performed show. The show runs from 23 March - 16 April. COMEDY FESTIVAL WEBSITE FOR DETAILS AND TICKETS
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FLOWER AND GARDEN SHOW 2016 NEW website
Dates: March 16-20
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is considered one of the biggest and the most spectacular in the world. For the last 21 years flower and garden lovers from all over the world were sharing the experiences with Melbournians and city international guests. This year as usual it takes place at Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens and offers so much to see and do. There is a Great Hall of Flowers full of breathtaking floral designs. You can also buy flowers direct from growers in this section. There is a Children’s Garden for those of you who visit the show with the whole family. There is a RMIT Floral Fashion Competition where most of the photographers snap, snap and snap. There are also design workshops, ikebana exhibitions, bonsai gardens, beds of tulips, roses and chrysanthemums. One of my fav are begonias - the flowers of so many hues and so happy looking ones. There is an exhibition of green arches where girls stop and enjoy the past memories or the future to come. But my most favourite of all is landscape designs aka Show Gardens:
with each year this display ground gets better and better. More and more sophisticated, sensational designs complimented by water-fountains, smaller and bigger ponds, waterfalls, sculpture-features, exotic plants and flowers and so on and so on are exposed to the pleasantly surprised public. One can see many photographers next to these boutique and lovely mini-gardens. This is the art of the landscaping in its ultimate shape. Australian nature and climate are so rich and rewarding for the masters of this art to create and show off their skills. The designers are also very lucky to have a wonderful choice of plants and flowers to supplement the rolling mini-hills and to color the hidden garden corners. Some yards on the show are so lush and enormous it will require photographers to take several snaps of its parts in order to capture these green mini-estates in all their lavish beauty.
It is a long day out so be prepared to walk walk and explore for three or four hours Please also check: Gardens by Twilight.
IMPALA AND PEACOCK TEA HOUSE NEW website press release by Camilla Wilson
Impala and Peacock tea house Impala and peacock Tea house is located at 558 Sydney rd, Opening hours Sunday – Monday 10 -6 Tuesday- Friday 1pm -6 pm. Saturday Private high tea showers only
I was privileged to be asked to photograph and review this little gem of a place, looking forward with great anticipation for the long awaited day to arrive. The Impala and peacock as expected did not disappoint. It has been open over a year now and the owner Sarah who though young, has an impressive knowledge of all things tea. She takes great pride in both her gorgeous tea house and sharing her knowledge and passion with interested cliental. Tea drinking has a culture all of its own, which is obvious from even just a glance around this unique place, with its impressive array of teas and equipment which you can purchase to continue the dining experience at home. As a new convert to the world of tea drinking, I was in awe and intrigued at the variety of teas, tisares and the ceremony of tea drinking. I particularly loved that the tea came in glass pots, so that the beautiful colors were on display, and were presented upon glass warmers which both added to the classy presentation and the experience of keeping the tea at a perfect temperature. We were greeted by Amy, who was lovely, helpful, attentative and very approachable. She was very accommodating, and professional with an extensive knowledge, which she was more than happy to share. I usually associate high tea with fancy restaurants and a stuffy atmosphere however I was delighted with the relaxed and inviting atmosphere, coupled with simple but stylish decor. The most note worthy of which is a giant breathtaking vintage chandelier encased in a metal orb which is stunning and quite a sight to behold. The atmosphere is very warm and welcoming and the highly trained staff were always on hand to answer any questions or to be of assistance. On the day we went we were treated to high tea, a scrumptious selection of sweet and savory offerings, and fresh fruit complimented by delicious tea matching. We started off our afternoon’s adventure with Golden bud and Brunswick breakfast tea to enjoy with the savory tier. Golden bud was delightfully rich and light, delicately refreshing with hints of malt, caramel and honey overtones. It’s comforting, moorish flavor was complimented perfectly with the rich tangy mushroom, stuffed with Quinoa and salsa verde. The homemade frittata was perfectly cooked, smooth, and flavorsome with a light texture, perfectly moist yet firm. The Brunswick breakfast tea was a great choice to match with both the beetroot, pumpkin and feta sandwiches which in and of themselves I found had perfectly complimenting flavors and also with the traditional cucumber sandwiches which were light, with the addition of a delicate cream cheese, with ribbons of cucumber mixed well with the subtle flavor of dill as a accompaniment. Next we moved on to my favorite part of any meal, the desserts, and I was in for a real treat. First off we tried the Passion fruit, lemon and coconut slice which I can only describe as to die for! This is a definite attraction all on its own and the only down side is that it is very moorish, and a potential addiction, so dieters beware! This delightful, tangy, sweet, smooth, creamy dessert encompassed multi flavors and textures all in one, I strongly suggest you try it for yourself. The flourless orange cake was delicate, light in texture, had a full zesty flavor and was a fantastic match with Invigorate a recharging tisane, this warming, soothing drink with definite mango, orange and peppercorn overtones was a match made in heaven. The Aromatherapy tea we enjoyed was a good match with the more subtle flavors of traditional scones with jam and cream. Aromatherapy is a blend of peppermint, spearmint and lemon grass amongst other refreshing, invigorating, flavors. The scones were light, paired with delicious sharp, tangy, mouth watering raspberry jam and fluffy whipped cream. Very satisfying indeed. Our incredible afternoon was completed by a fresh array of seasonal fruit which I enjoyed immensely whilst sipping the piece de resistance ‘Blooming tea’. For anyone who has not yet tried this incredible, beautiful to behold, delightfully light, comforting , white tea and jasmine flower which definitely does hit the flowery notes, is certainly missing out. So without spoiling the excitement I will not disclose any more, but take my word for it, popping down to the Impala and Peacock is a definite must to try this tea and many other delights. They have absolutely won me over. I will be revisiting this gorgeous, tea house many more times in the near future. Thank you Impala and Peacock for an amazing and memorable afternoon. Camilla Wilson photos and breief: Camilla Wilson at GW Photography & onstage pix http://gwphotography.pixieset.com/
ELEANOR'S STORY: AN AMERICAN GIRL IN HITLER'S GERMANY website review by Kieran McNamara Bohemian Rhapsody Club is very grateful to Kieran for this brief, the performers, the play management team, Encore PR and personally Lynda Buckley for this opportunity .
Here are my words from the excellent show last night and I’ve attached the photos that Lynda provided:
Eleanor's Story: An American Girl in Hitler's Germany
Last night we attended the opening night of Eleanor's Story: An American Girl in Hitler's Germany at Chapel Off Chapel in The Loft. Ingrid Garner created and stars in the 60 minute show which is based on her Grandmother's life when at 9 years old, Eleanor and her family left New York bound for Germany just prior to the Second World War.
The show consists of Ingrid, two chairs and a foot locker and these are all used to represent different environments in a simple and effective manner. There is also a mix of voice over and a slideshow projected onto the wall on the back of the stage of photos that show elements of the story as it progresses. Ingrid does a wonderful job of presenting an engaging and emotional story with a mix of emotions with the occasional laugh as well. I felt the show represented very accurately the emotional story that was being shared with us.
The show is 60 minutes long and the pace was just right with Ingrid portraying multiple characters in an interesting way. From Eleanor to her brother and parents, it was clear who was being represented without creating any confusion. We had a glimpse of the vulnerable and naive Eleanor. Her development during the war due to her experiences and conditions from the point of view of someone living through such a horrendous period with the challenges of lack of food, basic utilities, distrust amongst the population, rumours of horrors to come and the bombing and shelling with the threat of death.
It was a very powerful and moving story and especially interesting for me was that it was created by Ingrid about her Grandmother. It's an interesting and engaging story and worth going to see. The play covers a period of her life but the autobiography written by Eleanor includes more stories and experiences so for those who want more, they can read it. A very enjoyable and thought provoking story told by a regular person of their experiences. I highly recommend attending the show before it closes on Sunday 20 March.
JURASSIC CREATURES: THE ICE AGE EXHIBITION website review by Natasha Aksenova Bohemian Rhapsody Club is very grateful to the organisers , PR and Marketing Team and personally to Katerina Dassios for this opportunity for our media team to review the show.
EXPLORE AN ANCIENT WORLD! My kids were waiting Jurassic Creatures event for two weeks. Eventually we attended on 12.3.16. Girls woke up by themselves at 7 am in order not to be late as the event was suposed to start at 10 am in Docklands. What an amazing experience was it for the kids; both entertaining and educational! Jurassic creatures are not stationary, they are moving! You will be impressed with how Prehistoric Creatures are displayed! There are games, music and lights that are so unforgettable! The snowflakes were falling from the "sky" and reminded us the winters in Russia! My kids were provided with an expert digger outfit before chipping away to unearth their fossils - what a fun activity! Me met Buddy and Tiny from Dinosaur Train and saw them during an exciting onstage show! We also had a chance to get photographed with them! Kids enjoyed some art and craft actvities as there were so many different things to do for them. They created some awesome dinosaur art pictures and were very proud of their work. We also saw fossil displays. Moreover, you can buy very good quality food and drinks at the exhibition! My kids liked it too! Chips and hotdogs were a great delight for the addiion to the fun! The chairs an the table were nice and comfortable to seat and dine! As a bonus, there were outside amusement activities which made my kids jump with even more excitement (please come and check it out for yourself!). On the way home my kids were counting their presents as they won them in some activities and asked me to come back there one ore time. Absolutely definitely: the JURASSIC CREATURES is better to see that to talk about!.
MELBOURNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: AN ALPINE SYMPHONY website review by Sylvester Kroyherr
REVIEW OF CONCERT BY THE MELBOURNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – ‘An Alpine Symphony’ GIVEN AT THE HAMER HALL, Arts Centre Melbourne on 11/3/2016. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis, Soloist: Ray Chen (Violin), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus conducted by Anthony Pasquill PROGRAMME: Vaughan Williams – ‘Serenade to Music’, Tchaikovsky – ‘Violin Concerto in D’, Richard Strauss: ‘An Alpine Symphony’.
In a perfect setting, the packed audience buzzed with high expectations of a grand concert. With a mighty Chorus back-staging the Orchestra, the ‘Serenade to Music’ began serenely with some beautiful work on the violin by Concertmaster Dale Barltrop followed by rich harmonies from the Choir. As we followed ‘The Merchant of Venice’ text from Shakespeare, the music enfolded a variety of feelings with great balance and musical power from the full ensemble. Although the piece was only 15 minutes and reflected sadness (reflections of the horrors of WW1), we were touched by the uplifting rich blend of the strings and the harp. Sir Andrew Davis’ conducting was impeccable, bringing out the essence of the composer’s intentions of colourful musicality that concluded in calm and gentleness – helped along by the hall’s excellent acoustics! Full marks also to Anthony Pasquill.
The intricate and melodic Violin Concerto by Tchaikovsky followed with Ray Chen taking command in a rich, lyrical and well controlled manner, blending tunefully with the dynamic orchestra and showing superb balance. Great connection between Soloist and conductor! The Cadenza by Ray was absolutely captivating that showed off not just his virtuosity, but the full richness of his ‘Joachim’ Stradivarius violin dating from 1715. The slow and beautiful second movement followed, known as ‘Canzonetta’ that changed into a G minor key and apart from some well rounded and heartfelt work from the soloist, we took delight in the wonderful interplay from the flutes. With a well delivered ending, the piece continued directly into the vivacious second movement (Finale) without a break. The excitement intensified with solid support from the woodwind section supporting some energetic and highly complex passages by Ray Chen, adding to a rich fusion, integration and embellishment by the orchestra. It was clear to see the bonding connection between the conductor and soloist ending the concerto with style, flair and magnificent intensity. Following rapturous applause, we were treated to an encore of two solo pieces – Caprice 21 by Paganini and a Rondo by Bach – both played with great virtuosity and accuracy. Besides the above, the audience delighted in Ray’s sense of humour and confident manner. A most memorable performance all round! Following the interval, the orchestra regrouped to form a huge ensemble of over 110 musicians including eight double bases, ten cellos, a heckelphone (an oboe like instrument but pitched an octave lower), a wind machine, cowbells and even a thunder machine! The 22 continuous movements of the ‘Alpine Symphony’ describe musically, a full day of adventures in the Alps from dusk till dawn, drawing on Richard Strauss’ own experiences – travelling through forests, waterfalls, meadows, pastures, thickets and glaciers to reach the summit of a stormy mountain and eventually tackling the descent. Having so many continuous movements, some as short as 1-2 minutes, it was difficult for the general audience to distinguish all the sections throughout the 50 minute performance. Although the orchestra delivered a sensitive but powerful interpretation, a visual backdrop of scenery would have made a huge impact. The piece can be described as a massive tone poem, unlike some of the works by Liszt like ‘Les Preludes “which is much sorter. There was also some influences from Wagner sprinkled within the piece. However; this unique work was expertly performed by the orchestra led by Dale Barltrop and under the superb direction of Sir Andrew Davis. A terrific set of concerts! by SYLVESTER KROYHERR (Singer/Musician/Architect).14 March 2016
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA EXHIBITION: 200 YEARS OF AUSTRALIAN FASHION website press release by Irina Ivanova
What is Australian Fashion? Symposium 200 Years of Australian Fashion Exhibition @NGV Australia, Ian Potter Centre
Really, what is it, genuine Australian Fashion? Is there such a thing? Does it have its own identity? Or is it just a copy of European and American brands? Are we tasteless or kitsch? Do we have anything of our own, the embodiment of Australian culture represented in its own symbolic fashion? Are we satisfied with the quality of rag trade publications, retail outlets, and fashion events? What do we think about the image of Australian fashion around the world? Do our upcoming designers get enough support? What does globalisation do to the industry? Do our fashion institutions provide their students with up-to-date business techniques and marketing tools?
These were some of the questions covered during the ‘What is Australian Fashion?’ Symposium. The speakers’ panel included leading Australian fashion designers, NGV curators, fashion historians and researchers, editors of famous glossy magazines such as Vogue Australia and i-D Australia, executives of Melbourne fashion runways, and managers of the city central retail outlets. The commentators were exploring the history and future of producing, presenting and promoting of Australian Fashion, its challenges and opportunities.
After the enthralling talk the visitors were offered a chance to view the newest NGV exhibition of 200 Years of Australian Fashion witch will be held in Ian Potter Centre until 31 July. This was truly a captivating experience, something not to be missed. Attention to all the Melbournian fashionistas, history lovers, art admirers, dressmakers, retail workers, aspiring designers, visual artists and many more! This is where you can trace the development of Australian fashion trade over the two centuries and grasp the creations of leading local designers in all the intricate details.
How did Australian fashion change over decades? What influences did it have? Who are the most celebrated local designers? Are we ready for reincarnation of the renowned fashion apostles such as Flamingo Park place or Georges department store? NGV Australia’s exhibition ‘200 Years of Australian Fashion‘ explores the changes in our fashion landscape, its milestones and the future of the rag trade development. Stay tuned for more details, and make time to visit the exhibition, because it’s really worth it!
Bohemian Rhapsody Club is very grateful to Keiko for this exclusive invite and the opporunity to cover the exhibition opening and to Manish for beautiful photos.
LOVE JUNKYARD JAZZ BAND CONCERT website review by Sylvester Kroyherr
REVIEW OF GIG GIVEN BY ‘LOVE JUNKYARD’ AT BRIDIE O’REILEY’S, BRUNSWICK
ON SUNDAY 6 MARCH 2016, AS PART OF THE BRUNWICK MUSIC FESTIVAL. The Band: Leesa Farrugia – Vocals, Rob Davies – Electric Guitar, Matthew Arnold – Violin.
Despite the buzzing pub atmosphere, the band swung into their first ten numbers with confidence, displaying their range of mainly original material. The song about ‘Keys’ (and losing them) had excellent drive and generated a ‘bluesy’ aroma. This was followed by ‘You’ll find Love’ that showcased the lyrical side of Leesa, complemented by some terrific work from Rob and Matt. The third offering was Leesa’s composition about long term relationships – a penetrating performance from Leesa that embraced a pensive, sad and melodious flavour complimented expertly by well improvised solo fiddling from Matt. With a change of pace, the band took us back to the 60’s with Donovan’s ‘Sunshine Superman’ – a very original interpretation full of bounce and drive ( it would have brought back some memories to a few). In the next number (‘Walking in Slow Motion’), the band’s strong cohesion was very expressive that gave us an interesting and touching insight into feelings retrospective to WW1. Jumping to the late sixties, the notable Jimi Hendrix song ‘Up from the Skies’ was given new life. Depicting the concerns of an Extraterrestrial visiting Earth, the band’s delivery was superb – notably the brilliant rhythmic drive from Rob. Following the Jimi Hendrix experience, we were treated to a most beautiful song composed my Leesa about her daughter (Taylor) called ‘Planet Girl’. The pretty and flowing song in a minor key expressed melancholic feelings of love and caring. After cruising through the captivating ‘Just Start Believing’, another original composition followed called ‘Gypsy Love’. The atmosphere of the desert came to life supported by some magnificent work from Matt with a great solo, featuring distortions and special effects. To finish off, ‘Voodoo Child’ came to life. With a fusion of rock and blues, this was a fitting ending, again with some a superlative violin solo work from Matt. So, how do we sum up the Band? Fresh, inventive, soulful, pulsating, lyrical, exploratory, interesting, engaging, coherent and lastly a musical force worth listening to! Thank you for the opportunity to see you and talk to you before and after the event. However, Love Junkyard deserves a more focused audience that steers away from a ‘Pub setting’. I wish the Band a successful future, producing many more engaging and meaningful original songs to follow. Look forward to tracking and attending future events. Sylvester Kroyherr (Musician/Singer/Architect). 8/3/2016
ZELMAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA website review by Sylvester Kroyherr
REVIEW OF CONCERT BY THE ZELMAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – ‘Winter Daydreams’ GIVEN AT XAVIER COLLEGE on (5/3/2016) – Conductor: Mark Shiell, Soloist: Hoang Pham (Piano) Venue: Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre. Bohemian Rhapsody Club is very grateful to Zelman Symphony Orchestra PR and Marketing Team and George Deutsch and Holly Hayes personally for this opportunity and immaculate organisation skills
Following an informative pre concert introduction by Mark Shiell who engaged a young Tchaikovsky in conversation (acted out by cellist d’Artagnan Skendzic), the fascination grew from the packed audience in expectation of a Tchaikovsky rich evening. The powerful start to the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1 enraptured everyone in a sense of sheer command and control, embellishing passion and brilliance. Virtuosity showed not just from the soloist but the flutist Carol Galea, delivering a wonderful blend of harmonious musical essence. Worthy of mention was the terrific cadenza performed by Hoang that left us speechless in its musical cohesion and spirit. The second movement again revelled in a beautiful flute introduction, so gentle and sweet! Hoang moved further into his creative interpretation and flurry, producing a greatly expressive and gentle ending to the movement. The next and final movement set off in a very energetic fashion braced with intensity and flavoursome musicality. The audience were at their seat’s edge – expectations of a big and powerful ending. Following a superb cadenza solo, the awaited explosive ending was no surprise, but the ecstatic audience was enraptured and calling for an encore. To conclude the first half, Hoang gifted the audience with two beautiful Chopin Nocturnes delivered in a pensive and masterful manner. Congratulations to a rising talent with great sensitivity, musical backbone and intensity. The energetic and nurtured direction of conductor Mark Shiell continued in the second half presenting Symphony No 1 by Tchaikovsky – Winter Daydreams. With a dreamy start, the energy bubbled with excitement - a wonderful interplay between the strings and woodwind. The inventiveness and traits of Tchaikovsky’s genius showed its presence as the orchestra nurtured his folk filled melodies. With the second movement – Land of Desolation, the orchestra provided a serene string introduction. Praises to the oboe, flute and clarinet sections that created a melodious combination that eventually ended in a gentle and serene ending by the full orchestra. Intricacy and delicacy started the third movement that flowed into a waltz which demonstrated the smooth interplay and coordination between the strings and woodwind. As for the final movement, the quiet and gentle beginning flowered into bloom with flavoursome harmonies, especially from the strings. To conclude, the audience was treated to a finale blended with rich and full bodied harmonious musicality – an outcome to give satisfaction to all at this musical event! Full marks to Mark Shiell and the Zelman Symphony Orchestra, as we look forward to future events in 2016 and beyond. A very enjoyable and enriching concert to start the New Year – congratulations to everyone, including all the volunteers! SYLVESTER KROYHERR (Singer/Musician/Architect) 8 March 2016
The idea of this production is quite brave: there are not professional actresses taken for this project and united by the idea of also not professional theater director. I believe it was scary to go ahead with such project. But it works marvelous! Not for one minute we, the audience were doubting in any "un-professionalism", on the contrary: we all were surprised by the highly skilled performance of all 5 Women! When I say not professional I of course mean that they did not graduate from any of the theatrical institution nor they are educated stage-wise: they were simply taught by Life and picked up by the good eyes of the theater director.
This production is a self- realisation of the theater director and it is manifested in an unusual performance with seemingly no obvious plot - the "story line" is presented without any words pronounced, but nevertheless in no silence: the sounds are everywhere around the viewer. You can call this production surrealistic but I would not do it. It is more realistic than reality. There are multiple situations happening on the stage. We recognise them and guess what is going on. The performance reminds you on a pantomime rather than your common classical theater.
The features of women's life are revealed in all their bright beauty and even brighter ugliness at the same time: gossips, arguments, competition, behavioral patterns, boredom, love for colorful clothes and so much more. The 5 Women freely express those special ways the women are perceived by the society
They are all different: young, middle age, intelligent, simple, tall and short, they play with sensationally fine plasticity and grace and expressive body language at the same time: they move free around the stage as they belong there. They are One Woman in Many.
What was missing apart from all these warm words that we wanted to say? Probably the main core that we could not catch up perhaps, the core that would unite all single "falling apart" episodes in One Whole Picture. We also believe the ending should be more powerful with an accent on that core. But perhaps it just went by unnoticed by us... perhaps we did not grasp this.
FASHION WEEK LAS VEGAS behind the scenes snapshots by Corina Stefan website
FWLV Runway director, Russell Frank made a short presentation of 2 designer collections : SARAKARAY (Kenya) and MALANSKI (New York).
Sarakaray is a bold, exquisite, out of the box, high end clothing line based in Nairobi, Kenya with aims to become a global brand. With a strong eye for tailoring and fit, the clothing line aims to create outfits that compliment every size. Sarakaray believes that every figure can look good in a custom made outfit at the hand of a creative designer. Sarakaray line is runway couture to street inspired.
Malanski Swim Collection Malanski refreshingly fuses edgy contemporary trends with the traditional garment. Hand-stitched beading, luxurious soft leather, elegant textiles, feathers, sequins, and exquisite designs make each custom corset unique. “Executed with care and elegance, the aesthetics combine a traditional structured frame with modern and daring details that accentuate a woman so delicately. I wanted to bring fashion to sexy.”
TRAVELLING NSW AND SYDNEY
MEATSTOCK FESTIVAL SYDNEY
press release and photos by Lewis Benge. website Bohemian Rhapsody Club is very grateful to Jay Beaumont at Meatstock Marketing Management for the opportunity to review this event
Meat, Beards, Smoke.. Welcome to MeatStock! Sunday 14th February, wasn’t just day of love for the die-hard carnivorous folk of Sydney, but it also saw Sydney Showground host the inaugural MeatStock event. The American-inspired BBQ festival saw thousands of visitors come along to witness teams from around the world compete in competitions across BBQ styles, butchers, and barbers; and certainly the weekends heat was no match for some of the culinary delights being presented and offered to the judges of the event. BBQ in Australia has long been seen as a grill-only style affair, but after spending a couple of hours watching masters in their culinary fields go through the process of preparing long cooks, using old-school cuts of meat such as brisket and ribs once seen as wastage, and techniques such as smoking, rubs, and various ingenious BBQ designs you quickly start to appreciate the skill and passion the American culture has invested into the BBQ techniques. It wasn’t the teams from Louisiana, or the other US contingents that where leading the way however. The majority of teams where Aussies, standing proud, having not only mastered the techniques, but introducing their own twists and creative flair allowing the competition which was not only being heated by the hot coals, and sunny weather. The food being produced by these teams was extraordinary, and getting to sample slow roasted meat that could be pulled apart in your fingers, or beef that could be cut like a hot knife through butter was an amazing experience for any foodie. The BBQ kings where not the only meaty part of the show. The butcher wars, running in parallel to the BBQ cook-offs where incredibly enjoyable. The traditional butcher is once again becoming a more prominent high-street affair in our towns across the state, and it’s great to see the artisan professions being able to compete on a central stage with hundreds of people cheering them on. The challenge was set with multiple butchers on stage having to cut down and prepare large sides of pork and lamb. You get a true sense of profession when you witness the knife, butchery, and food presentation skills these individuals have to go about on a day to day basis being performed under a condensed time pressure with multiple judges, and a watchful audience peering on. The meatiness of the event kept on flowing with a great amount of vendors offering tasty treats, as well as gourmet sauces, rubs, and what can only be described as BBQ magic available to trial and purchase. Overall the MeatStock experience was a foodie delight that I wouldn’t have expected Sydney to have executed so well. The event was well organised, and had great attendance, and it is likely it will only get bigger, better, and meatier in 2017.
TRAVELLING MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA
NATALIE VOLYANSKA BELLY DANCING ST KILDA MUSIC FESTIVAL review by Irina Ivanova
Belly Danceingon St Kilda Shore Bursts out with Love
This Valentine’s Day was very special for me indeed!
The morning I spent with my darling husband having the most fantastic brekkie in our local café [The Garden of Good and Evil, Cheltenham]. Then we picked up our kids from my mother who’s always happy to have them for a sleepover, so lucky for us! Together we browsed through the rows of local produce in the Cheltenham Rotary Market and surely found some awesome bargains and tremendous treasures, including the superb “Lucky Dips” from the loveliest lady who sells them for only $1 each and has a variety of age and gender groups available. They’re great for a surprise gift for the kid you love!
Our midday was about meeting friends and children’s parties. And in the evening I caught up with another belly-dance lover to go to the Oriental Queens Bellydance performance at the St Kilda Music Festival. We couldn’t believe how many people there were! As I heard on the radio later it was about 40,400!! No wonder it was hard to find a parking spot.
Well, our aim was to grab some happy middle-eastern vibes and do some shimmy. And OH we did! The performers were breathtaking in their vibrant colourful costumes. The cheerful music instantly made the crowd dance in joy. There was not a soul who could resist participating in the belly dance workshop, and certainly there were lines of people wanting to join the dancing club afterwards. The fascinating show and beautiful smiles of performers have charged the folk for good. Floating silks and sexy lycra, sparkly jewelry and opulent makeup, vivacious melodies and the whole atmosphere of life celebration – these are the things that make me LOVE belly dance! And one more thing: it’s absolutely great for both women and men (!) at any age, size or shape.
So why don’t you try it out? Come join us for the upcoming 6-week belly dance course with Alisa Bellydancer, to be held in South Yarra studio, commencing on the 27th of February. More information ask Irina Ivanova where you can learn Belly Dancing. Irina Ivanova / Natalie Volyanska
ANOTHER OTHER website review by Jennifer Zaman Bohemian Rhapsody Club is very grateful to Imbi Neeme, program coordinator at Chamber Made Opera and Ben Starick at Starling PR for the opportunity to review this production
ANOTHER OTHER: BODIES OF MATERIAL
An exceptional form of Opera it was-“Another Other”, commissioned by Chamber Made Opera! Watching the show gave out the sense of watching short images of scattered movies emanating from several screens at the same time. This unconventional form of opera creates an illusion with different sets of abstract images and music-both pre-recorded and live. There is no continuous story-telling, just in case anyone’s expecting it; rather it is a symbolic adaptation of the movie “Persona” , a 1966 black and white Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman with the sheer aid of intelligent lighting, sound and pieces of abstract images, all spun together to present an experience unheard of. “Persona” revolves around the cynical story of a young nurse named Alma (Bibi Andersson) and her patient, a well-known stage actress named Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullmann), who suddenly ceased to speak.
The music of the opera is pre-dominantly dark holding within its fold a sinister atmosphere which vividly represents the bleakness of the story in the movie. “Persona” was graded as a psychological drama and a major contribution to the 20th century cinema and the opera manages to keep up to this repute.
The Opera is a real time re-creation of the then master-piece (Persona) with all the performers i.e. Natasha Anderson, Sabina Maselli, Anthony Pateras and Erkki Veltheim blending in their best skills and expertise right in front of the audiences to present a show which, most likely, is somewhat of a pseudo-opera, yet it keeps one wondering about the dream-like and surreal miracle that art, technology, music, lights and cinema can together create over and over again. It is a walk away from traditional Opera and opens up a new era of modern art in its myriad forms.
An in-depth understanding of the Opera can be derived from the words spoken by one of its performing artists Erkki Veltheim.
Here is an excerpt from the interview with Erkki Veltheim, the Violinist and Artistic Associate for Chamber Made Opera:
Jennifer Zaman (JZ): What made you opt for this unconventional mode of Opera rather than the tradition ones? Erkki: Well I guess “us “as Artists and Chamber Made Opera as a company, are interested in finding new ways to visualise sound and vision and I believe the opera format we interpret is a very open way. As Artists at the Chamber Made Opera we believe that this is the original multi-media art form and I suppose the creative mission of this Opera is to push the boundaries of what we can regard as Opera. We are hoping that the people coming to watch this shows wonder what Opera can be and can do and we think they would ask the question as to what can be considered as Opera. As to Natasha, Anthony and I, we come from music background and we are all composers, performers and improvisers and we all work with electro-acoustic music as well and Sabina a visual artist and works with installation, film and video. So, this work is very much to do with us combining our specific disciplines in a way that we think fits Chamber Made Opera’s creative direction.
JZ: What was your inspiration behind this act? Erkki: This particular show took inspiration from the Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona”. We are interested in this film. It is from 1966 and it’s got its 50th birthday this year and it comes from a very modernist time and film-maker. This particular film was quite a radical piece of cinema at that time because it really questioned what cinema can do and within it has interwoven this critique of cinema as an art form as well as what art can do. The other thing that we were interested in was this idea of identity being a malleable thing; identity is almost like wearing a mask that you can change and can recognise the fluidity of your ego and identity. So, they are the two things- self-critique of art and critique of identity that Bergman was talking about in “Persona”, that interested us and we think that those are still relevant 50 years on. In the way that Bergman made “Persona” was this kind of de-constructive thing that we think of as the creation of post-modernism. We are interested in de-construction of the film at itself and also our own disciplines as well. Opera is an art form and so we try to stick to certain kind of formulas, principles like the film had; we stick very much to the structure of the film which are the scenes and the temporal structures but then each scene we interpret in a very free way so you get this strange combination of informal and very free elements or we have improvised those spontaneous elements.
JZ: What were you thinking when you made this act, in terms of being able to grab attention of the audience with something so different? Erkki: We tried to look at the broad theme of “Persona” as a film and when we looked at each scenes of the film we tried to communicate our interpretation on a more abstract, aesthetic or physical level. This film itself has this kind of fractures in the narrative but as for us we wanted to deal with the material in a way that we were holding to communicate in a very direct aesthetic way. So, the one thing that we decided very early on was that the visual in our show would represent one character in the film “Elisabet” who is mute and the sonic would represent the other character Alma, the nurse. We set up this dramatic kind of structure between the sound and the visuals and then we tried to find different ways that the visuals and the sounds could be set so there is hierarchy between each other; so sometimes the sound dominates and sometimes the visuals. And within each we try to find ways to represent how we felt about each scene in a phenomenological way so to create a certain kind of atmosphere or certain kind of fracture, for instance.
JZ: What was the idea behind the dark music; how well did you think would it go with the story? Erkki: The film itself is a very dark; I mean there are moments of... I would not say comedy but of relief as well. It is quite a serious film and very formal. So, I supposed we are trying to capture that ascent of the film but also we did want to have elements of this kind of dark comic moments because a lot of those questions that Bergman was dealing with, we are taking it from a distance and we can have a laugh at it and that sometimes ridiculing serious things could take you somewhere, like comedy itself, however dark. It’s often a tool for discovering perspective on something very serious.
JZ: What role has technology to play in this act? Erkki: The whole show runs to a clock that is driven by one of the computers and it is very much tied to that measurement of time. There are pre-recorded elements of the video and audio which are very mechanical and they are tied to this clock. And then within that we have live performances in which we play in a more free way. We still follow the structure but of course, when you play live things can happen that you cannot predict. So, we have got this tension between the pre-recorded and live material which adds a new tension of this game, this idea, a critique of modernism which tries to be very formal and symmetrical but then real life does not play along that game. So, as artists, we keep complicating or jeopardizing the workings of the machine. We look at ourselves very much as the operators of these machines that we brought to life any way.
JZ: Would you like to call this the ‘modern’ Opera? Erkki: I would almost say that it is post-modern Opera in a way, in the sense that it de-constructs the way Opera works and de-constructs the art form.
JZ: I would categorise this Opera as “unconventional”. What do you think should the audience have in their minds when they come to watch such shows and what can they take from here? Erkki: They would be happy to allow the unconventional performance; it is unconventional right from the beginning; the way the seating banks are organised and the screens that separate the audience. It is kind of an invitation to enter this new world which, hopefully, is a multi-sensory one for the audience. If they come with an open mind, open eyes and open ears I would hope that they would be taken on a trip that they are not quite sure where it is going and that they are happy to experience the ride. That is the kind of idea.
JZ: How long does it take for you all to prepare for a show? Erkki: We spent 3 weeks developing it in 2014 and then we spent another couple of days before previous season at the end of 2014. And then this year we spent another few weeks just re-visiting and doing more developments. The time in between is as important as the time we spend working on it because it gives us a chance to reflect on the show and for new ideas to develop. So, possibly when we do it again it will be different, yet again!
JZ: So, what is your next project? Erkki: (chuckles) I have not thought about it yet. Let me finish this one first. Ask me again on Monday. Hopefully we will do something together very soon.