Category: MUSIC

Bringing music to people with Live At Yours

Live At The Great Lendvay lowres

For centuries, people of all cultures have gathered in places of worship to share the joy of music. Live at Yours is an artist-led organisation that brings local and international classical artists to audiences across Australia. Founded by husband-and-wife duo Vladimir Fanshil and Eleanor Lyons during the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative aimed to provide a safe and intimate setting for live music. Their mission is simple – to connect audiences of diverse backgrounds, including various religions, nationalities, and occupations. Next month, Live at Yours will present events featuring Konstantin Shamray, Midnight in Paris, and Andrey Gugnin at Sydney’s Great Synagogue and Melbourne’s Toorak Synagogue. These venues, usually closed to the public, offer a unique blend of historical significance and architectural beauty, serving as a time capsule of humanity, music, connection, and culture. The organisation’s programming approach combines the casual tradition of the 19th-century European salon with contemporary local influences, making classical music accessible and appealing to a wide array of audiences. Live at Yours’ upcoming events promise to be an incredible and unique experience, showcasing renowned artists and captivating performances in extraordinary settings. If you’re interested in learning more or attending an event, complimentary tickets can be arranged, ensuring a memorable and enchanting experience. Full 2024 program:  Live at Yours is an artist-led organisation that presents local and international classical artists to thousands across Australia.

Experience the magic of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers at Sydney Town Hall

man tuxed oBrett Weymark. Photography by Keith Saunders

As part of Sydney Festival 2022, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs presented a sellout season of Night of the Soul in the majestic ambience of The Cutaway at Barangaroo. The audience, comfortably reclined on yoga mats and cushions, was immersed in a live performance against a backdrop of towering columns and ancient sandstone walls, resonating with sonic choral beauty. In 2024, this magic will be revisited with a rare performance of one of the most sublime a cappella works ever written—Sergei Rachmaninoff’s hauntingly beautiful All-Night Vigil (also known as his Vespers). This sublime concert will be presented in a specially crafted, dream-like environment at Sydney’s iconic Town Hall, on Saturday, July 20. Much like the 2022 experience, the audience will be invited to find the sweet spot between active listening and meditation. The exceptional voices of over 100 singers from the Choirs’ renowned Symphony Chorus will unite as a living, breathing instrument, interspersed with solos from special guests: mezzo-soprano Hannah Fraser, tenor Louis Hurley, and saxophonist Nicholas Russoniello. For this immersive performance, conductor and Artistic Director Brett Weymark has reimagined Sydney Town Hall, creating a unique acoustic environment by removing much of the ground floor seating. The choir will be positioned centrally, surrounded on all four sides by yoga mats where attendees can recline, letting the sumptuous music wash over them. Traditional seating will also be available around the perimeter, on stage, and in the galleries. Best known for his heart-achingly beautiful piano concertos and lush symphonies featured in films like Brief Encounter and Shine, Rachmaninoff had… Read More

Jazz in Sydney at The Rocks Square

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Immerse yourself in an enchanting evening of jazz every Thursday at The Rocks Square, where the vibrant sounds of Australian jazz fill the air under twinkling lights. This captivating new programme, curated by SIMA, brings together the coolest and most creative talents from the local jazz scene, promising a sonic adventure you won’t want to miss. Picture this: mingling with your mates, catching up after work, or making new friends as you sip on refreshing cocktails from Hickson House. The jazzy tunes provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and connection, making it an evening to remember. Best of all, Jazz Sessions is free to attend! You can unwind and savour the music without spending a penny. Whether you’re looking for a delightful post-dinner treat or an engaging after-work activity, this is your go-to event. Rain or shine, the music plays on – join us under the stars at The Rocks Square, or head to 6-8 Atherden St just a two-minute walk away if the weather takes a turn. Let the rhythm move you and experience the magic of Jazz Sessions at The Rocks Square. Mark your calendars and get ready to be swept away by the soulful sounds of Australia’s finest jazz artists! More info at the website. Here are the remaining shows:

Sydney orchestra gets a new world famous player

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Renowned for his mesmerising rendition of Les Baricades Mistérieuses and Jean-François Tapray’s variation of Rameau’s Les Sauvages, the talented harpsichord virtuoso Justin is poised to captivate audiences with his artistry. Collaborating with celebrated designer Trent Suidgeest, known for his immersive and theatrical styling inspired by the opulence of the Château de Versailles, Justin promises a performance that transcends mere music. A musical masterpiece comes to life Co-founder and Artistic Director of the renowned ensemble, Paul Dyer, expresses his anticipation for Justin’s Australian debut on the Brandenburg stage. Recognizing Justin as an exceptional performer and a true master of the harpsichord despite his youth, Dyer sets the stage for an unforgettable evening of musical excellence. The grandeur of the Bach’s Concerto for Four Harpsichords, with Justin joined by Neal and Anthony, promises a symphonic experience like no other. The artistry of Justin unveiled With a repertoire that includes intricate pieces like Les Baricades Mistérieuses and Les Sauvages, Justin’s mastery of the harpsichord shines through in every note. His interpretation of these Baroque classics, combined with his innovative flair, transports audiences to a realm of musical sophistication and emotional depth. Collaborating with fellow musicians of exceptional calibre, Justin elevates the performance to new heights, promising a harmonious fusion of talent and creativity. A stylistic symphony inspired by history Under the artistic vision of Trent Suidgeest, the performance takes on a transformative quality, drawing inspiration from the grandeur and elegance of the Château de Versailles. Suidgeest’s immersive and theatrical styling imbues the concert with a visual richness that… Read More

Opera Australia doing 500 tickets for $35

Opera Australia stage

Opera Australia is rolling out the red carpet for younger audiences with its innovative Opera for Under 35s program! A fresh initiative that aims to breathe new life into the traditional art form of opera. In a bold move to attract a younger demographic, OA is offering an enticing deal of 500 tickets priced at just $35 each. This special offer marks the launch of a program dedicated to making opera more accessible and appealing to the under-35 crowd, starting with the Australian premiere of Edward Dick’s acclaimed production of Tosca. Scheduled to mesmerise audiences firstly in Melbourne at the Margaret Court Arena on May 24, followed by a season at the iconic Sydney Opera House starting June 25, Tosca is set to be a landmark event. This initiative is not merely about offering discounted tickets; it’s a comprehensive program designed to cultivate a deeper appreciation for opera among young Australians. Registrants of the program can look forward to a 15% discount on tickets to most OA performances year-round, alongside exclusive further discounts for select shows, with some tickets available at the low price of $35. Additionally, members will receive invitations to special behind-the-scenes events including meet-and-greets with artists, all at no additional cost. Jo Davies, OA’s new Artistic Director, expresses her excitement about the program, highlighting it as a strategic move to lower financial barriers and make opera accessible to all, especially during tough economic times. This approach not only preserves but also propels the art form forward by ensuring it remains relevant and… Read More

New orchestral series for Australia: Baroque Kaleidoscope

orchestra Vivaldi Performance foto Keith Saunders

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO), a beacon of Australia’s early music scene, is set to awe audiences with its upcoming Baroque Kaleidoscope concert series. Scheduled to unfold at Sydney’s illustrious City Recital Hall from 3 – 8 May, before gracing Melbourne Recital Centre from 9 – 12 May, these performances are a testament to the Orchestra’s dedication to both historical authenticity and innovative musical expression. At the heart of this series lies a meticulously chosen repertoire featuring immortal works by Vivaldi, Telemann, Handel, and their distinguished contemporaries. In what promises to be a transcendent homage to the Baroque period, the ABO ventures back to its origins. The concert series aims to spotlight the fervour and extraordinary adeptness of Brandenburg’s principal musicians. Attendees can look forward to renditions of widely celebrated compositions, including Handel’s lively “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,” and a captivating concerto for two violins from Vivaldi’s acclaimed L’estro Armonico. The stage will be graced by luminaries such as Shaun Lee-Chen, the internationally acclaimed Concertmaster whose renditions as a soloist have garnered widespread admiration, notably in last year’s Gloria & The Four Seasons. Equally distinguished are Principal Second Baroque Violin Ben Dollman and Principal Baroque Flute Melissa Farrow, each having enriched the Brandenburg ensemble with over two decades of expertise. Adding to the ensemble’s distinguished lineup, Adam Masters, recently coronated as Principal Baroque Oboe, will deliver a special performance of an Albinoni concerto. Masters’ unconventional path to music, transitioning from a decade-long career in medicine to pursuing his passion in Baroque oboe… Read More

Sydney Philharmonia does Elijah this season

Conductor orchestra choir

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs is delighted to announce a monumental performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah, featuring the internationally renowned operatic baritone, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, in the lead role. This singular event, scheduled for 7pm on Saturday, May 18, at the iconic Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, promises to be an unforgettable evening of music and drama. Under the direction of the esteemed Brett Weymark, audiences will experience the old testament tale of Elijah, brought to life through Mendelssohn’s profound musical composition. At the heart of this performance is Teddy Tahu Rhodes, whose voice has captivated audiences across the globe for its “velvet like richness” and “great resonance,” aspects that have earned him accolades including the ARIA, Helpmann, and Limelight awards. Artistic Director Brett Weymark expressed his enthusiasm, noting that for the role of Elijah, “only one name comes to mind – Teddy Tahu Rhodes.” This performance not only showcases Rhodes’ magnificent talent but also embodies the grandeur of 19th-century music-making, enriched with the emotional depth and humanity that Mendelssohn embedded in his work. Elijah remains a masterpiece, celebrated for its penetrating exploration of human determination and faith, played out through its captivating orchestration and choral arrangements. This production by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, employing the powerful combination of a 400-voice Festival Chorus and a cast of exceptional soloists, is designed to mesmerize the audience with every note and emotion conveyed. Beyond the enthralling music, this event is a unique opportunity to witness a cast of established and emerging talents, including Celeste Lazarenko, Sian Sharp, Andrew Goodwin,… Read More

Boy Blue leads National Youth Dance Company

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Get ready to witness a thrilling fusion of talent, creativity, and innovation as Boy Blue, the Olivier Award-winning hip hop dance theatre company, steps into the spotlight as the next Guest Artistic Director of National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) for 2024/25. This electrifying partnership promises to redefine the boundaries of hip hop dance theatre and nurture the next generation of young artists, setting the stage for an exhilarating journey into the world of dance. Founded in East London in 2001 by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy, Boy Blue has been a trailblazing force, shaping the landscape of hip hop dance theatre across the UK. Their unwavering commitment to empowering young individuals to carve out their own narratives and express themselves through dance has left an indelible mark, with thousands of aspiring talents benefitting from their educational initiatives. The ethos of Boy Blue, encapsulated by the 3 E’s – ‘Education, Enlightenment, and Entertainment’, resonates deeply within their work. Emancipation of Expressionism, a creation by Boy Blue, is now integrated into the GCSE dance syllabus, exemplifying their dedication to educating and inspiring young minds through the art of dance. Renowned for their acclaimed productions such as the Olivier Award-winning Pied Piper and Blak Whyte Gray, Boy Blue’s influence extends beyond the stage. Their collaboration with director Danny Boyle on Free Your Mind, a reimagining of The Matrix, and Sandy’s choreography for the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony underscore their prowess as visionary creators. Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy expressed his honor in nurturing young artists, emphasizing… Read More

Les Femmes new music in Sydney

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Prepare to be swept away by the magnetic allure of Les Femmes – an all-female musical ensemble comprising former ‘The Voice’ contestants, exuding sophistication, charm, and pure entertainment. This vibrant trio is not just a musical act; it’s an immersive experience paying tribute to the legendary male artists who have left an indelible mark on the world of music. Les Femmes will be gracing the stage at Cardea Bar in Sydney throughout February and March, promising an unforgettable evening of live music, delectable dining, and innovative cocktails. Get ready to indulge in an evening of revelry and musical magic while immersing yourself in the opulent, elegant, and old-world charm that Cardea is renowned for. Details:

West Side Story on Sydney Harbour

Opera Australia West Side Story HOSH fireworks

Get ready for an electrifying, larger-than-life experience as Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour brings back the iconic musical, West Side Story, to its spectacular stage in 2024. This highly anticipated production will showcase the greatest score ever written and promises to be a musical masterpiece like no other. Opera Australia (OA) has recently announced the two talented Australian performers who will take on the lead roles of Tony and Maria in this limited 4-week season. Making her professional theatrical debut as Maria is the award-winning First Nations soprano, Nina Korbe. Joining her as Tony is the Canberra-born tenor, Billy Bourchier, fresh from his acclaimed performances in OA’s Miss Saigon. Jo Davies, Opera Australia’s Artistic Director, expressed her excitement about the casting, stating, “We are so excited to have these two fabulous Australian talents lead this production, audiences are going to be thrilled by their talent and energy on stage.” The full cast, which will be announced soon, promises to be a diverse range of extraordinary talents from both the opera and musical theatre worlds. The production of West Side Story on Sydney Harbour premiered in 2019 to outstanding acclaim and remains the most successful of all Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour productions. This year, audiences will once again be treated to nightly fireworks, a live orchestra, and a breathtaking performance on Australia’s largest outdoor stage, boasting sweeping city and harbor views. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has truly become a quintessential cultural experience in Sydney. Nina Korbe, a proud Koa, Kuku Yalanji, and Wakka Wakka… Read More