Category: ARTS & CULTURE

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Unveils Exciting 2024 Season

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The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra has recently announced its highly anticipated 2024 Season, a diverse and dynamic program of live concert series set to take place at Sydney’s City Recital Hall and Melbourne Recital Hall. The upcoming season promises to captivate audiences with theatrical performances and innovative interpretations of the best of Baroque music. One of the highlights of the 2024 Season is the inclusion of renowned international guest artists who will be making their Australian debut alongside the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. French harpsichordist Justin Taylor, Japanese soprano Yukie Sato, and Italian fortepianist Francesco Corti are among the talented musicians set to grace the stage and add an extra layer of brilliance to the performances. Paul Dyer, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, expressed his excitement about the upcoming season, stating, “Our 2024 season continues the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s bold mission to excite, to honour, to reinvent and to reignite the energy of early music.” He further emphasized the range of musical experiences the audience can expect, from the harmonious voices of a full orchestra to the intimate performances of next-generation soloists. Co-Founder and Managing Director Bruce Applebaum also shared his enthusiasm, inviting both loyal fans and newcomers to join the orchestra on this exciting journey. He encouraged audiences to be ready to be engaged, uplifted, moved, and renewed, suggesting that the 2024 season would challenge preconceptions and reward curiosity. The season kicks off with “Notre-Dame,” a moving tribute to the iconic cathedral’s enduring spirit as a hub of musical innovation. This concert… Read More

Affordable Art Fair Returns to Australia’s Cultural Capital

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Mark your calendars for the much-awaited return of the Affordable Art Fair, the world’s largest art fair organiser, to Australia’s cultural capital. From Thursday, 31 August to Sunday, 3 September 2023, the fair will take over the world-heritage-listed and recently restored Royal Exhibition Building with a program set to surprise and delight art lovers. Over the course of four days, visitors can explore the vast collections of original works from more than 50 of Australia’s top boutique galleries. Moreover, they will be treated to live painting sessions, interactive workshops, and vibrant installations. The fair provides a unique opportunity for collectors and art enthusiasts to engage directly with featured artists and gallery owners. Each piece of contemporary art on display is priced under $10,000, making art ownership accessible to all. Featuring thousands of never-before-seen pieces, this year’s gallery line-up boasts some of Australia’s best regional, suburban and city galleries, with 22 making their Fair debut. Returning favourites include Salt Contemporary, Bluethumb, Tits & Co, Antoinette Ferwerda Gallery, and JUMBLED. First-time exhibitors under the Royal Exhibition Building dome include Outre Gallery, Martine Gallery, Ubu Deco, and Jackson Pensa Price Collective, among others. Adding to the line-up is one of the longest-running Aboriginal-owned galleries, Warlukurlangu Artists. Based in the Northern Territory, they will present a series of works, with 100% of sales going back to the organisation. Georgia Huestis, the Fair’s newly appointed Melbourne Director, expressed her delight at the return of the fair, promising a dynamic four-day event filled with show-stopping installations and thousands of works from… Read More

Sydney Fringe Festival is back: here’s what’s on

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The Sydney Fringe Festival, the largest independent arts festival in the city, has revealed its spectacular lineup for 2023. The festival, which spans the entire month of September, will feature over 400 events and 12 festival hubs throughout the city. Notable highlights include a special performance by iconic Australian band Rogue Traders for Fringe Ignite, along with a vast array of local and international shows presented across the Made in Sydney and the Touring Hub segments. For the first time, the Sydney Dance Company will host the inaugural Fringe Dance Hub, while the pioneering micro-festival LIMITLESS returns to celebrate the creativity of d/Deaf and disabled artists. The festival kicks off on 2nd September with Fringe Ignite in The Rocks, a free street party featuring the best of Fringe comedy, cabaret, music, dance and more. The streets will come alive with artists performing amidst the historic cobblestone laneways and sandstone buildings, with the Rogue Traders headlining the event at the Argyle mainstage. The Sydney Fringe Cabaret Club will also return with a month-long program of fabulous cabaret shows at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel. This includes a performance by legendary Australian cabaret performer Naomi Eyers, alongside unforgettable nights of glamour and empowerment with drag royalty Hannah Conda, Charisma Belle, and Carmen Geddit. The festival will also spotlight numerous First Nations artists presenting works throughout the festival, as well as a special FEAST event hosted by Chinese-Australian writer, comedian, and food enthusiast Jennifer Wong at the Hurstville Entertainment Centre. The Made in Sydney program from 5 – 9… Read More

New festival in Melbourne: say ‘hello’ to Now or Never

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Introducing the “Now or Never” festival, a groundbreaking artistic event set to light up Melbourne with large-scale outdoor sculptural installations and projections, a 360° pop-up dome cinema and a menagerie of performances at the intersection of creativity and technology. If you were around in Melbourne almost a decade ago, you might remember White Night Melbourne? It was a city-wide music, art and sound festival that meant retailers and bars were open all night in the CBD. Think that, but for 2023. Running until the 2 September, the event will showcase the talents of over 300 local and international artists, composers, innovators, and change makers, with a line-up featuring 18 Australian premieres and 20 exclusive festival commissions. Anticipation is high, with more than 200,000 visitors expected to attend venues across the city during the 17-day festival. With over 70 innovative music performances, immersive digital art installations and thought-provoking daytime talks, the inaugural “Now or Never” program promises a journey into the convergence of art, ideas, sound, and technology, addressing the pressing questions of our future in light of the present moment. Program highlights include a 1.2-kilometre Art Trail in Docklands curated by Experimenta, immersive films in the Neversphere, a pop-up dome in the Melbourne Museum forecourt, and the return of large-scale live music to the historic Royal Exhibition Building for the first time in 20 years. The festival will also showcase an exclusive world premiere of a new composition, a multi-sensory dining experience in the Neversphere, and a series of talks and panels exploring the creativity… Read More

World’s greatest tenor Jonas Kaufmann returns to Sydney

Jonas Kaufmann

Renowned as the “world’s greatest living tenor,” Jonas Kaufmann, is set to dazzle audiences with an ensemble of globally acclaimed opera singers in two exclusive performances of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. These performances, scheduled for August 9 and 12, are part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the iconic Sydney Opera House. In what is a significant achievement for Opera Australia, the celebrated German tenor will be making his role debut as Enzo Grimaldo. This marks his first performance in Sydney since 2019. Accompanying Kaufmann in this grand spectacle is the Spanish soprano sensation, Saioa Hernández, who will be making her debut at the Sydney Opera House. She’ll be performing in the eponymous role of Gioconda. Hernández, winner of the Best Soprano of the Year at the 2021 Oscar della Lirica competition by the Spanish Opera National Association, has been lauded as ‘the diva of our century’ by the legendary Montserrat Caballé. Adding to the pool of talent is Australia’s very own Deborah Humble, the successful mezzo-soprano, who will be pausing her international assignments to perform with Opera Australia after a decade. Joining them will be the esteemed French baritone Ludovic Tézier, who will be reuniting with Kaufmann to play the role of Barnaba, the vengeful; Agnieszka Rehlis, the Polish mezzo-soprano currently making her Australian debut in Aida, will play Laura Badoero; and bass Vitalij Kowaljow from Ukraine will play Alvise Badoero, returning after his lauded performance in OA’s 2021 production of Ernani. Guiding the Opera Australia Orchestra and Chorus will be the eminent conductor Pinchas… Read More

Love Spanish dance? Try the Flamenco Festival at Sadler’s Wells

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vibrant and passionate art of flamenco is currently taking centre stage at the iconic Sadler’s Wells theatre in London. The Flamenco Festival 2023, running from 15 July to 29 July, brings together a showcase of the world’s greatest flamenco talent in an electrifying celebration of this timeless Spanish tradition. The festival features an impressive line-up of international artists, including renowned dancer and choreographer, Maria Pages, who presents her latest work, “An Ode to Time”. This captivating performance is a reflection on the human experience of time and the inevitable passage of life, with flamenco music and dance expertly woven into the fabric of this deeply moving piece. Other highlights of the festival include the Gala Flamenca, featuring an all-male cast of contemporary flamenco mavericks, Manuel Linan and Alfonso Losa, whose high-energy performances showcase the evolution of this dynamic art form. But flamenco isn’t just about the performers – it’s an immersive cultural experience that embraces the soul of Spain and its people. From the ringing sound of guitar strings to the raw, impassioned wail of the cantaor (singer), the spirit of flamenco is infectious and impossible to resist. As well as the performances, the festival offers a range of workshops where participants can learn and explore the choreographic style of flamenco in greater depth. These sessions provide a unique opportunity to experience the passion and energy of the dance first-hand, under the guidance of experienced instructors. With its thrilling rhythms, intricate footwork, and emotive storytelling, flamenco is an art form that captivates and enchants audiences… Read More

Must See: Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

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If you’re a fan of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 will deliver on the most scandalous aspects in one epic 2-hour musical extravaganza. Darlinghurst Theatre Company is presenting the Australian debut of award-winning electro-pop opera, Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 written by composer and lyricist Dave Malloy from July 9 to August 20 at their Eternity Playhouse. Directed by Dean Drieberg, led musically by Musical Director Claire Healy and moves by Choreographer Brendan Yeates, draws on an eclectic mix of musical styles including folk, indie-rock, electro-pop and techno, making it one of the most unique and form-defying musicals ever seen on Broadway, where it was critically acclaimed… and now we’re lucky enough to have it in Sydney! The story follows the young and spontaneous Natasha as she awaits the return of Andrey, her beloved fiancé on the front lines. One dizzying night at the Opera, in a city exploding with hedonism and opulent excess, Natasha falls passionately in love with the dashing, roguish, (and already married) Anatole. To solve her love conundrum, she turns to her lonely friend Pierre (in the middle of an existential crisis) who makes it his mission to extricate her from risk of ruin and in doing so, renew his own soul. The impressive cast bringing this reimagined story to life is Grace Driscoll as Nastasha. Grace hails from the Gold Coast and is a proud biracial woman with a pastiche for shows with long titles. Grace’s professional credits include Shirley… Read More

Pride Month: unveiling a new chapter, Pride Action North

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In alignment with the closing of Pride Month, we are excited to announce a major rebranding of Northumberland Pride, a leading LGBTQIA+ charity. To better reflect our expanded services and broader geographical reach, we are now Pride Action North. Founded in 2017, Northumberland Pride started as a volunteer-driven initiative to organize an annual celebration for the local community. Since then, it has grown exponentially, now employing eight dedicated staff members to cater to the increased demand for specialized support and advocacy. Our services extend to various critical areas such as youth work, domestic violence, hate crime, and mental health and wellbeing. The transformation to Pride Action North is not just a name change, but a comprehensive brand makeover that includes a new mission statement, values, and soon, a revamped website. Darren Irvine-Duffy, the charity’s chair, shared, “From our humble beginnings as a local pride event organizer, we’ve evolved into an organization that provides holistic support and meaningful services. Our aim is to ensure every member of our growing community feels accepted and safe.” The rebranding represents a significant milestone in our history. Under the banner of Pride Action North, we are enthusiastic about expanding our presence and support throughout the North. As our name suggests, we are committed to action, striving to make the region a safer, more inclusive, and accepting place for everyone, particularly members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our rebranding process involved extensive engagement with service users, stakeholders, and staff through focus groups. The outcome is a reflection of their valuable insights and… Read More

Live music at Sotheby’s London for Pride Month

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Experience the Symphony of Diversity with Sotheby’s and The Barbican. This summer, immerse yourself in a unique celebration of diversity and classical music. Join us as we pay tribute to the influential queer composers who have shaped our musical history. On 30th June 2023, Sotheby’s galleries on New Bond Street will be transformed into a stage for the award-winning conductor, Oliver Zeffman. Witness the London-born maestro leading a programme that highlights the radical contributions of queer classical composers such as Handel, Caroline Shaw, and Henriette Bosman. This event is more than a concert; it’s an homage to the LGBTQ+ narrative within the musical canon. But the melody doesn’t stop there. The Sotheby’s concert sets the tempo for an expanded performance at The Barbican Centre on 7th July. Nick Grimshaw presents this landmark event, where Zeffman will conduct the renowned Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. This occasion marks the first classical Pride concert by a major orchestra anywhere in Europe. Experience the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Echoes, along with masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, and Bernstein. Here are the details for the Sotheby’s event: The performance will take place amidst major Old Masters, creating a harmonious fusion of visual and auditory arts. These masterpieces will be up for auction during the week of 3rd July. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is essential. Reserve your spot today and get ready to sway to the rhythm of equality and pride. Grab your tickets through Sotheby’s website here. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity… Read More

National Portrait Gallery unveils posthumous commission of Terry Higgins

National portrait Gallery

Don miss the unveiling of a powerful new portrait by artist Curtis Holder, in support of the Terrence Higgins Trust’s 40th anniversary. Terry Higgins – Three Ages of Terry is a posthumous work that honors the life of one of the UK’s first AIDS-related illness victims. The piece depicts Terry as a teenager, a young man, and in his final weeks before his death, with a multilayered and delicately sketched style that captures his humanity, physicality, and sexuality. The portrait is set to be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery’s Making the Modern World gallery when it reopens on June 22nd, and it will be the first portrait of Terry Higgins and the first work by Curtis Holder to enter the gallery’s collection. The portrait is a testament to Terrence Higgins Trust’s ongoing fight for change in the face of HIV and AIDS, raising awareness and helping to destigmatize the virus. By showcasing the stages of Higgins’ life, the portrait offers a snapshot into the impact he made during his time and pays tribute to his passions and vulnerabilities. The palette is limited to hues of mostly red, a reference to the now-familiar symbol of the red ribbon, a universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. This incredible portrait is not only a celebration of Terry Higgins but also a testament to the power of art to capture the essence of a person’s life and legacy. So make sure to head to the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens on June… Read More