Category: ARTS & CULTURE

Opera Australia and Victorian Opera’s ‘Idomeneo’

Idomeneo opera

Opera connoisseurs and newcomers alike are poised to be captivated as Opera Australia and Victorian Opera unveil their first ever collaboration, bringing Idomeneo to the prestigious stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre within Sydney’s iconic Opera House. From an impressive debut on the 20th of February to a compelling close on the 15th of March, 2024, theatre-goers can bask in the enthralling narrative that Mozart so timelessly composed. This partnership heralds a new era for Australian performing arts, showcasing the synergetic prowess of two leading orchestral titans as they orchestrate world-class operatic storytelling. At its core, Idomeneo is a profound meditation on the quintessence of human nature, delving into perilous seas of love, politics, and familial tension, all anchored in the aftermath of the Trojan War. It is a heartfelt exploration of human resolve in the face of dread and the harrowing trials posed by the gods. The visionary Lindy Hume directs this masterpiece, illuminating Mozart’s 18th-century touchstone through an Age of Enlightenment lens. Her direction imbues the production with a vibrant visual narrative, one that mirrors the stoic beauty and ferocious power of ancient Crete. Audiences will traverse mythic landscapes, masterfully depicted by the creative trifecta of cinematographer Catherine Pettman and the acclaimed design duo, David Bergman and Michael Yeargan. To speak of this awe-inspiring spectacle is to acknowledge Broadway World’s acclamation for its “theatrical design excellence,” where set, video, and captivating cinematography coalesce to bewitch and transport viewers. Under the luminescent glow of Verity Hampson’s lighting, the tale unfolds with an impressive lead… Read More

Empowering youth with arts & culture: British Museum’s programme ‘Where we are…’

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Charities and cultural venues across the UK have an exciting opportunity to participate in the fourth year of the youth-led British Museum programme, Where we are… This innovative national initiative, tailored for individuals aged 16–24, aims to empower young people by engaging them in arts and culture projects within their local communities. The programme, part of the British Museum’s National Programmes, is launching a national open call to partner with cultural and third sector organizations nationwide. The goal is to collaborate in delivering projects that enable young people to explore and express their perspectives on arts and culture. Where we are… encourages participants to interpret the significance of arts and culture in their lives, allowing for a broad spectrum of creative expressions. In the previous year, projects in Wakefield and Swindon encompassed diverse creative outputs such as photography, ceramics, printmaking, and painting with light. This funded programme serves as a platform to overcome barriers that often hinder young individuals from engaging with local arts and culture scenes. It aims to foster skill development, provide hands-on experience in project management, communication, creative problem-solving, and networking opportunities. Applications are welcome from all types of museums, cultural spaces, and registered third sector organizations working with youth. Following the recruitment of two Key Partners, the programme will specifically reach out to young people typically underserved in the arts and culture sector. Applicants from any background or level of experience, particularly those new to museum engagement, are encouraged to apply through the British Museum website by the deadline of 26th… Read More

Opera Australia & Pinchgut Opera do ‘Theodora in Concert’

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This February, the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House will be filled with the rich sounds of Handel’s ‘Theodora’, thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between two of Australia’s leading opera companies – Opera Australia and Pinchgut Opera. For the first time in their illustrious histories, these two giants of the opera scene have joined forces to present ‘Theodora in Concert’, marking the first Handel opera programmed by OA in the past decade. This thrilling collaboration gives audiences a rare chance to experience Handel’s captivating score, performed in English by some of Australia’s most renowned early music specialists. Pinchgut Opera, renowned for their renditions of seldom-performed 17th and 18th-century masterpieces, will be making their Sydney Opera House stage debut with this production. The artistic prowess of Erin Helyard, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Pinchgut Opera, along with acclaimed opera director Lindy Hume, promise a performance of exceptional quality. Australian soprano Samantha Clarke, fresh off a widely celebrated debut performance as Violetta in OA’s La Traviata, will be stepping into the titular role of Theodora. Clarke’s recent performance was lauded by the Sydney Morning Herald for her “fluid grace” and “thrilling force at climactic moments.” Adding to the star-studded lineup is American countertenor Christopher Lowrey, who will be making his OA debut as Didymus, a role he has performed to global acclaim. Joining him will be Helen Sherman, a Helpmann Award nominee, who will make her OA debut as Irene. Regular OA performers and audience favourites, Michael Petruccelli and David Greco, will play Septimius and… Read More

West Side Story on Sydney Harbour

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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

New Magic Flute at Sydney Opera House

Opera Magic Flute

Get ready to be enthralled as Opera Australia unveils an exciting new production of Mozart’s classic, The Magic Flute, at the iconic Joan Sutherland Theatre in Sydney Opera House. Mark your calendars for this legendary performance, running from 1st February to 16th March 2024. Award-winning director Kate Gaul makes her directorial debut with Opera Australia, conjuring a fantastical world that promises a delightful and enchanting adventure suitable for all ages. The production will feature Australia’s leading opera and musical theatre artists. It’s an exciting opportunity to witness the talent of Australia’s best, including the OA soprano Stacey Alleaume and musical theatre star Ben Mingay, who will be making their OA debut. An absolute highlight is Australian-Mauritian soprano Stacey Alleaume, who will captivate audiences with her mainstage role debut as Pamina. Mingay, in his OA debut as Papageno, complements Alleaume’s spellbinding performance. For the first time, these two accomplished singing talents will perform together, making it a spectacle not to be missed! After more than two decades performing in leading opera houses across Europe and North America, Australian tenor Michael Smallwood returns home to make his debut at the Joan Sutherland Theatre. Smallwood will reprise his role as Tamino, which he performed to great acclaim for Aalto Theater Essen in 2023. The all-star Australian cast will also feature OA favourites Giuseppina Grech, David Parkin, Jane Ede, Ruth Strutt, Jennifer Black, Kanen Breen, Gregory Brown, and Nathan Lay. We’re equally excited to welcome back Indyana Schneider, making her principal role debut for the Company as Second Lady…. Read More

Sheldon Riley’s Show-Stopping Performance on ‘America’s Got Talent – Fantasy League’

Sheldon Riley singer

Australian multi-instrumentalist and avant-garde performer, Sheldon Riley, left everyone astounded with his performance of Loreen’s ‘Tattoo’ on the esteemed stage of ‘America’s Got Talent – Fantasy League’. His riveting rendition of the two-time Eurovision-winning song earned him an overwhelming standing ovation and secured his place in the semi-final. The invitation to return to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ stage for the highly anticipated spinoff series came from none other than Simon Cowell. The unique twist in this series is that each of the star-studded panel of judges curates a team of 10 acts from the 40 most viral and fan-favorite acts, including previous winners from the global franchise. The judges this season include Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel. Mel B, familiar with Sheldon’s incredible voice from his time as the runner-up on ‘The Masked Singer AU’, ensured he was one of her first selections in the draft pick. Sheldon, known for his creative prowess, melodic tone, high fashion, and ability to craft each stage performance, is no stranger to the television competition scene. He has previously been a finalist on ‘The Voice All Stars’, a runner-up on ‘The Masked Singer AU’, a winner of ‘Eurovision Australia Decides’, and a finalist at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. Sheldon’s decision to perform ‘Tattoo’ was not merely a random choice. As a former Eurovision finalist himself, Sheldon has a deep connection with the song and an immense respect for Loreen, the artist behind the hits ‘Tattoo’ and ‘Euphoria’. His goal was to… Read More

Sadler’s Wells new national youth initiative

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It’s time to celebrate the extraordinary talent of young dancers across England as Sadler’s Wells unveils the next cohort of the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC). With 32 dancers aged between 16 and 24, hailing from 21 different towns, cities, and villages, this truly nationwide company is set to take the dance world by storm. Led by Guest Artistic Director Oona Doherty, they will be working on an exciting new piece called Wall, which is set to premiere at Leeds Playhouse on Saturday, April 13th, before embarking on a national tour. Wall is an exploration of Britain through the eyes and voices of young people from around the country. It delves into their thoughts, highlighting both the good and the bad, the old and the new. Through repetitive movements of resistance, stamina, and will, the dancers showcase their strength and beauty, embodying the greatness of Britain. The production promises to be a visual and auditory feast, with music by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey, lighting design by John Gunning of Malaprop Theatre, and costume design by Ryan Dawson Laight, who has an extensive background in theater and dance. Award-winning photographer and video maker Luca Truffarelli adds his talents as the audio, photo, and video collaborator, while NYDC alumna Nya Bardouille serves as Assistant to the choreographer. After its premiere at Leeds Playhouse, Wall will embark on a captivating journey to Wakefield, Falmouth, Ipswich, Latitude Festival, Leicester, and London, with a highly anticipated performance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre on Saturday, July 13th. This is an unmissable… Read More

Last chance to see WICKED in Sydney

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The clock is ticking, and time is running out for Sydneysiders to catch the sensational musical extravaganza, WICKED, at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. After an incredible six-month run, the final performance is scheduled for February 4th. But fear not, as the show will soon hit the stage again in Melbourne, commencing performances at the Regent Theatre on March 3rd. Since its arrival in Sydney last August, WICKED has enthralled audiences with its spellbinding performances, leaving them captivated and craving more. With packed houses, glowing reviews from critics, and a flurry of positive buzz on social media, this musical has truly become “Broadway’s Biggest Blockbuster.” “Ingenious and beautiful: WICKED dazzles,” raved the Sydney Morning Herald. The Australian Financial Review applauded the cast’s “exquisite comic timing” and called the production “impressive” and “magical.” AustralianStage.com.au hailed it as “triumphant” and described it as a “dazzling, spectacular production.” Limelight praised the show for its “razzle-dazzle spectacle” and “uplifting girl-power.” Even Studio 10 couldn’t contain their excitement, declaring WICKED as “absolutely incredible” and “extraordinary.” Producer John Frost expressed his delight at the overwhelming response from Sydney audiences and critics alike. He said, “I’m delighted that Sydney has embraced WICKED. The reaction has been overwhelming, and our Australian cast has received universal praise. For 20 years, WICKED has cast its spell over audiences worldwide, and it’s become one of the most beloved musicals ever, especially here in Australia. So, Sydneysiders, grab your tickets now as there are only four more weeks before we move to Melbourne.” Since its premiere on Broadway… Read More

A year of artistic marvels: HOFA gallery’s journey in 2023

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As the curtain falls on another remarkable year, HOFA Gallery reflects on a momentous journey that unfolded throughout 2023. From captivating international art fairs to thought-provoking exhibitions, HOFA Gallery has continued to be at the forefront of promoting cutting-edge contemporary art and embracing diversity. Let’s take a closer look at some of the highlights from this extraordinary year. Art Miami 2023: Redefining Boundaries In December, HOFA Gallery unveiled a breathtaking exhibition at Art Miami 2023. This showcase exemplified the gallery’s unwavering commitment to pushing artistic boundaries and fostering inclusivity. Showcasing a curated collection of artworks representing the gallery’s core values and rich history, the exhibition captured the essence of innovation and creative expression. Art Talks with Joseph Klibansky: A Window into Imagination Among the captivating events at Art Miami 2023 was an exclusive interview with acclaimed Dutch artist Joseph Klibansky. In this seventh episode of Art Talks, HOFA Gallery delved into Klibansky’s fascinating world, exploring the intriguing connection between visual perception and implied meaning in his artwork. Renowned for his highly reflective sculptures and radiant monuments, Klibansky invites viewers to question their perceptions and embark on a journey of imagination. Featured Artists: A Tapestry of Creativity HOFA Gallery showcased the works of 75 talented artists from 30 different nationalities throughout the year. From contemporary paintings to sculptures, new media art to generative AI, the gallery’s diverse roster of artists captivated audiences worldwide. Artists like Zheng Lu, Li Jie, Zhuang Hong Yi, Ilhwa Kim, Lyès, and many others left an indelible mark with their thought-provoking and… Read More