Classical music, opera, musicals etc


#141

I love that Saint-Saëns piece. It’s used as a theme in Terence Malik’s movie Days of Heaven. When you know it’s representing fish in an aquarium it’s obviously perfect for that; but even not knowing where it’s from, it has an incredibly haunting, beautifully peaceful and yet also slightly disquieting air.


#142

Sitting in Script Bar getting ready for MTC’s Pennsylvania Avenue which stars Bernadette Robinson.


#143

,


#144

A reply to: @Bomb Doe regarding QuoteLink

Sitting in Script Bar getting ready for MTC's Pennsylvania Avenue which stars Bernadette Robinson.

So how was it? And was the Script any good? It’s very up and down, that place.


#145

A reply to: @Shelton 10 regarding QuoteLink

A reply to: @Bomb Doe regarding QuoteLink
Sitting in Script Bar getting ready for MTC's Pennsylvania Avenue which stars Bernadette Robinson.

So how was it? And was the Script any good? It’s very up and down, that place.

It was 10/10.

Bernadette Robinson is just superb and she never disappoints. Just an amazing voice that can sing across a range of genres magnificently. One cannot help but smile as she sings and

The storyline itself is fine and entertaining enough, and it has its historically poignant moments. It goes from JFK to Reagan, but is more a vehicle for Robinson’s voice to channel the singers of the time. She did Bob Dylan’s Eve of Destruction and it was fantastic - that’s how talented and versatile she is.

For me the highlight was Aretha Franklin’s RESPECT. Just WOW.

Bernadette Robinson is a treasure.

Script Bar - It’s was good to better than good without being great. But it’s convenient for plays at the Sumner Theatre. I don’t mind it.


#146

Maybe it’s a matter of taste. I agree she has an impressive range but I found it difficult to warm to the impersonal quality of her voice. Most of the songs were delivered as impersonations of a sort, and I don’t like impersonations as a rule, and the results were mixed. She has a powerful voice but she doesn’t really swing and a number of the interpretations needed more soul. I thought her Eartha Kitt, whose stilted melodramatic style suited her, was the most interesting and the Peggy Lee was OK but the Sarah Vaughan was strange and unfamiliar. (I thought her Reagan was amusing though.) I don’t think the band helped, not their fault, the production needed at least a big band to carry most of the tunes. I was underwhelmed by the song choice, a bit too safe for my liking, and the story seemed to be a bit of an afterthought used to fill the spaces between the greatest hits selection and kept reminding me of the format Sondheim used for “Assassins”. The crowd loved it but I thought it was at least half an hour too long, especially for a solo performance.


#147

Saw Jumpy last night and while it wasn’t ground breaking it was certainly entertaining and has a few very funny moments. It’s a women’s “coming of (middle)age” play and the blokes are basically peripheral, which is a nice change for the theatre. Strong cast and Jane Turner does a good job, although I suspect the role was designed for something a touch more in your face. Every time Marina Prior appeared I thought she’d break into song; she didn’t but her “dance routine” was funny. Brenna Harding had the sexualised 16 year old monster down pat but as my better half pointed out it wouldn’t be that difficult for a young actress, they’d just play themselves. Caroline Brazier, from Rake, was the highlight for me and provided the edge I think the play is meant to have. The set with its sliding doors and food train technology was really impressive, ingenious without being intrusive.
Pamela Rabe directed and clearly did a good job.


#148

I’m not at all a musicals guy, but I saw Wicked on Friday night and it was really, really, really good.


#149

Quoted Post

I'm not at all a musicals guy, but I saw Wicked on Friday night and it was really, really, really good.

It’s brilliant. Shame Lucy Durack left the show, she’s outstanding.


#150

Quoted Post

Quoted Post
I'm not at all a musicals guy, but I saw Wicked on Friday night and it was really, really, really good.

It’s brilliant. Shame Lucy Durack left the show, she’s outstanding.

I have no idea who that is. I think that’s what helped me enjoy it so much, I don’t see musicals, had no idea who the cast were, what the show was about, anything. Everything was new and interesting and the best version of any of it I’ve ever heard or seen.


#151

Quoted Post

Quoted Post
I'm not at all a musicals guy, but I saw Wicked on Friday night and it was really, really, really good.

It’s brilliant. Shame Lucy Durack left the show, she’s outstanding.

Okay so after an hour on YouTube last night, I prefer the Glinda I saw!


#152

We went to the MSO concert performance of Hector Berlioz’ The Damnation of Faust last night. The conductor was Sir Andrew Davis; it was the full orchestra; the soloists were Bryn Terfel (Mephistophélès), Andrew Staples (tenor, Faust), Renata Popukic (mezzo, Marguerite) and Shane Lowrencev (bass, Brander); and the Melbourne Chorale, plus the men of the Sydney choruses. So it was very full on, and fantastic. Unfortunately I think that if you didn’t go last night or tonight, you’ve missed it.

Then tonight we went to the ballet, Giselle. The first half was only so-so, but the second half with the Willys and their queen was great. Lana someone danced Giselle and she was excellent. The prince was Andrew Bull, who does everything required but really doesn’t quite look the part.

Mahler 3 on Thursday.


#153

Several good concerts here in Bris this year. ACO is doing Mozart’s last 3 symphonies. QSO are doing Saint-Saens Organ symphony after accompanying Nikolai Demidenko with Brahms’ 2nd piano concerto. Sergio Tiempo, an Argentinian pianist, is playing Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto which is followed by Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherezade and (unfortunately) Stravinsky’s Rite if Spring… ugh!! Then we have the Qld Ballet and QSO doing Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker later in the year. And it all finishes with the Messiah at Christmas. A good selection I reckon.


#154

On Thursday we went to the MSO playing Mahler’s 3rd Symphony at the Concert Hall. Our seats were right down the front and at the right-hand end of the row, so not ideal, but it was good to be able to see some of the players so close. It went for 1 hour and 40 minutes without an interval, and there were a number of passages where not much seemed to be happening for quite a long time, but there were also some absolutely stunning passages. There was a mezzo soprano soloist, Rachael Clark, who was excellent, plus the Melbourne Chorale and the Australian Boys Choir: none of the singers did an awful lot of singing, but what they did was great. It really ended with a bang. Sir Andrew Davis seems to have the orchestra responding to him completely, and he was obviously loving their playing. This is the first time I’ve ever heard the Mahler symphonies in full, and I’m enjoying it.


#155

If you don’t like Beckett, don’t put yourself through MTC’s Endgame.
My better half, who is still emotionally scarred from studying Godot at uni, made her mindset manifest when she told me sharply that the dinner beforehand “better be good". She enjoyed the meal and then managed to sleep through a fair bit of the play but the guy on the other side of me, who’d been similarly press-ganged into going, gave up interest 10 minutes in and proceeded to fidget for the remaining hour and half, which was irritating but a bit Beckettish nevertheless, so I can’t complain.
It’s received some ordinary reviews that have included petty quibbles about Friel’s Australian accent, the sort of cringe criticism Julia Gillard used to endure. More to the point, or lack of it, they seemed to dislike the performance’s reverential treatment of the text. Fair enough, this is a faithful production and essentially presents the play the way Beckett wanted it, right down to the bloodied and snot encrusted hanky.
Personally I loved it but then I love Beckett.
The critic who bagged the acting is on something dodgy. I reckon Friels is wonderful, one of the best actors going round and Mullins is great too, they don’t exactly spark off each other, as one critic complained, but on my reading of the text they aren’t meant to; if the play does have a point it’s about the distances separating even the closest of people, that’s partly why his folks are stuck in garbage cans on the side of the stage for the duration.
Read it first and if you don’t like it stay home(unless of course you’re offered a suitable compensatory feed) but if, like me, you’re captivated, this is a rare chance to see Beckett without training wheels.


#156

We saw and heard Sarah Chang play the Bruch violin concerto with the MSO last night. The pictures of her in the program must be at least 10 years old, but she’s still pretty spectacular to look at. And her playing is sensational. She likes to put on a show and prowls around the stage and at one stage was dancing along with the music; the orchestra loved her. It’s not my favourite violin concerto but it’s OK.

The rest of the program was uninspiring. There were three pieces by Charles Ives and a Nielsen symphony; they had their moments, but there was a lot of dross with the gold.


#157

#158

#159

#160