Bach, Aranda Way

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Australian culture, Dramatizing the world's music, Music and film, Music articles, My blog, Strehlow, Words

In honour of the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir’s forthcoming concerts in Washington, and in honour of their recent film, The Song Keepers,  I re-publish this 2003 article about the premiere of Journey to Horseshoe Bend, which featured one of their predecessor organizations, the Ntaria Ladies Choir. (Please be advised that this article may contain […]

Just a Fad? – Film screenings with live orchestra

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Dramatizing the world's music, Music and film, Music articles, My blog, Podium articles, Words

  Have film screenings with live orchestra really been around so long?  Jon Burlingame writing in Variety in 2013[1], cites a 1987 live screening of Eisenstein and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the ‘light bulb’ moment when Steven Linder of IMG Artists realized these could be a thing. Thirty years! Is […]

Beautiful…sad: Puccini’s La bohème

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Dramatizing the world's music, Music articles, My blog, Opera articles, Words

Loretta: That was so awful. Ronny: Awful? Loretta: Beautiful… sad. She died! John Patrick Shanley Moonstruck (dir. Norman Jewison, 1987) In the 1987 film, Moonstruck, Ronny Cammareri (Nicholas Cage) woos Loretta Castorini (Cher) by taking her to La bohème at ‘the Met’. In the Third Act, as the two principals on stage touch hands through […]

Should it be an opera? (or should a biography be a film?)

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Australian culture, Journey to Horseshoe Bend, Music and film, My blog, Opera articles, Strehlow, The power of the libretto, Uncategorized, Words

Should it be an opera? (or should a biography be a film?) – transcript of a talk given to the Strehlow conference ‘Where do we go from here’?’ Sep 24, 2014 Should it be an opera? – dramatising the Strehlow story The details of T.G.H. Strehlow’s life provide immense opportunities for dramatically illuminating Aboriginal/European relations […]

Life-changing statements

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Australian culture, Loving Oz and the US, My blog, Observations, Words

Over the years I’ve noted down statements that I consider life changing. I ended my previous blog (Words, words, words, 11 December 2012) with one of my favourites: Thomas Jefferson’s “Not a blade of grass grows uninteresting to me”. Others have been: “The problem’s the problem; the person’s not the problem.” Yesterday we were at […]

Words, words, words (Philippa, an opera – blog 11)

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in American culture, My blog, Opera articles, Philippa - an opera in progress, Words

…continuing my series of blogs on the development of the opera Philippa, based on the life of Harlem-born concert pianist Philippa Duke Schuyler. Philippa was the daughter of African-American journalist George S. Schuyler and white Texan Josephine Cogdell who thought that if they combined their superior genes they could produce a genius. Philippa was, indeed, […]

Conocotarius, George Washington – eventually

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in American culture, Australian culture, Loving Oz and the US, My blog, Words

I don’t live in Central Australia and haven’t since the 1980s. It’s been an important strand in my life though, given expression partly in the piece, Journey to Horseshoe Bend. And I guess I think of Central Australia every day. I see myself there. When I am there, visiting in person, I can still see […]

Lyrical lessons from ‘Rosenkavalier’

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in My blog, Opera articles, The power of the libretto, Words

Sometimes I despair of the endless recitativo of modern opera, this fallacious idea that the music should underscore the words. These passages remind me of Kenneth Hince’s phrase: ‘acres and acres of interminable mudflat’, which he applied unfairly to Brahms, but which describes contemporary opera better. I think this ‘unending recitative’ (which is not what […]