Tag Archives: Independent Theatre North Sydney


Nexas Quartet and Emily Granger (Harp)  will present AN AMERICAN IN PARIS as part of the Independent Theatre’s A Prelude in Tea Series.

The concert will evoke a journey back in time to the bustling streets of the French capital in this, the latest tasty concert in the Independent Theatre’s popular Prelude in Tea series.  The series always includes afternoon tea with refreshments and a mouth-watering array of cakes and fruits! Continue reading AN AMERICAN IN PARIS: NEXT IN PRELUDE IN TEA SERIES




The tension between master and student is a complex and fascinating one as the upcoming generation learns from, and sometimes pits themselves against, the established leaders of their field.

The famous French novel and film Tous les matins de monde (All the mornings of the world) which starred the legendary actor Gérard Depardieu and featured virtuoso viola da gambist Jordi Savall on the sound track, is an acutely sensitive, fictional exploration of the relationship between two great artists: Marin Marais, after whom The Marais Project is named, and his distinguished mentor, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe.  The latter was a composer, teacher and innovator without peer, while the former became known as perhaps the greatest viola da gambist of all time.  Adding spice to the mix was a “love triangle” between Sainte-Colombe’s two musician daughters and the ambitious Marais.  

Operantics presents Cosi Fan Tutte @ The Independent Theatre

Production photography by John Kilkeary

This chamber production of COSI FAN TUTTE was performed by a group of young opera students.  This gave it a freshness that was most enjoyable.

The opera was reset to modern Sydney with the main characters living on the North Shore (the boys) or in the Eastern Suburbs (the girls). The surtitles were written to reflect these changes. The set was simple, but worked, and the accompanying pianist, Nathaniel Kong, was excellent. Continue reading Operantics presents Cosi Fan Tutte @ The Independent Theatre


Mozart's DON GIOVANNI at the Independent Theatre. Pic Sarah Connor
Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI at the Independent Theatre. Pic Sarah Connor

It’s a great shame that there were only two performances of this excellent production of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ by Sydney Independent Opera.

Sung in English – generally a very good translation – musically and vocally under the energetic , expressive yet controlled direction of  Steven Stanke, the  show featured  marvelous playing by the rather small  but excellent orchestra and an interesting use of the delicate harpsichord during the ‘recitatives’.

It is interesting to note that this production was based on the 1777 Prague version. It was a  ‘semi staged’ theatre using the heavy proscenium arch and the rolling acoustic panels at the back as the set with swirling cloaks and small handprops, where appropriate, augmented by excellent costumes and lighting.

The sparse staging allows the audience to concentrate on the music, plot and characters. There was hot and steamy lust and passion, and the darkness, cruelty and depravity of the story was also acknowledged. The narrative is a morality story cloaked in heavenly music,- all of the characters are damaged in some way , and Don Giovanni  ends up being dragged down to Hell  ( ‘The punishment of the libertine’).

Rakish ,debonair Don Giovanni was excellently sung  by Randall Stewart in magnificent voice in  a most impressive performance  .He is presented as a Mafia Don with guns , knives etc  and in a very expensive looking suit and waistcoat . His seductive aria /duet ‘Là ci darem la mano’ or here in English ‘There will my arms enfold you’ with Zerlina was lyrical and melting .No wonder she was almost swooning!

We first see Donna Anna (Qestra Mulqueeny ) in a pink shirt  making wild passionate love to Don Giovanni and then oddly smiling as her father is killed, –is this a Surrealist Brechtian nightmare? Mulqueeny is then later revealed as an ultra-elegant, almost Valkyrie, with blond upswept hair and stunning black dresses , with a very strong voice, particularly in her showy arias .

As naughty , saucy , downtrodden  yet stylishly dressed , cynical Leporello, driven to distraction by his master’s bedhopping  hijinks  and lack of concern, Paul Smith was excellent .His ‘catalogue aria’ in Act1 that cruelly informs Donna Elvira of the overwhelming number of his master’s conquests was excellent .

Donna Elvira (Salina Bussien ), passionately obsessed and in love with Don Giovanni, is presented as tall, imposing  ,pale and in Gothicky  black with the initials DG tattooed on her breast as revealed  by the slit in her costume.  Bussien is a marvellous,very strong actress who gave a terrific performance.

As the Commendatore Iain Fisher gave a tremendous, chilling performance particularly in the terrifying denouement of the second act that sent chills down the spine. Bravo.

Zerlina and Masetto , the young  bride and groom whose relationship and wedding day Don Giovanni almost destroys  ,were wonderfully played and sung by Maia Andrews and Joshua Salter . Zerlina’s  ‘Batti  batti or as here in English ‘beat me beat me ‘ stopped the show .

A most enjoyable production that was quite dramatic and seductive.   Running time 2hours 45mins (approx) including one interval

DON GIOVANNI, by the Sydney Independent Opera, had two performances – 1 & 3 November 2013- at the Independent Theatre




Brilliant percussionist Claire Edwards
Brilliant percussionist Claire Edwards

The second season concert for the Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) at the Independent Theatre, 269 Miller Street, North Sydney, was an exciting blend of new music and classics from the eighteenth century orchestral repertoire.

This enthusiastic audience was wowed by the world premiere of Daniel Rojas’ Chamber Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra.

The atmosphere, emotion, dialogue and sense of caricature needed throughout this imaginative work were warmly realised by the orchestra. Textural variation and creation of the necessary tone colours were beautifully handled.

Virtuosic work at the marimba by the joyous gem of a percussionist Claire Edwards also brought this successful new percussion concerto to life.

TMO framed this premiere with two favourites of the orchestral repertoire. Firstly a string orchestra arrangement of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and then the  Symphony No.104 -‘The London’ –by Haydn.

The orchestrations of both classics were given freshness by conductor Sarah-Grace Williams’ thorough interpretation and attention to layers of motivic interest across the orchestra.

Tempo choices for the faster movements of both works were extremely vibrant but did work well, with cleanly defined themes. The folk-song inspired finale of the London Symphony dazzled.

TMO offers audiences an alto saxophone concerto, Mozart’s Symphony No.41 and some Mendelssohn for Met Series 3 on August 31 and Sep 1.

As always, it will enrich Sydney’s orchestral concert scene and should not be missed.