Tag Archives: NSW Conservatorium of Music


This latest terrific concert by the Bach Akademie was filmed at the NSW Conservatorium of Music and streamed by the Australian Digital Concert Hall.

Directed by Madeleine Easton it was an inspired performance with sumptuous playing that focused on the structure of the music.

The concert is called WEAPONS OF RHETORIC as it draws on the book The Weapons of Rhetoric by Judy Tarling, who examines the links between music and rhetoric , particularly in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The works chosen for the concert highlight J.S. Bach’s brilliance at persuasive musical conversation.

Before the various pieces, Jonathan Biggins OAM and Jonathan Horton QC read various snippets, defining and detailing how rhetoric can be used in both music and speech , while Bach Akademie presented examples of musical rhetoric . Continue reading BACH AKADEMIE WEAPONS OF RHETORIC


This is a very exciting production, directed by Matthew Barclay, fresh and vibrant, updated to now and musically and vocally fabulous.

Mozart’s opera DON GIOVANNI is one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the world. Here, it is a marvellous showcase for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s terrific vocal and orchestral students . It is slightly abridged to clarify the complicated plot, sung in the original Italian , with surtitles above the stage providing a snappy, witty translation. The pacing of the production was brisk and the narrative clear. Under the direction of maestro Dr Stephen Mould the orchestra was in impressive, glowing form.

This production is transposed to 2018 – the characters here become A list celebrities and there is much use of mobile phones, paparazzi and so on. There are witty visual jokes (for example, the photo shoot at interval, the huge bucket of KFC and the way the Conservatorium is shown in the set designs as Don Giovanni’s castle), and musical ones (the quote from Mozart’s own The Marriage of Figaro in Act 2 for instance).

Costumes by Isabella Andoronos are terrific, with some stunning dresses for Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in particular, while their assistants wear severely cut black and white suits ( and have fun picking out the Batman, Superman and Cleopatra costumes for example in the masked ball in Act 2 ). The staging is set as if it backstage at a film lot or theatre with revolving panels , various clothes racks etc .The statue of the Commendatore is one of several Oscar like statues on plinths.

We follow the last days of the life of a narcissistic, lecherous, hedonistic, filthy rich playboy, convinced he can live beyond the laws of God and man – and in doing so cheat punishment and death. Continue reading DON GIOVANNI IN THE AGE OF CELEBRITY @ THE CON