Packemin’s latest production MAMMA MIA! sure did pack them in – the audience at the performance I attended was almost full to capacity .
One of the world’s favourite feel-good musicals takes us to a stunning little Greek island , telling the story of a young woman’s ( Sophie ), search for her birth father. On the eve of her wedding, Sophie’s wish to discover the identity of her father means three men from her mother Donna’s past ( Sam , Harry and Bill) return to the island they last visited 20 years ago ,with the narrative told via appropriate ABBA songs .
Slickly co-directed by Jessica Fallico and Jordan Vassallo, with sensational leads and a huge ensemble supporting cast, the musical begins on a sunny jetty where Sophie (Bell) tentatively posts three wedding invitations to the trio of her possible fathers. What follows is fast paced as it is driven by the deadline for preparations for the looming wedding as well as Sophie trying to discover who her father is and various complications that arise. Mamma Mia! also includes fantastic roles for older women, manages to portray long term female friendships, and oozes compassion as well as focusing on the mother-daughter relationship. Continue reading MAMMA MIA! @ RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA→
Neil Gooding and Packemin Productions have brought a sensational version of this ‘rock opera’ to Parramatta Riverside Theatres. The strong, powerful production is fresh and vibrant and simultaneously full of great attention to detail and yes respectful too even though perhaps a touch controversial in a couple of aspects. Continue reading JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR @ RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA→
It was dry if cloudy at this invite only launch held in the undercover courtyard at the Riverside Theatres in Parramatta.
Ms Yarmila Alfonzetti, Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Youth Orchestras, opened the proceedings, welcoming us and making a speech reminding us that it marks thirty years since the passing of Peter Seymour, the founder of the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
In her speech she spoke of how, ‘Music is about sharing, giving and connecting and that it is very exciting to be part of this launch and founding something new and inspiring which makes music further accessible to all.”
She also said big ‘thank yous ‘ to the founding partners of the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra including Fort St Capital and Dixon Advisory, as well as the Riverside.
Ms Amanda Chadwick, Administrator, City of Parramatta Council spoke next, mentioning the other VIPS attending and the recent release of Parramatta’s Cultural statement
.She discussed the cultural statement which was about how Parramatta Council is promoting growing and celebrating culture and enthusiastically welcomed the partnership between Sydney Youth Orchestra and Riverside. She spoke of how , ‘Talent comes from every suburb and we are looking at an exciting journey, breaking down barriers and creating new opportunities.”
David Borger, Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber spoke next. He reminded us that the Orchestra has given many talented young musicians a chance to rise to the next level, and that it is a training ground for professionals. He said that the Sydney Business Chamber is trying to provide funding to break the tyranny of distance and allow for travel and expansion of cultural programs and events.
Steve Hawkins of Fort Street Advisers said that opportunities for advancement should not be defined by postcode. The launch of the Western Sydney SYO creates a platform for the next great wave of musicians who come from the area.
The final speaker was the Hon Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Western Sydney who excitedly declared that this would be the start of a new chapter in the story of the Sydney Youth Orchestra .
The new Orchestra’s area covers from Penrith to Sutherland. He is hoping that the Western SYO will draw people from a wide geographical area, and said that this was all about providing high quality education and music for the area. Mr Ayers also referred to the upcoming national and international tours by the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
The launch concluded with a performance of Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov ’s Capriccio Espagnol, dynamically conducted by James Pensini and beautifully played by the Orchestra.
Guests then mingles, and further sampled the finger food and drinks on offer.
The first performance by the new Western Sydney Youth Orchestra will be this coming weekend Sunday 26 March at 2 pm
From Saturday week, 17 October, Sydney audiences will have the unique opportunity to secure front-row seats to some of London’s most outstanding recent Shakespearean stage productions in Parramatta.
Filmed live during their season run across high-profile London stages, the critically-acclaimed productions will be screened in high-definition and full surround sound on Riverside Theatres’ cinema screen.
This will be a veritable feast for Shakespeare aficionados. Here is the program in brief:-