20 August

Victorian Opera launches 2016 season

Posted by in Arts, News, Theatre

Fondazione Teatro La Fenice - Lucia do Lammermoor - © Michele Crosera

This year marks Victorian Opera’s tenth anniversary, and so far, the company has offered highly successful, innovative productions alongside more traditional pieces featuring world-class performers. The VO’s 2016 season – launched today by artistic director Richard Mills – branches even further out into unfamiliar territory, and opera enthusiasts and lovers of the performing arts have plenty of reasons to get excited.

‘Different dreams’ was the theme of the launch, for good reason: the first production of the year will beVoyage to the Moon (Feb 15-19) which will see director Michael Gow blend Baroque operas into an entertaining pastiche, featuring respected Australian soprano Emma Matthews and leading mezzo Sally-Anne Russell.

A highlight is sure to be Banquet of Secrets (March 1-5), created by Australian author, screenwriter, comedian and producer Steve Vizard and celebrated composer Paul Grabowsky in tune with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The show – starring the brilliant Antoinette Halloran, who stole the show in the VO’s recent production of Sweeney Todd – will see four friends sharing a meal live on stage (created by chef Philippe Mouchel) and swapping secrets.… Read more

19 August

ACMI launches world premiere of Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood

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Orry-Kelly (born 1897 and known as Orry George Kelly to his folks) was a knockabout lad from NSW beach town Kiama, who somehow ended up living with Cary Grant and went on to become a three-time Academy Award-winning costume designer and Bette Davis’s wardrobe go-to.

With a career spanning Hollywood’s golden years, Orry-Kelly designed costumes for 295 movies (including as Warner Bros. chief designer between 1932 and 1944) and worked on movies that went down in film legend, including Casablanca, Some Like It Hot, The Maltese Falcon and Gypsy.

When he passed away at 64 (he was sober when he died, but had liver cancer as a result of years of active alcoholism) Jack Warner (one of the Warner Brothers) read his eulogy and Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Billy Wilder and George Cukor carried his coffin.

Despite all of this, Orry-Kelly somehow receded into obscurity. Happily, the release of Aussie director Gillian Armstrong’s documentary about him, Women He’s Undressed, and the new ACMI-curated exhibition, Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood, look to set things right.Read more

11 August

The Melbourne Fringe Festival launches its largest-ever program

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Melbourne’s largest celebration of independent arts is about to get bigger than ever, with 401 events taking place in 174 venues across Melbourne. The program spans everything from comedy to cabaret, circus to theatre, and is packed with experimental and exciting new shows that you won’t catch anywhere else.

Setting things in motion at this morning’s media launch was the Victoria government’s minister for creative industries Martin Foley. “The Fringe Festival is a lifeline of support for emerging creators,” he said. “It brings forward creativity that would otherwise be marginalised.” In light of the federal government’s “savage cuts” to independent arts funding (by contrast, the Fringe is still generously supported by state and local governments), Foley re-iterated that the Fringe is more important than ever – the Melbourne Fringe works to develop and promote emerging artists, and ticket sales all go back to the creators.

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Once you get your hands on the program, a good place to start are the free, site-specific works popping up throughout the city, through the Uncommon Places and ACCA in the City programs.Read more

10 August

Here’s your chance to show your work at White Night Melbourne 2016

Posted by in Arts, News

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The city lights are going to get a little brighter on February 20, 2016 with the return of our favourite all-nighter White Night Melbourne. The city’s biggest party after New Year’s Eve is calling on creatives to submit their work – visual artists, musicians, filmmakers and performers are being invited to showcase their artistic pursuits throughout Melbourne CBD for the all-night party. Too left-of-field to fit in the existing categories? There’s room for you too with the opportunity to apply for White Night’s Out Of the Box funding, a celebration of the weird and wonderful artistic visionaries.

As the only city in Australia to be part of the Nuit Blanche movement, Melbourne will once again join 23 other countries in hosting a night of bright lights, late night arts,  live performances and special dining experiences lasting 12 hours. From 7pm to 7am, thousands of eager city-dwellers will gather in Melbourne CBD for the biggest all-night of the year.… Read more

4 August

Melbourne Festival program launches today: here are our highlights

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World-class arts light up the city in October as part of the Melbourne Festival’s stellar 30th anniversary program

As proof that the Melbourne Festival grows more innovative and broad-ranging each year, the 2015 program boasts 74 arts events over 18 days; 17 of which are Australian premieres, and 15 of which are exclusive to this year’s festival. The program spans theatre, dance, music, film, circus and visual art from international and local artists, and you’ll need a good stretch of time to get through the highlights and plan your experience. Tickets are on sale now.

In keeping with the last two years, the festival will open with Tanderrum: a ceremony that will see elders from the five clans of the Kulin nation (Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurong, Taungerong and Dja Dja Wurrung) unite for a powerful affirmation of Koorie culture, comprising dance, storytelling and song.

A much-anticipated theatre highlight is the chilling, powerful adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984, created by UK theatre company Headlong.Read more