Top 10 Australia Culture On this week 17/05/2020 (COVID-19 EDITION)

Here come the blues.


10) Rogue Opera Live Lounge

22nd May

What: Please join Bronwen Stephens-Harding, Director of Rogue Opera, on her Livestream: Rogue Opera Live Lounge. Rogue Opera is a London based professional opera company, now in its third year, dedicated to bringing opera to new audience and spaces. With all their live events on hold for at least the next few months, Rogue Opera has been working hard to bring some of the company’s live performances online. The Live Lounge is an adaptation of popular in-person Opera Cabarets and Galas – bringing the best stories, characters and music of opera alive for both opera buffs and first-timers.

Why: Opera’s not so appealing when no one can be made to feel lesser by the quality of your theatre attire, is it?


9) Jazz and Classical Music from Frankfurt

21st May

What: The musicians of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band have started a live stream with duos and solo performances. One or two musicians will enter the stage of the radio hall and play for their virtual audience.

Why: There’s a world war two joke in here somewhere, but we’re facing world war three and frankly this time we want Germany on our side.


8) Silkroad Home Sessions with Hankus Netsky

23rd May

What: A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and ethnomusicologist, Yiddish musician Hankus Netsky has composed extensively for film, theater, and television in collaborations with Itzhak Perlman, Robin Williams, Joel Grey, Robert Brustein, and Will Lebow. Experience his uniquely complex lilting improvisational jazz in a once-off livestreamed performance.

Why: We are facing a long battle against the malevolent forces of economic instability, a system of increasingly right-wing international governments unprepared to handle this new technological era developing at an exponential rate and the authoritarian rise of the Netflix overlords, but never forget that it’s always the evil little guy running around at the edge of the battle scrum who eventually ends up stabbing you in the neck. Improvisational jazz: it’s still out there and it’s relentless.


7) Live Baroque Music ‘To Survive Melancholy’

23rd May

What: In collaboration with Bach Club, Pawel Siwczak, concert artist, harpsichordist and a teacher at the Royal Academy of Music, each week chooses one or two works from a baroque repertoire, introduces them and then performs live. The previous episodes featured works by Froberger, John Blow and Nicolaus Bruhns, Johann Sebastian Bach, Louis Couperin and François Couperin. Future episodes will include music by Scarlatti, Frescobaldi, Byrd, Sweelinck, CPE Bach and more!

Why: Reflect upon a time when melancholia still qualified as a mental illness rather than a logical state of mind.


6) Vienna State Opera: Live

17th-23rd May

What: The Vienna State Opera is sharing past performances via free daily online streams. Experience the majesty of the Viennese opera alongside a worldwide audience. This week’s performances will feature Don Pasquale, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Der Freischütz, The Nutcracker, Don Giovanni and Idomeneo.

Why: There’s nothing like blasting Wagner to remind you that there are far worse things to fight over than a square of toilet paper. The only casualty of the 2020 Quilton wars was your anus.


5) An Enemy of the People on Zoom: New Relevance for Ibsen’s 1882 Play 

18th May

What: Tune in for a reading of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play An Enemy of the People, presented by Untold Stories High and Back Lane Studios, and featuring an international cast from the U.K. and Toronto! Award-winning British director Di Trevis will introduce the play. Among those taking part in the reading are veteran British stage and screen actor David Hargreaves and local performers Carly Street, Jessica Sherman, David Reale and David Tompa. Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been a resurgence of interest in An Enemy. Now, with the world beset by a pandemic, the play — which was one of the inspirations for the movie Jaws — seems more relevant than ever. Ibsen poses the dilemma: What happens when a serious life-threatening problem collides with short-term economic well-being? What is the fate of whistleblowers? How free and wedded to the truth is the press? And what is the political outcome when protest is muzzled?

Why: Donald Trump has inspired an Ibsen reading in that same sense that in two years we’ll all be re-appreciating the works of Richard Fleischer.


4) Silkroad Home Sessions with Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova

19th May

What: Mugham singer Alim Qasimov has been named a “Living National Treasure” of Azerbaijan. He perceives and presents mugham not only as an ancient art and a part of Azerbaijan’s musical and cultural heritage but also as a constantly developing tradition. His performing style is unique, combining deep knowledge of centuries-old rules of mugham with challenging innovations, willingly juxtaposing mugham with other music styles, such as jazz and contemporary composition. Fargana Qasimova, Alim Qasimov’s daughter and protégée, is an accomplished mugham singer. Her father has been the major influence in her life and career: she grew up with sounds of mugham and verses from the classical poetry of Azerbaijan and from the age of four, often performed along with her father at home and first joined him on tour at the age of sixteen. Experience their voices in exquisite harmony in this intimate livestreamed performance.

Why: A genre of music so specific, if you count it amongst your concert-based anecdotal repertoire, you’ll never be made to feel inferior in pretentious company again. Someone might punch you though.


3) Silkroad Home Sessions with Rhiannon Giddens

22nd May

What: Rhiannon Giddens is an American musician. She is a founding member of the country, blues and old-time music band Carolina Chocolate Drops, where she is the lead singer, fiddle player, and banjo player. Experience her unique style of experimental blues in an intimate livestreamed performance.

Why: Folksy yet progressive, without the rape allegations. See the Joe Biden the world never had.


2) Royal Albert at Home: Gabriela Montero

20th May

What: Royal College of Music graduate Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique compositional gifts have garnered her critical acclaim and a devoted following on the world stage. Celebrated for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise, Montero has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, and in some of the world’s most distinguished venues. Montero received a Grammy nomination for her album Baroque, was awarded the 2012 Rockefeller Award for her contribution to the arts, and was a featured performer at Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Inauguration. She will deliver an exclusive set as part of the Royal Albert Home sessions.

Why: See someone wildly improvise on the world stage without staring death in the face.


1) Silkroad Home Sessions with John Hadfield

21st May

What: As a percussionist, drummer and composer, John Hadfield’s dedication to music has taken him from his native Missouri to concert halls and clubs across the world. He has collaborated on more than 100 recordings as a guest artist. Most recently he can be heard playing on the soundtracks of Joker and Gemini Man. Experience his unique talents in a livestreamed performance.

Why: Who’d’ve thought Joker would be relevant beyond incels and Joaquin Phoenix’s veganism?

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