Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Gala Dinner

Some of the Pacific Opera 2013 Young Artists were asked if we could do a lunchtime concert, a mystery gig, at the Shangri-La Hotel on the 26th of October. Less than two days before the appointed gig, we found out that it was actually an evening event - providing operatic entertainment in two brackets at a gala dinner for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an exclusive Australian chapter of a worldwide organisation of, essentially, foodies. People who love their food and wine. Sounds like something I could really get behind, to be honest! It was founded in Paris in 1950, and is referred to as an international gastronomic organisation. Yessssss.

It was pretty obvious by some of the surprised faces in the room that our appearance during the dinner was an unexpected but very welcome event! They were such a lovely and appreciative audience, and I am truly grateful for some of the members who got up at the end of the show to congratulate me privately. It was a much needed confidence boost and I thank you! One woman said that I was really engaging and funny, which is pretty much the highest praise I could ever get, so thank you very much indeed.

I sang:

Porgi, amor, from La Nozze di Figaro by Mozart
Chi il bel sogno di Doretta from La Rondine by Puccini
Mister Snow from Carousel by Rodgers & Hammerstein

Our pianist was Yerim Lee, as Glenn Amer was unavailable. She was a very sweet girl.

Our General Manager, Claire Palmer, treated us to a bottle of sparkling wine in the Shangri-La Hotel Lobby Bar after the performance, and then we went up to Level 36 Bar to check out the absolutely stunning panoramic view of Sydney City at night. Holy crap, if you haven't done that, I really recommend it! I will be taking Joe to see it as soon as practical.

There was an official photographer there taking photos but i haven't gotten my hands on any of those... here are some photos from backstage.

Zoe and I accidentally wore the same colour - RED! - but that turned out to be a theme colour of the evening decorations anyway, so we pretended that we planned it that way. Obviously.

The singers were Pamela Andrews, Zoe Drummond, Sepehr Irandoost and Damian Arnold.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Banco Court Concert, Supreme Court Building

The Chair of the Pacific Opera Board, Hon George Palmer, is the former Chief Justice of New South Wales, and I can only presume that it's through him that we got this gig. Most of the young artists were able to make it for this concert on the 13th floor of the Supreme Court Building. It was an appreciative crowd, and a lovely grand piano. Very dead space to sing in, though, which surprised me, as most old courtrooms I've been in have been very boomy. I remember going to see Trial By Jury in the old Hobart courtroom and it was so boomy that I could not make out a single word of the show, especially the chorus! Thought they were all shouting it. Disliked the show for that reason for several years until I performed it myself and realised how funny it was. Words! They're important!

The girls took a couple of photos backstage but I don't think there were any taken during performance. Bummer.

You may be wondering why I have been wearing my red dress so much lately. The very simple reason for that is that it's the easiest to transport! I've had to come straight from work for a few of these gigs lately and it's the only dress I've got that I can keep rolled up in a carry-on suitcase under my desk at work all day. It was my bridesmaid dress for Justine and Aaron's wedding in Adelaide several years ago. Still a stunning choice, Juzzy. Best bride ever. You rock.

L-R: Laura King, Joelene Griffiths, Pamela Andrews,
Rhian Saunders and Zoe Drummond.
Photo taken by Maia Andrews.
Can you see Karuna Kourkova taking a nap behind us?

The Andrews Sisters! Maia is the prettiest Andrews in the world.
No relation, but thanks if you think so! ;-)
Taken by Maia Andrews. Selfies FTW.

L-R: Karuna Kourkova, Joelene Griffith, Pamela Andrews,
Maia Andrews, Rhian Saunders, Georgia Kokkoris,
Zoe Drummond, Damian Arnold and Laura King