Music in 2015

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Lots of it as usual including, for Maureen, a spell as the chair of the jury for an international chamber music competition in Melbourne. Perhaps fortunately I was overseas at the time ….

IMG_3799 - Van Morrison on Cyprus Avenue - 540▲Catching Van Morrisson on his 70th birthday performing Astral Weeks – including one of its key song, Cyprus Avenue – on Cyprus Avenue in Belfast was certainly a music highlight of the year. Unfortunately we didn’t have the best view, crowded back in the standing area, but the music was great.

??????????????????????▲London travel guru Simon Calder, his wife Charlotte Hindle (she used to run Lonely Planet UK), Maureen and myself on Cyprus Avenue before the show.

IMG_0929 - Al Stewart, Dave Nachmanoff - Albert Hall - 270◄ I’m a long time Al Stewart fan so hearing him perform his classic Year of the Cat album in the Royal Albert Hall was another musical highlight of the year. Here he is on stage with Dave Nachmanoff.






▼ There were some other great rock performances, in particular Counting Crows (again I’m a long term fan) at the old Palais Theatre in the Melbourne seaside suburb St Kilda.IMG_2469 - Counting Crows, Palais Theatre, St Kilda - 540JPG

???????????????????????????????▲ Aida on Sydney Harbour.

It wasn’t all Rock & Roll, there were assorted operas at Opera Holland Park in London (where performances are always likely to be interrupted by the screech of lovelorn peacocks). Then there were several Opera Australia performance at the Arts Centre in Melbourne and Aida by Sydney Harbour. Performing on the floating harbourside stage gives you the best of both worlds, you get the best view of the Sydney Opera House (the outside one) without any of the concerns about acoustics or comfort if you were inside. So we had dinner with wonderful sunset views across to the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge first and then the totally over the top production of Aida. It seemed Opera Australia had thrown every costume change they had ever gone through on to the stage. I rather liked the little army group marching around in their ‘Are we men? We are Devo’ outfits. I was much less enthusiastic about Aida and her cohorts looking like they were West Indian escapees from some Notting Hill Carnival parade.

???????????????????????????????▲ And for something completely different ‘Opera in the Alps’ in the Victorian alpine village of Beechworth, close to Australia’s most popular ski resorts. This was in summer, we picnicked in the park before the performance.