Jo Duffy quits ...

The Hag
25.04.13 5:18 pm


Overheard in Grape whilst taking a little Green Fairy Absinthe last eve:  Jo Duffy has resigned as artistic director of Ten Days on the Island ...

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Politics | State | Arts | Economy | Society

State Cinema: Mary Meets Mohammad

Heather Kirkpatrick Director / Producer Mary Meets Mohammad
25.04.13 6:08 am

Mary and Mohammad on their weekend visit to Joy’s shack Credit: Kristy Dowsing

Mary and Mohammad spend the weekend at Joy’s shack. Credit: Kristy Dowsing

Pontville Detention Centre. Credit: Heather Kirkpatrick

Director / Producer Heather Kirkpatrick after filming Mohammad at Great Lake, Tasmania.
Credit: Kristy Dowsing

The Bridgewater Knitting Club Credit: Kristy Dowsing

Tasmania’s first asylum seeker detention centre opens and local knitting club member and staunch Christian woman Mary is not welcoming of the 400 male asylum seekers from Afghanistan. 

Mary unexpectedly finds herself in regular contact with Mohammad, a 26 year-old Muslim, after her knitting club donates beanies to the asylum seekers.  Mary has many of her prior beliefs challenged as her relationship with Mohammad deepens.

I have had the film selected as a finalist in the national “Outstanding Documentary Talent Award 2013” which saw the film premier in Adelaide this February at the Australian International Documentary Conference. It was very well received, and the media including ABC Radio, has been giving the film some great exposure.  The links here to the trailer, website and Facebook pages can provide you with more detail.

The website:

The trailer on You Tube:

The opening weekend at the State Cinema has nearly completely sold out ...

Twenty tickets remain for the Saturday matinee on this link and more sessions will be scheduled next week.


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Arts | What's On

The ANZAC Spirit – Conspicuous Bravery in the Face of Death. L’isola disabitata ...

Carolyn McDowall, Muse News, thecultureconcept circle
24.04.13 11:35 am


The ANZACS bore all without complaint, displaying a strength of right and purpose that was emboldening to all those around them; conspicuous gallantry, devotion to duty, caring for others and believing in a cause beyond self. This week we honour those who died so that we may live.

Read More: HERE


Hobart Baroque Festival Launch - Jarrod Carland, Lara Giddings, Madeleine Pierard and Festival Director, Leo Schofield

Larry’s Ghost’s review of L’isola disabitata

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Howling for Hamish

Paula Xiberras
24.04.13 7:43 am


Hamish Anderson is an exciting songwriter, guitarist and vocalist from Melbourne, he sings a mix of blues, folk and rock.

Hamish is about to release his self named EP . Angus and Julia Stone” and the Foofighters are just some of the musicians featured.

On April 19 Hamish will be releasing his ‘EP’ and first single “Howl”. He will celebrate with a launch show on Wednesday May 1 at ‘the Toff in Town’ venue in Melbourne.

Hamish is excited about and keen to tour Tasmania in the near future.

I posed some questions to Hamish about his career, Tasmania and much more.

Do you get to Tasmania very often either for leisure or performance?

As of yet I haven’t been to Tasmania, but I’ve heard such great things from friends about places like MONA and the Cascade Brewery so I can’t wait to go there!

Any particular Tasmanian memories or reflections you can share with us?

This is a tricky one, as I haven’t been to Tassie before I obviously don’t have any reflections that I can share with you – but as I plan to tour their later this year, I’ll be able to answer this question next time around!

You are only 21 years old but already have the ability to write and perform songs with great emotional weight. How do you account for this?

A lot of it has probably come from listening to so much music and just having a great appreciation for the art of song writing.

Smoke and Mirrors takes a cynical look at love? Was this song prompted by real life experience?

I’d definitely say that song and pretty much all of my songs have been inspired by real life experiences. It definitely has a more cynical look at love, which would just be a reflection of what I was feeling at the time I wrote it.

Looking at the video clip for’ Howl’ it seems to depict a protagonist captured by love/passion   but also, dare I say ‘fox hunter’ as we see images akin to him being ‘blooded’ after the hunt.

The title even hints at werewolf mythology and has a very primal feel to it.

Do you like explaining your symbolism or do you prefer listeners to come to come to their own interpretation in what Morris Gleitzman called the ‘magic spaces’ where listeners brings their own life experiences to your lyrics and images?

I prefer listeners to have their own interpretations of what a song means to them. It’s always been interesting to me how a song can have so many different meanings to the person who is listening to it, that’s one thing I love about songs and song-writing. I wanted the song and the video to have a very primal feel to it.

How long does it take you for the realisation of this complex imagery?

It definitely is present during the song-writing stage. I’ve begun to use imagery more and more in my songs and writing. 

You started playing guitar at 12 and have an abiding love of the blues although your music also encompasses folk and rock. Can you tell us a bit about your progression into music?

What initially got me in to music and made me want to play guitar when I was around 12, were bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream etc, and as I got older I started to go even further back to the artists the influenced them like Muddy Waters, Albert King, Howlin’ Wolf, Son House, Robert Johnson. Songwriters that have really inspired me are people like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and J.J. Cale. It’s all these influences that have helped me develop and find my style.

Is there or has there ever been another career choice for you?

Pretty much since I was 12 years old I knew I wanted my career to be in music, it’s really what drives me.

When can we expect to see you in Tasmania?

I hope to get to Tasmania very soon! I’m in the middle of sorting out some interstate gig dates (at this stage I’ve got a launch show in Melbourne at The Toff on May 1, and a show in Sydney at The Standard (supporting Jess Dunbar) on May 2) and playing some shows in Tasmania this year is definitely on the cards!

Hamish’s new single ‘Howl’ and new self-titled EP are available now on ITUNES and you can view the single here

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Bett Gallery: Major Works

The Bett Gallery
20.04.13 6:15 pm


All the details, here

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Arts | What's On

DARK MOFO: Martha Wainwright etc

19.04.13 2:52 pm



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Arts | What's On

Moonah Arts Centre’s popular 2013 Friday Night Concert Series continues

Michael McLaughlin Community Cultural Development Officer Glenorchy City Council
18.04.13 2:38 pm

Moonah Arts Centre’s popular 2013 Friday Night Concert Series continues on Friday the 19th of April with one of Tasmania’s best loved choirs, The Tasmanian Song Company.

The Tasmanian Song Company is a Hobart SATB community choir. Now in its 22nd year, The Company enjoy singing a wide and varied repertoire with a leaning more towards lighter music with broad audience appeal.

The Company’s regular repertoire include songs from musical theatre (Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Showboat, Chicago, State Fair, Moulin Rouge, Boy From Oz - to name a few), light opera and grand opera, Gilbert and Sullivan, traditional and popular songs, liturgical music, jazz, spirituals and music by contemporary composers ranging from Gershwin to Lloyd-Webber.

For their upcoming concert,  you will hear choral arrangements for the young and the young at heart. Catch some Sondheim with “Into the Woods”,  as well as arrangements from popular movies - the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and the “Muppet Movie”.

This vibrant choir, led by the charismatic Rachel Taylor, invites you to enjoy the music of celebration!

Where: Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins St Moonah
When: Friday April 19
Times: Doors open from 7pm for a 7:30pm start
Entry by Gold Coin Donation

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Arts | What's On

Bett Gallery: Irene Briant Collected Pieces

Bett Gallery • 369 Elizabeth Street • North Hobart • Hobart, Tasmania 7000
18.04.13 6:09 am


All the details here

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Arts | What's On

In Fine Style – Art of Tudor & Stuart Court Fashion on Show

Carolyn McDowall, Muse News, thecultureconcept circle
18.04.13 6:08 am


The exhibition In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor & Stuart Fashion will be held this summer in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, London. In the Royal Collection is a stunning portrait by artist Sir Peter Lely, who recorded the very beautiful Frances Teresa Stuart (1647-1702), Duchess of Richmond, c.1662. Luscious, lascivious and lovely ladies, many well known to Charles II, always wore pearls, the essential accessories for the loose state of ‘undress’ they were generally seen disported in. Read More:


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Arts | What's On

Not Dead Yet

18.04.13 6:06 am


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The Big Bush Bash – a fundraising festival for Still Wild Still Threatened

16.04.13 8:46 am




This weekend there will be a truckload of gigs at The Brisbane Hotel forming The Big Bush Bash.

Starting on Saturday afternoon with market stalls throughout the pub, and anarchist films in the band room provided by Outcry Distro. So grab a bargain and check out some flicks 3-5pm.

Then 5:30-6:30pm the band room will play host to celebrities and forest activists in discussion, games and quiz. It’s kinda like a talk show, a quiz show, a game show. We thought that rather than having celebrities and activists talking about how precious the forests are and how we are working to protect them, instead we’d put them on stage together for an hour of fun. Featuring Ben Potts (Sea Shepherd), Ali Alishah (Still Wild Still Threatened), Bebe Sparkle (Diamonds of Burlesque), Jenny Webber (Huon Valley Environment Centre), Sara Cooper (Cooper Screen Academy), and more…

Saturday nights Big Gig features some great local music, with raucous folk from Lordy Lordy, a healthy dose of funk from Paella Guru and and electro grooves from Danger Trails. Between bands you will be entertained by cabaret acts from The Diamonds of Burlesque, Meredith Cole and The Bearded Lady. 7-10:30pm.
Following on into the wee hours of the night We Love Bass presents Dub in The Pub with DJ Dameza, Lids, Antisound, DJ Secrets, Max Power, plus a live lighting show from VJ Smucklepop. While DJs Nervous Breakdown and Tiny Danzig will spin some rock and cheese in the front bar.

For Sunday you can ease your way back into proceedings with a folk music seedy recovery session 5-8pm in the front bar, which will also include happy hour and bingo 6-8pm and the raffle draw at 8. Folk music is provided by string band Lawson’s Heart, soloists Gareth Davies and Carrion Crow, plus a new folk-punk act The Dead Maggies.

Then to wind everything up, head into the band room for a mosh, as the festival finishes off with a good old fashioned punk gig. Featuring the last ever gig from Social Death Squad, as well as performances from Skun Knees and Will & The Screamin Seniors.
Gig details (all @ The Brisbane Hotel)

Sat 20/4

3-5pm - Market Stalls and Anarchist Films. Donation Entry

5:30-6:30pm - Question Time - Celebrity quiz and games, $10

7-10:30pm - SWST Big Gig, featuring Lordy Lordy, Paella Guru, Danger Trails, The Diamonds of Burlesque, Meredith Cole, The Bearded Lady. $10

11pm-4am - We Love Bass present Dub in The Pub with DJ Dameza, Lids, Antisound, DJ Secrets, Max Power, plus live lighting show from VJ Smucklepop. Donation Entry
Sun 21/4

5-8pm - Lawson’s Heart, The Dead Maggies, Carrion Crow, Gareth Davies. Included rock n roll bingo. Donation Entry

8-10pm - Social Death Squad (last gig), Will & the Screamin Seniors, Skun Knees. $5

A Festival pass can be purchased for $20 allowing access to all SWST Big Bush Bash events.

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Arts | What's On


Emily Cheung
15.04.13 5:41 pm


Melbourne band Buchanan have announced the release of their greatly anticipated debut album, Human Spring set for a May 10 release, and will be celebrating with a generous offer of a two-week free download of their new single and the album’s title track, Human Spring from today (April 12).  The single has already been getting a heap of airplay on Triple J since being serviced last Monday.

“The song Human Spring came about because of a little synth noise that you can hear at the start of the song… I just kept playing it on repeat and I thought ‘wow, you could write the most epic song around this’ and it evolved from there,” explains lead singer Josh Simons.  “It was one of the first songs written and in hindsight really is one of the centerpieces of the album.  It certainly shows the album’s worth of colour in one song!”

Co-produced by Simons and Catherine Marks (Foals, Death Cab for Cutie, Interpol, Kanye), Human Spring was recorded across seven different studios, with the bulk of the work done between Tender Trap studios in Northcote and Simons’ home garage studio.  “I really wanted to evolve past the DIY production of our first couple of EPs,” explains Simons.  And what better way to step it up than to have it mixed on an analogue desk by Andy Baldwin (Bjork, Midnight Juggernauts) and mastered by Geoff Pesche (Radiohead, Coldplay, LCD Soundsystem) at the world famous Abbey Road Studios.

Inspired by political events and a desire to capture the emotion around them, the album follows the loose story of a solider who is swept up in a movement and must deal with emotions such as lust, temptation and separation, while standing up for what he believes in and protecting his loved ones back home. “I wanted the music to stand in defiance of some of the more somber themes and create songs of celebration that still manage to carry an emotional punch,” says Simons.  Written when the war in the Middle East was at its peak, he goes on to explain, “I found it to be incredibly awe inspiring that these people could smile and somehow be ‘free’ in a seriously dangerous and life-threatening environment. I thought these emotions and that power needed to be captured on record.”

Stay tuned for some big tour announcements over the coming months.

Buchanan is Josh Simons (lead vocals, guitar and piano), Luke Shields (guitar), Miles de Carteret (bass) and Dan Barwick (drums).

Watch the lyric video for Human Spring::
Download the free Human Spring single::


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Arts | What's On


Emily Cheung
15.04.13 5:35 pm


Melbourne’s own gifted vocalist, guitarist and prolific songwriter, Hamish Anderson is set to release his impressive self-titled debut EP featuring many notable musicians including members of Foo Fighters, The Wallflowers and Angus & Julia Stone.  The EP and lead single, Howl will be released on April 19 and Hamish will be celebrating with a launch show at The Toff In Town on Wednesday May 1.

Having made a name for himself across the local scene for his impressive live show that encompasses a mix of blues, rock and folk with moments of loud, electric blues-soaked songs as well as delicate acoustic balladry, Hamish comes armed with a host of noteworthy tunes and a songwriting and vocal maturity well beyond his twenty-one years. 

After topping JJJ’s Unearthed charts in the pop/rock category with a demo track, Hamish picked up his guitar and headed to Sydney to record a five-track EP in BJB Studio with producer Eric J. Dubowsky (Art vs. Science, Weezer, Bluejuice).  The EP was engineered by Jean-Paul Fung (Birds of Tokyo, Last Dinosaurs, Silverchair) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Dr John, The Shins).

After hearing a few of Hamish’s songs, the passionate Rami Jaffee (keyboardist for Foo Fighters and founding member of The Wallflowers) stopped past the studio (while on tour in Australia with Foo Fighters) to record organ and piano, alongside bass player Rob Calder (Angus & Julia Stone) and drummer James Hauptman (Bluejuice). 

Lead single Howl is a song about human passion and provides a great first taste for listeners discovering Hamish Anderson.  “It was written reasonably fast, I heard the riff in my head and that really drove the entire song and its feel,” explains Hamish.  “During the recording the drummer’s symbol split from being belted soo hard and I blew up an old Vox Guitar amp!” he exclaims,showing just how much gusto went in to recording the track in just one live take.

With plans to release an album sometime in the future, for now Hamish is keen to work on an EP-basis, saying “I very much like the idea of releasing EP’s as little snap shots of where I’m at musically.”  And he isn’t wasting any time, having already headed back in to the studio to record a few new tracks with Jeff Buckley’s drummer Matt Johnson.

Listen to Howl on soundcloud::
View the clip for Howl::

“When the smoky, raw and gritty guitar comes slinking towards you and an almost eerie vocal joins the mix, you’ll hear a voice that sounds like it has already experienced a lot.”  Ara Jansen – The West Australian


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Arts | What's On


Emily Cheung
15.04.13 8:33 am


Renowned Melbourne songstress Ella Hooper has announced the release of her new single, Hxan set for release on April 26, celebrating with a launch gig (supported by Spender) at The Workers Club on Thursday May 9.

Hxan is the sultry yet strident second single lifted from Hooper’s forthcoming debut solo album, In Tongues, set for a mid year release.  With peaks of angst but mostly a sweet understated simmering, Hxan is a tale of spells, hexes and illusions.  “It’s one of the more brooding songs sonically and conceptually off the album,” says Hooper, “I’ve been exploring darker territory lyrically for this record, yet Hxan still feels defiant and almost uplifting when it kicks in, which is why it’s one of my favourites to play live… I get to be quite surly, it’s like the sonic equivalent of a revenge movie.”

The Scandinavian word Hxan translates roughly to ‘The Witches’ and it is indeed a bewitching mood that Hooper manages to conjure up here.  The track deftly picks up from where first single Low High left off, expanding on the film noir/ Tarantino-esque ambience and “peppers some Bad Seeds moments in there too for good measure,” explains Hooper.

The accompanying video clip was filmed by Hooper’s visual collaborator, Wilk and fittingly takes on a dreamy and hypnotic ‘under-a-spell’ theme, which follows suit with the entire In Tongues album, which tells stories of people being taken over by unseen forces, people slightly out of control.  “The clip is Virgin Suicides meets the fairies at the bottom of the garden,” says Hooper.

Stay tuned for Hooper’s debut solo album, In Tongues set for release on June 28. 

Stream the single, Hxan here:
View the clip for Hxan here:
Buy tickets to The Workers Club gig on May 9: 1300 724 867


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Arts | What's On

Defender of dance

Paula Xiberras
14.04.13 7:22 am


I recently chatted to Elik Melikov, director of the ‘Moscow Ballet las Classique’ due to tour Australia this month, including a tour date in Devonport.

Elik is a vibrant fixture in the ‘Moscow Ballet Las Classique’ a company he has been working with for 23 years and who he sees as family.

It was ten years ago that Elik was last in Tasmania and he hopes that this visit will provide some warmer weather, or at least preferably warmer, to the freezing cold of the UK where the company, at the time of our chat were completing their present tour. They had 2 more weeks in the UK touring with Copellia and then returning to Moscow for two weeks of rehearsal before making their way to Australia for their gala concerts.

This visit the company will showcase one of three great Tchaikovsky ballets, The Nutcracker, the other two being Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.

The Nutcracker is a perennial favourite and although it was initially performed for the Russian king and his family at Christmas time Elik believes it is a play for any time of the year, spring or summer, and it appeals to older and young people alike as well as to to any culture or country.

The female protagonists name is Maria but in the west we know her as Clara, the little girl who gets a beloved nutcracker doll as a Christmas present and in a series of dreams sees him take form into a flesh and blood prince who battles mice armies and escorts Clara to magical kingdoms including a kingdom of sweets where she and her prince are created King and Queen.

Clara wakes from these supposed ‘dreams’ but we are left guessing, when beside our heroine lies a little crown proving to us the dreams are in fact visions of the future.

Elik is more than a director, although trained in dance, Elik says he would ‘make like a painter’. Indeed he has a qualification from Art school and is instrumental in designing the beautiful costumes for this production. Elik’s name means ‘defender’, and like the nutcracker defending Clara from the mice army and other forces, Elik with his beautiful realisation of costume and art and devoted direction is a defender of ballets prominence as an art form. Elik is eager to return to Australia in the not too distant future bringing us more productions of the Moscow Ballet.

You can see ‘the Moscow Ballet las Classique’ at Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre on Saturday April 20 and Princess Theatre, Launceston on Sunday April 21.


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Arts | What's On


Emma Bett, Bett Gallery
12.04.13 4:29 pm


Bett Gallery welcomes landscape and still life painter Stephanie Tabram to the Bett Gallery stable.Tabram’s first exhibition with Bett Gallery scheduled for 2014 is highly anticipated amongst collectors.In celebration of this announcement,Tabram has released this exceptional work from the studio.

And much more, here

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Arts | What's On

MONA plays host to Hobart Baroque

Hobart Baroque
12.04.13 6:22 am

Donald Nicolson

12-20 April 2013

MONACELLO Tuesday 16 April 11am

Fine music plus a relaxed picnic at Australia’s most famous art precinct.

Tasmania’s sensational, internationally celebrated Museum of Old and New Art, MONA, will be the venue for two unique events in Hobart Baroque, a brand new festival celebrating music of the 17th and 18th centuries.

MONACELLO is a rare live performance of all six of Johann Sebastian Bach’s suites for unaccompanied cello. Among the most celebrated and enigmatic works by this great musical genius, they are regarded as the cornerstones of the cello repertoire, the greatest solo works ever composed for that magnificent instrument.

Four young Australian cellists, each from a different state, will participate in the all-day marathon with special international guest, Finnish virtuoso Timo-Veikko Valve, principal cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra playing two of the suites.

MONA is closed to the public on Tuesday, but audiences for this one-off event will have exclusive access to the Nolan Gallery. Patrons will be welcomed with morning tea before moving to the Nolan Gallery to hear the first three suites. A brief introduction will be provided by Dr. Robert Gibson, PhD (Sydney), PhD (Oxford).

After lunch, the second session, will be introduced by popular ABC Classic FM presenter Christopher Lawrence.

Lunch and refreshments included in the price of admission.


Suite No 1: Edwina Cordingley (Victoria) Cello, Replica after Guarnerius, made in England by Michael Watson in 1991

Suite No 2: Timo-Veikki Valve (Finland) Cello, Giuseppe Guarneri (filius Andreæ) and Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri (del Gesù), Cremona Italy,
1729, generously on loan from Mr Peter Weiss AM HonDLitt.

Suite No 3: William Hewer (Tasmania), Cello, Northern Italy, circa 1710

Suite No 4: Christopher Pidcock (ACT) Cello, Cello, W. Schnabl based on Montagnana’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ cello, Bavaria, 2006

Suite No 5: Timo-Veikki Valve Cello, Cello, Giuseppe Guarneri (filius Andreæ) and Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri (del Gesù), Cremona Italy,
1729, generously on loan from Mr Peter Weiss AM HonDLitt.

Suite No 6: Robert Manley (QLD) Cello, Cello, Helge Grawert, 2004

MONAORGANISM Saturday 20 April 7:30pm


The Organ Room at MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, is the unique venue for a once-only Baroque Banquet to celebrate the inauguration of Australia’s first and only annual festival of music from the 17th and 18th centuries.

So called because it houses a rare 1847 organ belonging to the Tasmanian branch of the National Trust, the Organ Room is a spectacular private space with breathtaking views over the Derwent River.

Limited to just fifty guests and with a magnificent menu created by MONA’s multi-starred executive chef, Philippe Leban, the dinner will showcase not only magnificent Tasmanian produce but also a rare performance on the organ by the talented Donald Nicolson of Latitude 37, Finnish cellist Timo-Veikko Valve, principal cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and Robert Manley on the baroque recorder.

“I’ve done considerable research on menus for similar banquets in the 18th century,” says chef Leban, “and each course is inspired by the period but re-interpreted to suit contemporary taste.”

Guests will be greeted with Moet and Chandon’s Brut Imperial champagne and the wines served with each course will be specially selected from the cellars at Moorilla.



Lobster bisque, cognac crème

Seafood Vol-au-vent


Parfit of Chicken and foie gras

Tartine of wild mushrooms


Crème of cauliflower, croutons and cepe mushroom

Soupe a l’ognion - Louis XV

Hare terrine, spiced fruit compote

Ragout of seafood Normande

Whole baked salmon, white wine and truffle sauce

Rabbit with Beaumes de Venise and raisins

Robbins island beef cheek braised in red wine

Duck roasted in hay, oyster sauce

Les legumes

Gratin of silverbeet

Roast vegetables cooked over embers

Stuffed vegetables

Fricassee of artichokes

Ragout of wild mushrooms

Les desserts

Chausson aux pommes

Sauternes Crème brulee

Ille flottante

Jellied fruits


Mulled wine

Tea to be served after dinner as coffee was not yet fashionable.

HOBART BAROQUE runs from 12-20 April 2013
For full festival program and bookings, please visit
Hobart Baroque is supported by the Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania and Graeme Wood AM

Download background info on Hobart Baroque:

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Arts | What's On


11.04.13 9:34 am

(L:R) Elvio Brianese, Jane Baker, Peta Heffernan & Constantine Koukias. Photo: Lucia Rossi.


IHOS Music Theatre & Opera, HyPe and Salamanca Arts Centre present


APR 17 – 21, 2013 | PERFORMANCES: 1.15PM, 6PM, 6.45PM, 7.30PM & 8.15PM DAILY



After 22 years of productions, Echo will be the last work for IHOS, before Artistic Director Constantine Koukias relocates (temporarily) to Amsterdam to pursue the creation of a new company.

Echo is a new work from the Tasmanian creative team behind The Barbarians (MONA FOMA 2011), IHOS Music Theatre & Opera Artistic Director Constantine Koukias has worked closely with collaborators Jane Baker (Scenarist and Sound Artist) and architects Elvio Brianese and Peta Heffernan (Directors of Liminal Spaces) to explore the inner world of the neurologically disjointed and emotionally isolating experience of living with dementia; creating a 20 minute experience for only 24 persons at a time.

Like many IHOS productions, this will be a unique experience that will premiere in Hobart. Liminal Spaces’ design approach to performance stems from philosophies where the essence of an idea is captured and presented through minimal forms and the manipulation of space; where the interaction between the performer and space define one another. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this unique work. Strictly limited tickets available!

APR 17 – 21, 2013 | PERFORMANCES: 1.15PM, 6PM, 6.45PM, 7.30PM & 8.15PM DAILY



HyPe is an initiative of Salamanca Arts Centre (SAC), supporting the creation of innovative, contemporary hybrid theatre in Tasmania. HyPe is funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and by Hobart City Council and Arts Tasmania.

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Arts | What's On

Il Giasone - Pinchgut Opera 2013, Creating a Rhythm for Life

Carolyn McDowall, Muse News, TheCultureConcept Circle
10.04.13 12:40 pm


The 2013 Pinchgut Opera at Sydney’s production of Il Giasone, a rarely heard early music work, will feature sensational countertenor David Hansen in the lead as Jason of Golden Fleece fame, music as art and creating a rhythm for life. Read More:  HERE

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Arts | What's On

The long-cherished dream becomes reality ...

Leo Schofield
10.04.13 4:36 am



Hobart hosts Australia’s first-ever annual festival celebrating music of the 17th and 18th centuries.

January 1988. Bicentennial year. The previous November I’d had a call from the then chief executive of the Australian Opera suggesting a trip with our respective spouses to Hobart.

The reason was twofold. The opera company was to give its first-ever fully staged production there as part of Tasmania’s contribution to the national Bicentennial celebrations and the performances were to coincide with the first landfall in Australia of the Tall Ships.

And so it was that I sat in the stalls of Hobart watching Mozart’s imperishable masterpiece Don Giovanni in a theatre roughly the same size as those in which this work had been seen in Europe around the composer’s own time.

The survival of this Tasmanian landmark is something of a miracle. More than once it was threatened with demolition but somehow it has survived the assault of philistine politicians and rapacious developers and still stands - the only early 19th century theatre in the Southern Hemisphere which has been in continuous use since its doors opened in 1837.

More than one person had dreamed of seeing small-scale period opera here. The stage is the right size, the acoustics superb. And on April 12 a dream long-cherished by so many music lovers becomes a reality.

Burgeoning international interest in early music has led to a revival of many a forgotten masterpiece from the 17th and 18th centuries. Two or three decades ago performances of stage works by Handel were great rarities. Now Handel’s operas form part of the staple repertoire of every major opera house in the world, even the highly conservative Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Some FAQ’s about Hobart Baroque.

Q: Why Hobart?

A: Because it has one of the finest small Georgian theatres in the Southern Hemisphere and certainly

Q: Why ‘Baroque’?

A: The past four decades have seen an astonishing growth of interest in early music. There are numerous reasons for this. Musicians were bored and needed new challenges. The record companies’ were hungry for fresh material.

Orchestra management realised that audiences can’t survive for ever on a diet of Beethoven and Brahms. And opera companies twigged that there was a limit to the number of Madam Butterflies, Carmens and La Boheme’s they could foist off on subscribers. A radical change of diet was needed.

Q: What is ‘Baroque’?

A: Well actually it probably derives from the Portuguese word for a misshapen pearl. Today it is simply used to describe something anything elaborate.

Q. Does it apply only to music.

A: Not at all. Architecture, painting, costume, language, if sufficiently freighted with flourishes, can all be safely described as baroque.

Q: Now what are the dates?

A: Dates for particular periods are somewhat flexible but the Baroque age roughly spans the period from 1650 to 1750, give or take a decade or two,

Q: So what’s this got to do with Tasmania?

A: Does the notion of early music in early buildings make sense.

Q: But what about MONA?

And, an answer to that is here, TT Arts


Athenian opera star Rodula Gaitanou, above,  is set to direct the 18th century opera L’isola Disabitata as part of Hobart Baroque ...

Opera is my passion, my work, my hobby; I get the goosebumps in rehearsals every day, I am in constant awe of the art form. It is the ultimate way to tell a story, emotional, direct, physical yet abstract

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Arts | What's On


09.04.13 1:32 pm


As part of the inaugural Hobart Baroque festival (April 12-20), we’re hosting two super - duper events here at Mona. One’s already sold out, but there’s still a heap going on here, and elsewhere, so no excuses.


A banquet of baroque! Enjoy a feast by The Source’s Philippe Leban, while listening to organist Donald Nicolson of Melbourne-based early music group Latitude 37, and special guest Timo-Veikko Valve, principal cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets →
And, To view the full program of events at Hobart Baroque, including the Royal Opera House’s first ever visit to Australia,

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Arts | What's On


Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA), CEO Louise Sylvan
08.04.13 7:52 am


Following the enormous speculation across the music industry over the elusive Smokescreen Music Festival, the event touted to be ‘the most dangerous music festival on earth’ has now addressed the conjecture by announcing the festival line up, including two headline acts, hip-hop artist, M4-CEMA and outrageous glam rock band, The Coughin’ Nails.  Both acts are releasing brand new anti-smoking singles and video clips which play a key part in the multi-layered music marketing initiative aimed at highlighting the dangers and health risks associated with tobacco smoking amongst the youth.

After last month’s teaser campaign (that included street posters and a 17 second video) created considerable hype across the industry, Mushroom Marketing felt the timing was right to reveal details of the festival’s line up on World Health Day (April 7), given the project is focusing on de-glamorising smoking.

A very real problem in today’s society, tobacco smoking is the single largest cause of preventable premature death and disease in Australia, with nearly 15,000 people dying each year from smoking related illnesses.

Funded by the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA), CEO Louise Sylvan says the Agency is always looking for innovative ways to promote the quit smoking message, especially to younger Australians, stating:

“From our regular evaluations of the campaigns we can see that these activities are making an impact but there is always more that can be done to encourage and support smokers in their quit attempts… The Agency saw the potential in such a unique project like the Smokescreen Music Festival to reach and engage with a younger audience about the harms of tobacco use.”

Mushroom Marketing Managing Director, Carl Gardiner has an important respect and belief in the power of well-crafted songs to connect with young people, saying: 

“Both the tracks featured were written and recorded specifically for the project. They are not jingles or slogans - they are real songs and both make a very powerful statement about smoking in their own way.” 

Chairman of the Mushroom Group of Companies, Michael Gudinski explains why he was excited to jump on board at the helm of this important initiative:

“For many years Mushroom has used the imagery and iconography of rock ‘ n’ roll to capture the attention of Australian music fans.  We felt that is was timely to combine this experience and Mushroom’s creative talents and apply them to a serious health issue.  We created engaging content and activated a mix of traditional and digital media channels to promote awareness of the health risks associated with smoking. The SMOKESCREEN MUSIC FESTIVAL Project does this in an entertaining and at times humorous way – while ensuring the negatives associated with smoking are clearly recognised.  We have certainly fooled some people as I have had band managers contact me asking to be on the bill!”

View The Coughin’ Nails’ Very Good Year clip::

View the M4-CEMA teaser for Get You Out of My System::

View the Smokescreen Music Festival EPK::

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Arts | What's On

Robert plants in Tasmania!

Paula Xiberras
02.04.13 7:05 am

Photo credit Charlie Bryan

Michael Chugg is speaking to me from Byron Bay having just literally flown in. It’s a busy life for the former Tasmanian, now prominent Australian promoter.

Michael or ‘Chuggie’ as he is affectionately known still gets down to Tassie a couple of times a year, as his brother and sister still live here. He tries his best to get as many acts down here as he can, which honours a promise he made to that effect when he ventured out in 68.

Today we are chatting about about one of Chuggie’s artists, the great Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest voices. Chuggie tells me that Robert particularly asked that his Australian tour take in Tasmanian and tells me Robert has been reading ‘The Fatal Shore’. Chuggie says that if an act wants to go somewhere then he makes sure they get to do so.

It’s part of the way Chuggie does his work. He’ll do what he can to make the artists comfortable and in the case of some acts, as he outlines in his book it means catering for the occasional extraordinary demands but he adds that Robert is not demanding at all and a pleasure to work with, just hanging out with his band, ‘The Sensational Shape Shifters’  as well as catching up with some relatives while in Australia.  As is customary with Chuggie he gives his acts space to do their own thing and perhaps that’s one reason he his held in such respect and affection. Chuggie was down in Tassie earlier this year with Elton John who wanted to return after enjoying performing at Aurora Stadium the first time around.

Robert has decided to spend some extra days in Tasmania and no doubt will be exploring around the Huon Valley and the East Coast. He may even head to MONA. Robert will tantalise with his music, blues based and building on influences from the world over including the recording of the music of the Berber woman of Morocco. All this ‘sensationally shapes and shifts’ into Robert’s unique and always transforming sound. Led Zeppelin fans will not be disappointed with Robert revelling in renditions of the songs.

Robert and The Sensational Shape Shifters will be accompanied in Tasmania by support act ‘The Blind Boys of Alabama’, whom Robert enthuses about.

Chuggie, who has attended some of the concerts so far promises a great concert of rock and roll.

Robert Plant and the Sensational Shape Shifters with support act ‘The Blind Boys of Alabama’ play in Tasmania at the Launceston Silverdome on Friday 5 April.

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Arts | What's On


01.04.13 4:43 am


Majestic wedge-tailed eagles soar above the new central gallery in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery as if relishing release from the fusty old museum. Gone are the days when visitors had to pass the stuffed exhibits before they could go anywhere else.

Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the site is exciting and the Central Gallery – the old Zoology Gallery – sets the tone, with its ceiling lifted to reveal iron framework of the roof.  It’s a great space that triggers the imagination.

There is a spectacular sculptural installation in the centre of the Central Gallery, with a section of an old cedar staircase sitting at a crazy angle over a tall, MONA-like ‘Aladdin’s cave’ in which there is a Sumatran tiger, butterflies, an Egyptian mummy and a range of objects that showcase TMAG’s diverse collections.

Years ago, I was among those who wanted to separate the museum from the art gallery – largely because contemporary art was a poor relation in both display and acquisitions. I’m glad it didn’t happen because there is vibrancy in the new displays and I’m won over by the possibility of layering of collections.

In February 2006, the Lennon Labor Government committed $30 million to develop a whole-of-site concept and master plan to redevelop TMAG – announced, as I recall, on Launceston Cup Day and thereby deflecting media attention from the flak the Premier was getting over a visit to Crown Casino in Melbourne. Johnson Pilton Walker did the master plan.

In October 2009, architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp won the contract; in November 2011, VOS Construction and Joinery Pty Ltd won the construction contract. In November last year, TMAG closed for final building works to be completed and new exhibitions installed, and reopened to the public on March 15th. A shame it was closed over summer, but hey, it’s open now.

The official opening took place on March 13th. Former Premier Paul Lennon was there and I imagine he must have felt pleased with the result of that long ago announcement. March 13th was also the date of the sesquicentenary of the establishment of the museum on the site.

Phase 1 ($10 million) included making all four floors of the Bond Store publicly accessible, with both a lift and a white, light-filled spiral staircase connecting them and the Bond Store with the Custom House. The stair well adds a modern element that melds perfectly with the historic stone building while the different floors tell the Tasmanian tale - natural history, colonization and the Aboriginal story.

The publicity material says the master plan weaves together the interpretation of place, buildings and collections, and yes, it does. It’s terrific. One gripe, however, is that signage is so low on the walls that you have to get down on bended knee to read it and if you wear specs, which I do, the magnification is then distorted – cantilevered signage would make a difference.

Some old favorites have been given little more than a facelift, but with good effect. Take the colonial gallery; the walls are now a vibrant violet. It sounds awful, and reproductions in print don’t do it justice, but it looks great and enhances the paintings, particularly Duterrau’s poignant Aboriginal portraits.

Among new offerings is an exhibition devoted to recent issues. This gallery is painted a wild aqua and has posters and other material relating to Lake Pedder, the Franklin, Farmhouse Creek, the Hydro Electric Commission, Gay Rights, and you name it. Elsewhere, there’s a contemporary exhibition with a survey of three decades of prints by Raymond Arnold. It’s at this point that I begin to wonder; not about these exhibitions, but about the context. How do they fit in with the whole?

I don’t have many gripes, but another is the seeming elimination of convict history. True, the Beattie Collection of convict artifacts is on display, including a terrifying restraining box. But I didn’t get a real sense of Van Diemen’s Land as a penal colony.  And I’m sorry the Aboriginal diorama remains relegated to storage for political reasons, rather than on display within an historical context.

One small gripe – it’s sad to see the dinosaur with its head all but butting the roof of the veranda overlooking the new entrance – but the new entrance is a big plus. The new café, which is open daily from 7.30am, is also a plus.

My gripes are minor compared with what I like about the redevelopment. I’ve been three times, to the opening, on a media tour and as a member of the public, and there’s a new buzz to the place that’s great. But I do wonder if there is something I’ve missed – or not - that ties it all together as the Tasmanian story?

Director Bill Bleathman, nevertheless, deputy director Peter West, project manager Jennifer Storer, project architect James Perry, the VOS team and TMAG staff are to be congratulated. The State Government also, for honouring the commitment to Phase 1 at a time when budgets have been slashed.

Paul Lennon may be in mourning over his failed pulp mill, but he can take heart over his role in getting TMAG into the 21st century.

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Writers | Margaretta Pos | Arts


28.03.13 3:42 pm

Lucia Rossi



A site-specific intimate and immersive experience into an auditory world of an 85-year old living with dementia.



A new work from the Tasmanian creative team behind The Barbarians (MONA FOMA 2011), IHOS Music Theatre & Opera Artistic Director Constantine Koukias has worked closely with collaborators Jane Baker (Scenarist and Sound Artist) and architects Elvio Brianese and Peta Heffernan (Directors of Liminal Studios) to explore the inner world of the neurologically disjointed and emotionally isolating experience of living with dementia; creating a 20 min experience for only 24 persons at a time.

The scenario concept is based on juxtaposed themes of the daily routine of living in an aged care facility and the inner world of memories and “dreams”. The audient enters a space, an unfamiliar environment, and is then immersed into a predominately auditory world. They are the central character, a person approximately 85 years old, living in this moment – with dementia. It is a suggestive experience.

Echo Part 1 – A Neurological Soundscape requires each audience member to wear a set of headphones. They will be seated in the round along the perimeter of a revolving stage and will experience an environmental manipulation of visual and auditory suggestion, launching them into the space that is neither awake nor asleep. Like many IHOS productions, this will be a unique experience that will premiere in Hobart.

Liminal Spaces’ design approach to performance stems from philosophies where the essence of an idea is captured and presented through minimal forms and the manipulation of space; where the interaction between the performer and space define one another. This has led to collaborations with IHOS for Kimisis (MONA FOMA 2010) and The Barbarians (MONA FOMA 2012).

IHOS is a performing arts company based in Tasmania, Australia, with an international reputation for original music-theatre and opera. Works are multicultural, multilingual and exploit multiple art-forms, blending voice, dance and sound with installation art and digital technology. IHOS has origins in the Greek-Australian tradition. The company was established in Hobart in 1990, by composer and artistic director Constantine Koukias, and production director Werner Ihlenfeld.

After 22 years of productions, Echo will be the last work for IHOS , before Artistic Director Constantine Koukias relocates (temporarily) to Amsterdam to pursue the creation of a new company after IHOS Opera was not funded by Arts Tasmania in 2013.

HyPe is an initiative of Salamanca Arts Centre (SAC), supporting the creation of innovative, contemporary hybrid theatre in Tasmania. HyPe is funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and by Hobart City Council and Arts Tasmania.



Koukias’ avant-garde approach to the presentation of opera has resulted in hybrid opera such as The Barbairans (MONA FOMA 2012) Days and Nights with Christ, To Traverse Water, MIKROVION (Small Life 36 Images in a Phantom Flux of Life), The Divine Kiss and Tesla – Lightning in His Hand.  His works range from large scale site – specific to gallery pieces. Compositions written prevalently for orchestra / voice or for various ensemble line-ups, have been remarkable for their peculiar, mesmerising atmosphere created by temporal, spatial and sound effects.

JANE BAKER – Soundscape
Jane is a musician, composer, performance & recording artist and has worked and studied in the fields of music, art and science and their synthesis. She has studied guitar in Tanzania (overseas study grant: Phonographic Performance Company of Australia). She has worked with IHOS as an improvisational percussionist on The Barbarians (MONA FOMA 2012). Over the past 20 years, Jane has acquired extensive experience and a deep understanding of neurologically challenged people. Her experience includes designing and facilitating diversional & music therapy programs for: intellectually and physically disabled adults and children, elderly people, high needs dementia patients, African refugees, gifted children and people with acquired brain injuries.

ELVIO BRIANESE & PETA HEFFERNAN – Liminal Spaces Design- Production Designers

As the founding Director of Liminal Studio and Liminal Architecture, Elvio Brianese is an architect with over twenty-five years’ global experience in object design, the arts and architecture. His experience encompasses a broad range of projects, scales and types across multiple disciplines.

As a Director of Liminal Studio and Principal of Liminal Spaces, Peta Heffernan is an architect with broad design experience having worked in Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne over a span of 17 years. While her architectural work centres on creating space and environments for living, working and learning, her areas of research, investigation and participation are diverse in scale and application. They range from curatorial and participatory

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Arts | What's On

Dear Friends of Despard Gallery

Steven Joyce Director
28.03.13 11:07 am

We would like to remind you of the last days of Dale Richards exhibition World By Water, closing this Monday the 1st of April!

Link here:

Our Easter hours are:


Wishing you safe and festive blessings of your choice.


oil on canvas with polychrome wood
and steel
painting 30 x 367 cm
sculpture 222 x 32 x 32 cm

Despard Gallery
15 Castray Esplanade
Hobart Tasmania Australia 7000
ph +61 3 62238266
fax +61 3 62236496

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Arts | What's On

Moonah Arts Centre’s popular 2013 Friday Night Concert Series

Michael McLaughlin Community Cultural Development Officer Glenorchy City Council
28.03.13 9:27 am

Moonah Arts Centre’s popular 2013 Friday Night Concert Series continues on Friday the 5th of April with contemporary jazz duo, OHZONE.

OhZone is a Hobart based contemporary jazz duo that combines the rich, warm and captivating vocals of Coral Hannaby and the tasteful artistry of Alan Welsh’s evocative guitar sounds.

OhZone perform jazz standards and popular tunes featuring the pair’s own elegant arrangements: retaining the essence of the original compositions while infusing them with OhZone’s own appealing musicality.

OhZone will present a one hour concert across their repertoire including elegant and timeless cocktail favourites such as ‘Misty’, ‘When I Fall in Love’, ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘Blue Moon’; Blues staples such as ‘God Bless the Child’, ‘Route 66’ and ‘Messing Around’; Popular music of the 60’s and 70’s such as ‘Spanish Harlem’,  ‘Blackbird’ and ‘California Dreaming’; Pop/Rock hits such as ‘Time After Time’, ‘Love Hurts’, ‘Go Your Own Way’ and ‘Two Strong Hearts’.

The dynamism of this duo comes from the immediacy of live performance: Alan has mastered the use of a loop pedal, allowing him to play over the rhythm tracks that he creates live. This produces a full and well-rounded sound without any reliance on pre-recorded backing tracks, as well as ensuring that the music is fresh and original at each performance.

Alan and Coral lived in Hong Kong from 2003 to 2008, teaching at international school King George V. Additionally Alan was the resident guitarist at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club on Hong Kong island. During the last 2 years in Perth, Coral and Alan have continued their busy schedule of performances for a variety of corporate and private functions, playing at Burswood Casino, Sandalford Estate, the Vines Resort, the East Fremantle Yacht Club, the Sunday at Subi series at the Subiaco Arts Centre, before relocating to Hobart at the beginning of 2011.

This will be the duo’s first concert at the popular Moonah Arts Centre. 

Where:        Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins St Moonah
When: Friday April 5
Times:        Doors open from 7pm for a 7:30pm start
Entry by Gold Coin Donation

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Arts | What's On

David Bowie Is - A Musical Innovator & British Cultural Icon

Carolyn McDowall, Muse News, TheCultureConcept Circle
27.03.13 11:40 am


For David Bowie fans and admirers the V & A at London have laid on their dream show. There are 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork and rare performance material from the past five decades. Read More: HERE

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Arts | What's On

Bett Gallery: Annika Koops

The Bett Gallery
26.03.13 10:03 am


Details here

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Seventh statewide international arts festival a resounding success

Ten Days on the Island Artistic Director Jo Duffy
25.03.13 1:40 pm

Pic: Al Bett

Tasmania’s seventh international arts festival Ten Days on the Island wrapped up yesterday having
exceeded both financial and artistic objectives, and marking new levels of engagement with Tasmanians.
Artistic Director Jo Duffy said the response of the Tasmanian community was the best validation of the
festival’s success, measured by strong attendances to a diverse range of arts events, encompassing mature
dance on King Island, operatic music in Burnie, Celtic fiddles in Huonville and innovative theatre in Hobart.

“I’m truly thrilled with the community’s reaction to the festival, especially as the artists constantly
reported Tasmanian audiences to be the most supportive they have experienced anywhere, which is a big
credit to the State from performers who have travelled the world,” Ms Duffy said.

“This spontaneous reaction affirms that Ten Days on the Island is an enduring asset to the social and
cultural life of Tasmania and that Tasmanians have shown genuine ownership and pride in the festival.

“Despite many shows selling out and countless standing ovations in what could be considered risky
performances, the real success of this festival is the passionate, unconditional involvement of people
across the state who not only attended the shows in droves, but also embraced the artists, identified with
them and appreciated their stories.

“Each of our ten festival towns demonstrated genuine pride while hosting the mini-festivals in their town
while the new Beyond Ten Days programme facilitated exchange of ideas and inspiration.”

Executive Director and Producer of Ten Days on the Island Marcus Barker said the financial success of the
festival was also very satisfying, with a resounding box office result that finished substantially in front of
the financial target, and a new ticket sales record for one performance through the complete sell-out
concert of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at Launceston’s Princess Theatre.

“Another first this year was the provision of audio captioning for some performances, which enabled the
deaf and hard of hearing communities to engage with the festival at a more rewarding level,” Mr Barker

“The support from the corporate sector was once again very substantial, with partnerships for the first
time this year with Qantas and RACT, whose support enabled us to present the prestigious quality
production of The Select (The Sun Also Rises) from New York, thanks to Qantas, and the statewide tour 21
Circus Acts in 20 Minutes to 11 centres around Tasmania, thanks to support provided by RACT.

“We also retained long-standing partners Southern Cross and Hydro, which demonstrates the value and
reach that the festival delivers throughout Tasmania.

“In total, over 50 per cent of the festival’s self-generated income was derived from the corporate sector.”
Ten Days on the Island 2015 will take place from 20 – 29 March.

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