Category Archives: performance

Australian Premiere of Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Australian premiere of Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Date: Wednesday, 27 July, 2016
Time: 7:00pm-9:30pm(AEST)
Venue: Federation Hall – 7-17 Grant Street #5, Southbank, VIC
Cost: Register for your free tickets here

From the mind of award-winning director Julie Taymor (The Lion King on Broadway, Frida, Titus) comes a Shakespeare adaptation like none other, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Rich with Taymor’s trademark creativity, this immersive and darkly poetic cinematic experience brings the play’s iconic fairies, spells and hallucinatory lovers to life. Filmed at her sold-out stage production with cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto (Argo, Frida) and music by Academy Award-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal, the feats of visual imagination are ingenious and plentiful, but beating at the centre of the film is an emotionally moving take on the deeper human aspects of Shakespeare’s beloved tale.

Taymor’s Dream was released on film at the Toronto International Film Festival in late 2014 and has had limited release primarily in the UK and North America. This screening for the University of Melbourne community is the Australian premiere.

Encounters: The Music of Europe and Asia – Free Concert @ St Joseph’s Church, Subiaco, WA

Encounters: The Music of Europe and Asia

Date: Sunday 19 June, 2016
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: St Joseph’s Church, 3 Salvado Road, Subiaco, Western Australia
Parking: There are approximately 80 spots available in the underground lot of the church (entrance off of Salvado Road). Local parking is also available around the church and across the road.
Tickets: This is a free event. Reserve your ticket HERE.
Enquiries: Please contact Makoto Harris Takao
Full details: http://www.historyofemotions.org.au/events/encounters-the-music-of-europe-and-asia

This concert explores Europe’s first contact with Japan and China from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. These encounters are re-imagined through the sights and sounds of music performed and composed in these lands to the Far East. Tracing Gregorian chant through to chamber music, this unique soundscape of cultural exchange is brought to life by a vibrant group of young early music specialists. This concert features a number of Australian premieres, including the musical drama, Mulier Fortis (Strong Woman), composed in Austria in 1698 about the trials and tribulations of a Japanese Christian convert. These rare pieces tell us a tale about music as a way of communicating across cultures, and how both European merchants and missionaries alike were confronted with a new world continually unfolding before them.

Musicians:

  • Shaun Lee-Chen, violin (Shaun appears courtesy of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra)
  • Ben Dollman, violin (Ben appears courtesy of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra)
  • Alix Hamilton, viola
  • Makoto Harris Takao, viola da gamba
  • Aidan Deasy, theorbo
  • James Huntingford, harpsichord
  • Brent Grapes, trumpet (Brent appears courtesy of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra)
  • Carly Power, soprano
  • Chelsea Burns, mezzo-soprano
  • Jonathan Brain, tenor
  • Lachlann Lawton, baritone
  • Paull-Anthony Keightley, bass

This event is presented by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800) and the University of Western Australia School of Music.

UQ School of Music – Shakespearean Feast

Shakespearean Feast – The UQ Symphony Orchestra, UQ Chorale and Guest Choirs

Date: 29 May, 2016
Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Cultural Precinct, Cnr Grey and Melbourne Street, South Bank
Tickets: $30 / $18 (transaction fees apply): https://www.qpac.com.au/event/uq_school_music_may_16.aspx

The University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, with guest choirs, commemorate 400 years of Shakespeare.

Conducted by Warwick Potter, with choirs directed by Graeme Morton, the program includes Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Shostakovich’s Hamlet Suite, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, as well as a world premiére composition from UQ student John Rotar.

Come and enjoy the food of love with The University of Queensland!

Shakespeare Live! From the RSC – Screening Across Australia on May 6

Sharmill Films presents:

Shakespeare Live! From the RSC

Celebrating Shakespeare’s legacy in all the arts to mark the 400th anniversary of the world’s greatest playwright.

In Cinemas 6 May 2016

Tickets on sale now! For a list of participating cinemas in Australia, please visit: http://www.sharmillfilms.com.au/?p=5675

A once in a lifetime opportunity. An incredible cast. Featuring a special performance by Prince Charles!

Watch the Trailer!

Hosted by David Tennant, this star-studded show from the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company celebrates Shakespeare’s plays and their enduring influence on music, dance, opera, musical theatre and comedy.

Captured live from Stratford-Upon-Avon on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran has assembled an astonishing once-in-a-lifetime cast, including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tim Minchin, Rufus Wainwright, John Lithgow, David Suchet, Rory Kinnear, Joseph Fiennes, the cast of Horrible Histories, The Royal Ballet, English National Opera (ENO), Birmingham Royal Ballet, and many more, plus a very special appearance by Prince Charles, to perform in a unique tribute to the genius and influence of the world’s greatest playwright and storyteller.

Shakespeare Live! From the RSC will feature numerous theatrical performances, as well as Shakespeare-inspired works spanning the musical genres, including hip-hop, blues, musical theatre, jazz, opera and classical music. This unique gala event will immerse you in the excitement, the drama, the laughter, the tears, the constant reinvention and the utter timelessness of the works of William Shakespeare.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said:

“I am thrilled that the Royal Shakespeare Company’s celebration to mark this very special anniversary will be seen in cinemas across Britain and around the world. Performances of some of the greatest dramatic scenes ever written, played by some of our greatest actors, will look and sound wonderful on the big screen, as will the songs, the comedy, the dances and the music that we are bringing together in Shakespeare’s home town. Watching it together with an audience in your own town should make it truly an evening to remember.”

Perth Symphonic Chorus: Shakespeare 400th Commemoration

Shakespeare 400th Commemoration
Perth Symphonic Chorus

Date: 24 April, 2016
Time: 3:00pm-5:00pm
Venue: Government House Ballroom, 25 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA
Tickets: Tickets from $63 from www.ticketek.com.au (13 28 49)

Honour Shakespeare in this weekend of the 400th commemoration of his death day, April 23rd 1616, in a concert of beautiful selections of famous Shakespearean readings and choral and orchestral settings of his texts.

From Rutter’s colourful cantata When Icicles Hang through the lush settings of Vaughan Williams’ In Windsor Forest for choir and orchestra as well as his exquisitely ethereal Lark Ascending with soloist Paul Wright, the concert encompasses old texts in a variety of delightful musical forms.

Guest soprano Katja Webb from the W.A. Opera Company further enhances the concert with well-known Shakespeare songs such as Where The Bee Sucks There Suck I and Who Is Sylvia?.

With costumed actors reading excerpts relevant to the music from Shakespeare sonnet collection and famous plays such as Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew etc. this will be a once in a lifetime experience for us all on this most auspicious weekend.

Download the programme/flyer.

Shakespeare on Screen – Film Festival @ GOMA Brisbane

Shakespeare on Screen
22 Apr 2016 – 25 May 2016 | GOMA | Cinema A
Free

‘Shakespeare on Screen’ celebrates the timeless power of William Shakespeare, the most frequently adapted author in cinema history. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, this program is a taste of the breadth and dynamism with which filmmakers have transmuted his plays from stage to screen. It brings together a mixture of traditional adaptations and creative reinventions, along with films that look at both the performance and the performers of the texts themselves. From The Tempest in outer space (Forbidden Planet 1956) to Othello in a London jazz club (All Night Long 1962), Shakespeare’s work onscreen is restricted by neither genre nor setting — only the ingenuity of the adaptation.

For a full list of films and screening dates/times, please visit: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/whats-on/cinema/programs/shakespeare-on-screen

Will, England & St George: A Shakespeare Revel

Shakespeare 400 Festival Event: ‘Will, England & St George: A Shakespeare Revel’

Date: Friday 22 April 2016
Time: 6.30PM (duration approx 2hrs inc interval / feast)
Venue: St George’s Cathedral, 38 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA 6000
Tickets: $45 and $40 junior concession (8 – 17 years only)
Booking: Trybooking reference: www.trybooking.com/KRXS or phone (08) 9325 5766

Hosted by the Shakespeare 400 Festival Perth and St George’s Cathedral.

At sundown on the eve of St George’s day (April 22nd) enjoy a special event for the 400th anniversary of the death of England’s greatest playwright and poet – a once in a lifetime event at St George’s Cathedral, Perth.

Come celebrate the Bard and be enchanted with music, wooed by words and delighted by comedy as we make spirits soar and rafters ring. And purchase a hearty Elizabethan supper (proceeds to St Bartholomew’s House for the homeless) while entertained by roving performers. (BYO wine/beer or purchase soft drink).

Featuring Giovanni Consort, Perth Baroque Ensemble, Courtney Pitman, many of Perth’s leading actors, Shakespeare Shenanigans and a special appearance by Will Shakespeare himself and his sovereign, Queen Elizabeth I.

Shakespeare – 400 – Emotions: Institute of Advanced Studies @ UWA / ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (UWA Node) Event

Shakespeare – 400 – Emotions
Institute of Advanced Studies @ UWA /ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (UWA Node) Event

Date: 26 April, 2016
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Venue: UWA University Club Auditorium
Register: This is a free event, but registration is required. To register: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/shakespeare

Speakers: Susan Broomhall, Brid Phillips, Danijela Kambaskovic, Bob White, Brett Hirsch (UWA)


This evening will present highlights from the research of scholars working in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (1100–1800), exploring some of the many emotional facets of Shakespeare’s life, works and memory, from the seventeenth century to the present. Two video presentations (by Bob White and Brett Hirsch) will be screened. The talks will be complemented by a selection of music from the time of Shakespeare performed by the Fine Knacks Ensemble.

Emeritus Professor Ian Donaldson and Professor Ian Gadd, The Death of Shakespeare – The University of Adelaide Free Public Lecture

The Death of Shakespeare Public Lecture

Date: Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Elder Hall, The University of Adelaide
Cost: Free but Bookings essential by Wednesday 21 April, 2016. Please click here to register your attendance

This year the world celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare’s Legacy

At the time of his death on 23 April1616 Shakespeare was far from a celebrity. Beyond the country town of Stratford where he had been born and now was buried, his death appears to have occasioned little interest or attention. None of his fellow-poets chose to mourn his passing; no gatherings in his honour were held; no contemporary references to his death have survived. Why did the final exit of the man now acclaimed as the world’s most famous writer not attract more resounding applause? How was Shakespeare’s reputation established in the years after his death? How did his fame spread–through Europe, the British Empire, globally?

Speaker: Emeritus Professor Ian Donaldson, University of Melbourne
Response: Professor Ian Gadd, Bath Spa University
Musical Performance: Adelaide Baroque (Emma Horwood: Soprano; Anne Gardiner: Harpsichord; Graham Strahle: Viola da amba; Jayne Varnish: Recorders)
Chair: Dr Lucy Potter, The University of Adelaide

Emeritus Professor Ian Donaldson, FBA FRSE FAHA has had an outstanding academic and professional career and is one of Australia’s most energetic and effective champions of the importance and value of the Humanities. Currently an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, he has previously been Fellow and Lecturer of Wadham College, Oxford (1962-9), a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge (1995-2005), and has chaired the English Faculties of both these Universities. He was also Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, Edinburgh University, perhaps the most distinguished and certainly the oldest Chair of English Language and Literature in the world. Resigning his Oxford fellowship to return to Australia in 1969, he was Professor of English at the ANU and also Head of Department (1969-91).

In the last three years Professor Donaldson has produced two related publications, the culmination of a life-time of scholarly work: his authoritative biography, Ben Jonson: A Life (Oxford: OUP, 2011), and his General Editorship of the Cambridge Edition of The Works of Ben Jonson (Cambridge: CUP, 2012). The Cambridge Works has been praised in the London Review of Books as ‘[a] formidable enterprise’ while the Times Literary Supplement has described it as an ‘outstanding edition’ and an ‘invaluable scholarly resource’. The biography, Ben Jonson: A Life, has also been published to critical acclaim.

Ian Gadd is Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University and President of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), the largest scholarly society in the world devoted to the study of the history of the book. His research focuses on the printing and publishing of books in England in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was the Charlton Hinman Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, in 2011.

Australia’s Silent Film Festival: Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary Celebration

Australia’s Silent Film Festival: Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary Celebration Silent Films With Live Music

Date: 15 April, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm-6:15 pm (drinks and nibbles in Dixson Room)
Venue: Dixson Room, State Library of NSW. The Shakespeare Room will also be open.
Tickets: $30/ $25 Online www.ozsilentfilmfestival.com.au or call T 0419 267 318
More info: www.ozsilentfilmfestival.com.au/cms/uploads/2016_programs/state_lib_apr.pdf

Digital restorations of:

The Life and Death of Richard III (1912) 59 minutes USA Director James Keane and starring Frederick Warde Preserved by the American Film Institute

“An astounding rediscovery of the cinema, Richard III is the earliest surviving American feature film, newly discovered and restored to its original brilliance through the American Film Institute…… Produced as a vehicle for Frederick Warde, a legendary stage actor of the 19th Century, Richard III was the most ambitious Shakespearean adaptation to date. The film not only attempts to honour the intricacies of the original play, it flavours the drama with spectacular crowd scenes and rich colour tints. Richard III offers a fresh glimpse at a time when Shakespeare wasn’t strictly the domain of scholars but was a source of popular entertainment, “when Americans didn’t have to be spoon-fed a great dramatist but were united in their passion for one who gave them characters who mirrored their own complex humanity, not to mention sublime poetry, along with requisite doses of sex and violence.” (Frank Rich, the New York Times)

Bromo and Juliet (1926) 24 minutes USA With Charley Chase and Oliver Hardy

“In this short the wonderful comic, Charley Chase, stages a play as a fund raiser but has to keep an eye on his drunken father and deal with a rascal cab driver, Oliver Hardy. What play? The Bard’s greatest tragic romance. Why do this play? Well, he is way out of his depth as a young businessman who plays Romeo as a promise to his sweetheart who wishes to play Juliet. Plenty of chases, drinks, mad cap all round and back to the play at the film’s end!”

Accompanist: Kaine Hayward

Kaine is in demand as a piano accompanist and has worked as for companies including The Australian Ballet, The Paris Opera Ballet, Sydney Dance Company and The Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As a singer, he has performed at both The Sydney Opera House and Hamer Hall, performed lead roles for Opera Australia, toured internationally and maintains a busy concert schedule.


The Shakespeare Room located on the ground floor of the Mitchell wing commemorates the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Arthur G Benfield’s stained glass window, the Seven Ages of Man, depicts a scene from As You Like It.

Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, histories & tragedies, published according to the true originall copies, also known as The First Folio, was published in 1623. It was produced only eight years after Shakespeare’s death on 23 April 1616. Apart from the bible, this volume is now considered the most influential book ever published in the English language. A facsimile copy of the first folio is displayed in the Shakespeare room.