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Monash Uni launches a program of music, theatre and dance, and it looks like a year-long festival

Composer and former Adelaide Festival director, Paul Grabowsky, who is also the executive director of Monash Academy of Performing Arts in Melbourne, has announced the inaugural season of MLIVE – a program of Australian and international live music, theatre and dance curated “as a cultural response to Melbourne’s diverse and open-minded communities”.

“We’ve assembled an incredible line-up of talent for our inaugural season with live performances from Australian music legends Vince Jones, Megan Washington, Christine Anu, Peter Garrett, Lior and Cat Empire’s Felix Riebi. The orchestral offering features compositions from Stravinsky, Rossini, Beethoven and Bach to Unsuk Chin, Nigel Westlake and Iain Grandage. And theatre lovers will get their dramatic fix with a suite of hard hitting contemporary theatre from Belarus, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane,” Grabowsky said at its launch last night.

The MLIVE season will be held at the Monash University campus in the eastern suburb of Clayton and throughout 2018, beginning in early March.

MLIVE’s seasons begins with acapella sextet, The King’s Singers while Spinoff will feature a 20-piece jazz orchestra with vocalists Vince Jones and Megan Washington. In the second concert Joe Camilleri, Vika Bull, Grabowsky and his sextet will present  a “radical new perspective on the King himself” in Edge of Reality – the Elvis Presley Songbook.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Metropolis New Music Festival will be held as part of the season, as will Belarus Free Theatre (as part of a three year residency). The first of its works is Generation Jeans, a solo performance by BFT founder Nicolai Khalezin that “explores growing up in Soviet-era Belarus and selling vinyl rock albums and blue jeans on the black market while dodging KGB agents who routinely pounced on teenage bootleggers”.

Spinifex Gum is a co-commission with the Adelaide Festival that charts “the dramatic contrasts of the land of the Pilbara as well as its political and social topography”. It features the Marilya choir of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander teenage girls with Felix Riebl (Cat Empire) and guest artists Peter Garrett, Briggs, Ollie McGill and Christine Anu.  

Townsville’s Dancenorth’s Rainbow Vomit (pictured above) and Adelaide’s Slingsby Theatre Company will present works for young audiences.

In theatre, Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre’s will stage Prize Fighter by playwright Future D Didel; Tasmania Performs will present The Season by playwright Nathan Maynard; and Lab Kelpie’s Elegy is a work based on British playwright Douglas Rintoul’s verbatim interviews with gay refugees and inspired by images by photojournalist Bradley Secker.

Monash students’ music is presented in concerts by the Monash Academy Orchestra. The program includes Stravinsky’s Firebird, Korngold’s Violin Concerto, Steiner’s Gone With the Wind, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and a 90th birthday retrospective of favourite works by Australian composer George Dreyfus. There will also be new works by Iain Grandage, Melbourne composer Katy Abbott and Nigel Westlake conducting his own works, featuring Slava Grigoryan and Lior Attar.

Recipients of the Jeanne Pratt Musical Theatre Artists in Residence Program, director Peter Rutherford and actor, singer and writer James Millar will work with students from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and The Centre for Theatre and Performance to develop a new original musical based on Rosalie Ham’s 2000 comedy revenge novel, The Dressmaker.

Find more details here

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