‘Kinshasa Symphony’: An Ode To Musical Joy In Central Africa

OK, So I am swamped with work, hence the lack of activity here on this site or on The Mapmaker’s Opera site in recent days – well, yes, admittedly more like a couple of weeks actually.  I have a number of posts “packed, stacked and racked” as the saying goes, but not enough time to devote to them.

I am hoping that no-one takes umbrage at me putting up this trailer of a new documentary about the Kinshasa Symphony in Central Africa.  I just think it is one of the most amazing, humbling and inspirational pieces of documentary film making that I have had the joy of discovering. Continue Reading →


Lloyd Webber, Sondheim and Ivor Novello

Ivor_NovelloThis is an interesting perspective on the fickle nature of writing new Musicals, penned by Mark Shenton in his blog in The Stage newspaper.

Overall, I agree with his summation of the realities of this business; his demographic analysis of Broadway audiences being particularly interesting.  Oscar Hammerstein II’s oft misquoted syllogism,  ‘The number of people who will not go to a show they do not want to see is unlimited” being a pertinent reminder of how difficult it is for new work to survive in today’s market. Continue Reading →


Childrens Performing Company of Australia

YABC_Logo_CroppedI had the singular pleasure yesterday of working with a a talented group of younger people from the Young Australian Broadway Chorus group from within the Childrens Performing Company of Australia.  It was hot and late in the afternoon, but the group worked with me assiduously for an hour or so to learn some music for an upcoming show they will be presenting in June this year. Continue Reading →


Australian Musical Theatre Writer Development

Drew_LaneThis is just a quick post to congratulate Drew Lane on his occasional blog feature on the Aussie Theatre Web site.  In his own right, Drew is a burgeoning talent in the current generation of young Australian songwriter/composers who invest their time and energy in developing new works for the musical stage.

Drew’s ability to synthesize and redact the principles of good craftsmanship as espoused by Stephen Schwartz in writing for characters and situations in a Musical should be read, analysed, absorbed and implemented by all writers (young or old; novice or experienced).  Terrific stuff and good to see. Continue Reading →


A Mahler Centenary Recording Project

I had the great pleasure of starting to work on a Mahler recording project last November being done out of Los Angeles.  Works to be recorded include the chamber orchestra versions of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Das Lied von der Erde (Songs of the Earth), both in the Schoenberg/Rainer Riehn editions.

The musicians for this project are drawn from the Principal players of the Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras respectively, with LA-based mezzo-soprano, Bonnie Snell Schindler (what a voice!) Continue Reading →


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