Another Amazing Kinshasa Orchestra Story

60_Minutes_Logo_Joy_In_Congo_StoryAkin to my post on the Kinshasa Symphony from a few weeks back; having learned of the documentary that was made by two German filmmakers, here is a follow-up story on this remarkable ensemble in the Congo – beautifully constructed and edited by the American, 60 Minutes Team – that just continues to inspire.  There is something about this story that just touches the hearts and minds of many of my friends and colleagues.

Listen for the voice-over line:  “They’re faces change when they do their music” and watch the vision.  It says everything!


Vale Hector Cosmas (1966-2012)

Hector_Cosmas_ViolinistIt is with great sadness that we note the passing of the very much admired Young Australian-Greek violinist, Hector Cosmas.  Mr. Cosmas was Melbourne-born and had spent the past 15 years in Greece developing his skills into becoming one of the finest exponents of the musical tradition known as ‘rembetika’.

Due to return to Australia for concerts this coming May, he is survived by his wife and two young daughters. Continue Reading →

‘The Barbra Streisand Songbook’ Concert with the Boston Pops

BSO_LogoAs part of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops 2012 season, there is an incredible series of concerts under the banner of Visions of America underpinned by the photographer, Joseph Sohm’s stunning images from all 50 American States.

The season theme will culminate in the Visions of America Photo-Symphony, a sweeping photographic portrait of American life set to music by the acclaimed Roger Kellaway, with lyrics by the unrivaled Alan and Marilyn Bergman.  This multi-media project, enhanced by the recorded narration of Clint Eastwood, will be premiered in performances on June 14, 15, 16. Continue Reading →


‘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 →


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