The Camerata of St John's
Sunday 13th December 2015
The Camerata of St. John's chamber orchestra went off like an explosion in the heavens last night when they presented 'Bright Stars Shon For Us', a tribute and tale of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Written and acted by the profoundly talented Tama Matheson (Macbeth, The Odd Couple, Design For Living, Don Juan) this was an evening of musical, emotional and dramatic superlatives. Telling the musical and stressful journey of a man with an enormous and treasured genius and a life overwhelmed by personal confusion, fear, love and sorrow. We know the story and Tama exposed it all with so much warmth and respect without fear and he enveloped the audience in this tale that reduced many to tears at times. So brilliant and inspiring was the performance of his fellow actor the incredibly versatile Veronica Neave (Sex With Strangers, Brisbane, Macbeth) who played just about everyone in his life from family to the musical world both adoring and humiliating. She whipped from one reflected mood to another with dread and with humour, with concern and with passion.
An old photo of Aidan from 2012
Also on stage was the extremely handsome young dancer Aidan Daley from North Queensland and has been accepted into the pre professional year of training with The Sydney Dance Company. Already a wonderful dancer from QDSE he played desire and the various loves of Tchaikovsky. It was wonderful to see he and Tama dance together. Yes, Tama added some dance to his considerable talents that I know him for.
The orchestra was divine with the wonderful Brendan Joyce and others looking superb in their designed stage outfit. So many I spoke to made special mention of how wonderful they looked in the costume. Premiering was some wonderfully reimagined Swan Lake composed by the fabulous Iain Grandage. Also bringing something really special and haunting was when the Orava Quartet guys including cellist Karol Kowalik stepped out from the orchestra to perform very heart wrenching String Quartet.
I walked out with a hall full of people smiling after being completely blown away. So sad that it was the only performance here because so many said they would love to return. Be very sad if you were not there for an incredible evening of music and drama, beauty and emotion and followed by a big evening of some drinks, much amazed chatter, congratulations flowing and I got to kiss heaps of people. I saw so many friends I knew, met some new ones and it was a joyous evening thanks yet again to the truly creative talents of this city.
Photo from Rehearsal the day before
ps. I was in the front row centre yet again and you can see my shiny head in the blue photo above I borrowed from Craig Swanson. The stage looked absolutely stunning and the stars truly did shine thanks to the brilliance of Ben Hughes who can create visions splendid and atmosphere that positively glows.
Hello to Lee Freeman, Leigh Alexander Buchanan, Ian Thomson, Margi Brown Ash (whom I see in a play on Friday night) and others I got to chat to. Thank you and love you all. It was a great great evening.
At the top of my list should be a huge thank you, big love and kisses to Michelle Boyd without whom my evening would not have happened.
Me with Tama and Veronica some months ago.
Tama being a touch more dramatic.
Clip from a previous collaboration between Tama Matheson and The Camerata of St John's on .Benjamin Britten
"Ben" is a captivating theatrical window into the inspired music of the superb English composer Benjamin Britten and was first presented in 2013 by Camerata of St John's with Tama Matheson (Actor and Director). This excerpt is from the final moments of the work and features "Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge".