Celebrate midwinter nights with food, music and dance in the Macedon Ranges over the long weekend
Warm and uplifting concerts – some with food and some with dance – are on all four nights over the Woodend Winter Arts Festival on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in just a few weeks.
Opening night celebrates the end of the week with Friday night free performances and fireworks followed by the first of the concert program. Inspiration Tango has a class at 7pm followed by a concert at 8.15pm. Although the concert can be booked by itself the class offers a rare chance to be taught the tango by the best - Australian tango dancers, Jarny Choi and Teresa Lavers (no previous tango experience necessary).
Once the class is completed, Firebird Trio continue with a concert which tells the unique story of tango music from the 1930s Golden Age of Tango through to tango nuevo and the modern day – interweaving the desires, sorrows and spirit of this iconic Argentine art form.
On Saturday night (8 June), three concerts are on offer. The Salley Gardens (7.30pm) features tenor Christopher Watson, a former member of the Tallis Scholars, now Director of Music at Trinity College, and baritone Michael Leighton Jones, founder member of The Scholars and former Director of Music at Trinity College, with John O’Donnell at the piano.
The Alwan Trio (8pm) features musicians Yuval Ashkar, Phil Carrol and Matt Stonehouse combining Ney, quartertone accordion, Oud, vocals and percussion sharing the sublime sounds from the Mesopotamian region and beyond.
Whatever your choice on the evening concerts, you’ll be clear to join the Italian maestro of improvisation, violinist Davide Monti at the Pub (9.30pm) -– with pizza for a supper concert and to enjoy the Vic Hotel’s open fireplace warmth and inclusive atmosphere.
On Sunday night The Art of the Oud (7.30pm) features 4 x ARIA Award winning Joseph Tawadros, who is in Australia to present his Concerto for Oud at Sydney Opera House – experience a rare chance to hear Arabic, jazz and classical music woven together with stories, wit and astute observations.
A quite different musical experience is Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Dominica, Haydn Theresienmesse (7.30pm) with Ensemble Gombert Accademia Arcadia featuring the sacred works of Mozart and Haydn.
And finally, on Monday night (10 June) the Festival Finale Dinner (5pm – 8pm) - Una festa Italiana with the Melba Trust Artists. A showcase of operatic favourites and Italian-inspired cuisine.
Full details of the Festival program, and ticket purchases are available at www.woodendwinterartsfestival.org.au