Scottish music showcase comes to Smiths Alternative

Brighde Chaimmbeul

Brìghde Chaimbeul with Jamie Murphy
Smiths Alternative, Canberra City
Friday 24 January 2020 at 6pm

Award-winning Scottish smallpipes player Brìghde Chaimbeul (Campbell) is currently touring Australia as part of The Year of Scotland 2020 showcase.

Richard spoke to Brigde Chaimbeul. The music is Tornala Maika, from her debut album The Reeling

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Australian Haydn Ensemble – Emperors & Armies

7pm Thursday 6th February 2020
Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest

Boccherini’s playful flute quintet Las Parejas (The Couples) opens AHE’s 2020 season. The title refers to a Spanish horse race in which two horsemen ride hand in hand. Boccherini infuses the quintet with a military flavour, reminiscent of his famous work Night Streets of Madrid.

Barbie speaks with Australian Haydn Ensemble Artistic Director, Skye McIntosh

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Pinned and Stitched

Textiles by Belconnen Community Gallery Emerging Artist Support Scheme prize winners Angela Coleman, Portia Lawson, Anna Roufogalis and Rosie Armstrong
21 January to 14 February
Opening celebration Wednesday 22 January at 5.30pm, all welcome

  • Rosie Armstrong uses the techniques of laser cutting and watercolour paints to create a narrative of insect decline.
  • Anna Roufogalis looks into the functionality and beauty of the human body through the lens of textiles. 
  • Portia Lawson’s collection of scientific-like specimens explores the synergy of spontaneity and individuality, and order and uniformity in natural systems of growth through the medium of automated machine embroidery and hand beading. 
  • Angela Coleman’s work investigates our memories attached to and imbued in clothing. The ephemeral nature of both is conveyed through the fragile materiality.

BCS Gallery is in Swanson Court Belconnen.

Exhibitions at M16

16 January – 2 February 2020
21 Blaxland Crescent Griffith ACT
Open Wednesday to Sunday 12-5pm

Unnatural Histories – Dan Power and Luke Hadland

An investigation into the anthropogenic erosion of biodiversity in the natural world, which explores the disruption of ecosystem structure and impact of invasive species by illustrating the story in a personal way.

Migration – Sian Watson

Migration is an investigation into the movement and environmental displacement of humans and birds. Watson uses sculpture and photo mediums to explore the human/animal figure in contrasting and sometimes extreme environments. Through varied landscapes, Watson shows the seemingly inhospitable habitats utilised by necessity in the current global climate.

Barbie speaks with Sian Watson about Migration

A Month of Sundays – Brenda Goggs

This body of work comprises 31 woven tapestries, that provide glimpses of iconic Australian moments and explore Australian Identity.

Chutespace  Meditations in Glass – Susan Wiscombe

Chutespace is curated by Kerry Shepherdson & Jeffree Skewes, (M16 studio artists) – a former library book return chute, artists exhibiting in this space create works which respond to the unusually small dimensions of the space

Clear Blue Sky – The Song Company 2020 season

Antony Pitts (photo by Nick Gilbert)

Antony Pitts – artistic director
Francis Greep – associate artistic director

The Heavens inspire the 2020 season with  works from Hildegard of Bingen via Dieterich Buxtehude to Gavin Bryars.

 ‘The spiritual in music has always been there – in the songlines and ritual traditions of First Peoples around the world to the enigmatic musical notation in the 3000-year-old Jewish Book of Psalms – and composers down the centuries have created some of their most enduring masterpieces on sacred texts.

Barbie speaks with Antony Pitts about the Song Company’s 2020 season
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Gunning Arts Festival

17-18 April 2020

With the theme Celebrating Nature, the first Gunning Arts Festival will be held on 17 and 18 April 2020. Many artists and artisans live in Gunning and region and they have come together to present the festival, espousing the philosophy that arts has much to offer in challenging times.

Barbie speaks with Margarita Georgiadis about the festival
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Canberra Opera announces new Artistic Director

Distinguished Australian singer Peter Coleman-Wright AO has been visiting Canberra to hear voices from the region prior to taking up his appointment as Canberra Opera’s Artistic Director in the new year.

Coleman-Wright has performed throughout the world’s great opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera (most recently in the title role of Glanert’s Caligula) and the Glyndebourne Festival.

Canberra Opera’s Stephanie McAlister talks to Barbie about Peter Coleman-Wright AO’s appointment

He created the roles of John in Johnathan Harvey’s Inquest of Love, Colin in David Blake’s The Plumbers Gift and Harry Joy in Brett Dean’s Bliss which he performed in Australia and at the Edinburgh Festival.

He has sung in the opera houses of Paris, Bordeaux, Munich, Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan, Florence and at the Aix-en Provence and Bregenz Festivals. In North America he has sung in Houston, Santa Fe, New York (City Opera) and Vancouver.

For his native Australia he has sung Scarpia, Macbeth, Mandryka, Don Giovanni, Il Conte, Germont, Billy Budd, Balstrode, Pizzaro, Onegin, Golaud, and Sweeney Todd, winning the Helpmann Award for Best actor in a Musical.

As a concert artist he has performed in all the major venues throughout the world, most notably at the BBC Proms, the South Bank Centre. Barbican Centre and Wigmore Hall in London, Avery Fisher Hall, New York, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Concert Hall and he has recorded extensively for Telarc, Chandos, Hyperion, and EMI.

He was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Melbourne, and was awarded the Order of Australia in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Keep up with Canberra Opera at

Behind the Lines – The Greatest Hits Tour

The year’s best political cartoons 2019
Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra

The winner of this year’s Cartoonist of the Year Award  is Jon Kudelka. Kudelka’s cartoons have appeared in The Australian and he has recently joined the team at The Saturday Paper. He sees the main aim of political cartooning as ‘puncturing the pompous and the puffed- up.’

Barbie spoke with curator Jennifer Forest
Sydney Morning Herald cartoonist Cathy Wilcox spoke to Richard about political cartooning
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Speaking and Listening from the Heart

Tuggeranong Arts Centre
5 December 2019 to 18 January 2020
Schools Reconciliation Challenge 2019

In 2019 over 1500 students have explored the theme Speaking and Listening from the Heart. Students tapped into the need for First Nations Peoples voices to be heard and to understand that Speaking and Listening from the Heart offers everyone the ability to connect with Country, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and with their own feelings about identity and being an Australian.

Barbie spoke with Thea Baker, Project Manger for Reconciliation NSW, and Alison Faure-Brac, Executive Director of the NSW Reconciliation Council
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Canberra International Music Festival – Giving Voice

1 to 10 May 2020
Various venues, including the Fitters Workshop
Directed by Roland Peelman

The festival theme Giving Voice is expressed in the program’s focus on Indigenous stories, untold stories and a number of concerts for the human voice.

The inspiration of voices in nature is also apparent with The Whale and the Curlew and Birsdsong at Dusk for example.

Festival director Roland Peelman previews the festival
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Maria Pfohl and Siva Nathan- A Peaceful World

Kyeema Gallery at Capital Wines Cellar Door
13 Gladstone Street Hall ACT
Until 2 February 2020
Open Thursday to Sunday 10.30am to 5pm

Hungarian born Australian artist Maria Pfohl works in watercolour, taking her inspiration from nature and telling stories with each work. She specialises in birds,  flowers and landscapes and her work speaks of her love of colour and natural beauty.

Barbie speaks with Maria Pfohl and Siva Nathan
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National Folk Festival announces first youth ambassador

Young Canberra singer-songwriter, Lucy Sugerman has been announced as the first Youth Ambassador for the National Folk Festival.

The 18-year-old singer-songwriter has performed in the Canberra areas since she was nine. including busking and blackboard events. She was an Australian National Busking Champion in 2015 and 2016.

Richard talks to Lucy Sugarman about her role as the inaugural Youth Ambassador for the National Folk Festival

She sees the role as an opportunity to promote and contribute to the National Folk Festival’s celebration of folk life, including a special youth concert during the festival.

The festival’s new Managing Director, Helen Roben, began work in September. Raised in Wagga, Ms Roben has a background in the not-for-profit sector and has held senior management roles in corporate services and governance. She has taken over as Managing Director from Pam Merrigan, who continues as Artistic Director of the Festival.

Helen Roben, Managing Director of the National Folk Festival