I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Venus and Adonis

... is the title of a short masque by John Blow, written in 1683 for Charles II. According to the Rough Guide to Opera, it is "full of quirky and unpredictable shifts in harmony", and was one of the inspirations behind Purcell's much better known Dido and Aeneas.

You wouldn't necessarily expect such a work to feature in a school concert, but Joel and I have just come home from hearing most of this performed by a group at his school. The student cast and orchestra were assisted by a few staff performers (on harpsichord, for example), but generally these year 8-12 students did a terrific job with some very difficult music. There are some really lovely sopranos at this school, though all soloists did well; and the chorus was brilliant. I'm so thrilled Joel has, or will have, the opportunity to make music of this kind.

He wasn't in the Venus, but the Year 7 and 8 strings played three Handel minuets to start out the concert. Just a small event, in the school's main music rehearsal studio, but honestly, what a testimony to the enthusiasm and confidence of this school's music programme, to tackle such a work, and to play with such panache.

This is what a well supported state school can do; and I'm just so proud to be part of this community of musicians.

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