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An immersive winter ahead for Melbourne Recital Centre

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Jack Hayes

After two successive winter programs stymied by COVID-19 lockdowns, Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC) is back with a huge seasonal schedule boasting names like Paul Kelly and Paul Grabowsky, Mindy Meng Wand and Lady Lash.

Season Three: Illuminate is the first cab off the rank.

Running from July to September, the program features more than 50 local and international artists.

The program takes inspiration from Guling (Orchid Season), Poorneet (Tadpole Season), “brisk winter days shrouded in mist, high-running rivers and experiences that nurture, heal and offer space for reflection.”

Interspersed within the Season Three: Illuminate calendar you will find Sanctuary, a new offering from MRC encouraging audiences to escape the cold winter weather and bask in the warm ambience of live music.

Encompassing three events over two days, audiences are invited to experience a sonic exploration of reflective, thoughtful and meditative music.

Friday, July 8 will see James Howard perform his Ancestral Redux, an exploration of the intersections between Country, culture, politics and identity.

The following night, July 9, Sanctuary Suites presents an afternoon in the sonorous Elisabeth Murdoch Hall featuring Lady Lash, Zoe Knighton, Nick Tsiavos, the Centre’s 2022 Artist in Residence, Mindy Meng Wang, Nat Bartsch and Luke Howard.

On that same day, the now sold-out show, Audience of One, offers an otherworldly search into the sound of a solo instrument as a solo audience member.

Continuing the impressive winter programming is the first show in the centre’s Great Performers series featuring Grace Clifford, Wenhong Luo and Richard Narroway’s electrifying and exquisite music for strings, bringing new light to works by Penderecki, Dohnanyi and Beethoven on Friday, July 22.

The series also features world renowned soprano, Miriam Allen, together with Erin Helyard presenting a dazzling program that takes audiences from Haydn’s triumphs in London to Schubert’s crowning as the Prince of Song in Vienna (September 21).

Over two nights, July 13 and 14, long-time collaborators Paul Kelly and Paul Grabowsky, both masters of their chosen crafts, will perform works from their ARIA award-winning album, Please Leave Your Light On.

With an extensive trove of musical ingenuity, Grabowsky injects new life into the original songs without ever losing sight of Kelly’s creative vision. •

For more information: melbournerecital.com.au

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