HOOKED ON CLAS­SICS

Feel­ing like a lit­tle cul­ture? STVDIO has your artis­tic needs cov­ered. Opera star David Hob­son ex­plained to Guy Davis why pay- TV view­ers should tune into this new sta­tion. Hob­son: “ I’m es­pe­cially pleased that this chan­nel will reach re­gional Aus­tralia i

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“ Cer­tain shows and pro­duc­tions that I have some in­ter­est in and some knowl­edge of, I’ll be able to talk about,” said Hob­son, who’ll also be seen per­form­ing in broad­casts of the clas­sic opera La Bo­heme ( di­rected by Baz Luhrmann) and the Gil­bert & Sul­li­van pro­duc­tions HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury.

“ I’ll be a bit of a con­duit for the au­di­ence and pro­vide some in­sight into what it’s like or my ex­pe­ri­ence with it or the his­tory of it, as op­posed to just be­ing a talk­ing head say­ing what’s com­ing up next.”

Call­ing the in­volve­ment of ac­claimed per­form­ers like Bus­sell and Noo­nan “ a great ini­tia­tive”, Hob­son adds that the com­bi­na­tion of re­search and per­sonal rec­ol­lec­tion will pro­vide a dis­tinc­tive and in­for­ma­tive lead-in to the new sta­tion’s pro­gram­ming.

“ And hope­fully as the sta­tion fi nds its feet, be­cause this is its fi rst month, we’ll be out on lo­ca­tion speak­ing to other artists and learn­ing more about other pro­duc­tions,” he said. “ The sta­tion is also hop­ing to make some of its own works, which I fi nd ex­tremely ex­cit­ing as both an artist and a punter.”

An­other as­pect of STVDIO’s sched­ul­ing Hob­son be­lieves will ap­peal to its au­di­ence is its struc­ture, which has each night ded­i­cated to a par­tic­u­lar strand of the arts.

“ Sun­day night is per­for­mance night, so you’ll be able to see ev­ery­thing from bal­let to cir­cus, and it will in­volve a be­hind-thescenes look at what goes into the pro­duc­tion as well as the per­for­mance it­self,” he said.

“ Mon­day night is writ­ers’ night, which will be all about au­thors, play­wrights and writ­ing of all kinds. Tues­day night will be de­voted to clas­si­cal mu­sic. Wed­nes­day will cover the vis­ual arts, ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign. Thurs­day is de­voted to fi lm – ev­ery­thing from Hol­ly­wood to in­de­pen­dent – and all things as­so­ci­ated with it. Fri­day nights fo­cus on all kinds of mu­sic, from con­tem­po­rary and rock to jazz and world mu­sic. And Satur­day night will fea­ture pop­u­lar en­ter­tain­ment – Broad­way shows and the like. So if you know you want to see some­thing in par­tic­u­lar, you know when it’s on.”

A self-con­fessed “ AFL tragic”, Hob­son ad­mits he ap­pre­ci­ates the work of STVDIO in pre­sent­ing an arts-based pro­gram­ming al­ter­na­tive. “ We’ve sort of hung our hat on our sport­ing achieve­ments in Aus­tralia, and I can’t help but think the arts have been marginalised to some de­gree,” he said.

“ So a bit of bal­ance is a good thing, and I’m es­pe­cially pleased that this chan­nel will reach re­gional Aus­tralia in a big way. Hav­ing grown up in re­gional Aus­tralia my­self, I know what it’s like to not get your fi ll of some­thing you’re in­ter­ested in.”

Stage pres­ence: David Hob­son will com­ment on some STVDIO show­cased pro­duc­tions; inset, is just one of the bal­lets to be viewed on the chan­nel.

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