NORTH BY NORTHWEST
JUNE 1-JULY 4, MELBOURNE THEATRE COMPANY, ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE
01 How, you are already wondering, is it possible to recreate on stage the cropduster and Mount Rushmore sequences from Hitchcock’s classic thriller? Fear not, says director and set designer Simon Phillips. “Let me assure you: theatrical magic that you’ve never experienced in your entire paltry lives will be before you,” the MTC artistic director declared at the 2015 season launch. Matt Day stars as Cary Grant’s character Roger O. Thornhill, the ad executive caught up in a deadly decoy spy game.
Metropolis New Music Festival May 4-16, Melbourne Recital Centre
“Music written for, and inspired by, the moving image” is the theme in 2015 for this collaboration between the MRC and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Jonny Greenwood’s There Will Be Blood suite will receive its Australian premiere; Ben Walsh and the Orkestra of the Underground will combine live scores with film and imagery from Shaun Tan’s haunting The Arrival (pictured); other concerts feature music by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Nico Muhly, Julia Wolfe and more.
03 SYDNEY WRITERS’ FESTIVAL
“How to Live” is the expansive theme of this year’s festival. Cabaret and politics feature, separately, in the form of Alan Cumming, John Howard and Julia Gillard. Visitors include Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell; Nigerian Booker-winner Ben Okri; Austen and Dickens biographer Claire Tomalin; playwright Michael Frayn; blockbuster novelist James Patterson; and Mohsin Hamid (pictured), Pakistani author of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Program at swf.org.au.
04 FLY AWAY PETER May 2-9, Carriageworks, Sydney
A new opera takes everyone out of their comfort zone; a new Australian opera even more so. Good, says David Malouf, who believes audiences have been let down by opera companies that stick to a safe repertoire of “a dozen guaranteed moneyspinners”. “That’s so boring to most sophisticated operagoers,” the novelist told The Australian last month. His much-loved novel Fly Away Peter, about a Queensland birdwatcher who enlists to fight in World War I, has been turned into an opera with a libretto by Pierce Wilcox and music by Elliott Gyger. The Sydney Chamber Opera presents the world premiere this month at Carriageworks, directed by Imara Savage.
05 GOULD GALLERIES’ 35TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION
May 1-June 13, Gould Galleries, South Yarra The Toorak Road gallery is celebrating its 35th birthday with a rare offering that no serious collector of Australian art will want to miss. Among more than 65 paintings and sculptures are works by some of our greatest painters: Brett Whiteley’s Galah (1988) is full of restless movement and colour; Robert Dickerson’s The Late Shopper (1959) is an arresting and bleak image of urban life; The Friends (1953) by Charles Blackman is from his schoolgirls series that featured in his very first solo show; and Sidney Nolan’s Head (Ned Kelly) from 1947 is one of the few works from the first Kelly series still in private hands. Howard Arkley’s 1994 pointillist work Actual Fractual is reserved for the National Gallery of Victoria; the others will be for sale. Rob Gould, who opened the gallery in 1980 with his mother, says Australian art is undervalued and due for a correction.