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Mar 7, 2012

Australia/New Zealand Tour - Mar 7, 2012

Shaun Smyth (narrator)

It’s been a whirlwind trip so far. It seems like most everyone has gotten over their jetlag. Perth was our first stop and so beautiful. We played to a packed-out concert hall and some people even stood up – which we heard later was very unusual for Australian audiences. I spoke to one gentleman who was older than Yoda … seriously! And he said it was the best thing he has seen in 10 years, and more people then he had seen in that hall in ages.

Flight to Melbourne
Aisslinn (incognito), Julia, and Patrick on board

We discovered a local beer called Little Creatures which is amazing. So amazing in fact that several members of the orchestra made a pilgrimage to the Little Creatures Brewery, in a town called Fremantle. Steve [McKay; Technical Director & Stage Manager] actually bought a shirt, that’s how deep his belief and devotion is.

I’m training for a role in a hockey play when I get back to Canada, so I have my roller hockey skates with me. I took the train to the coast and rollerbladed along the sea up to the next town. It was over 30 degrees and at a certain point I couldn’t resist – I stripped down to my undies and jumped in the Indian Ocean to cool off. It was so hot that I was completely dry by the time I got the train home.

Melbourne Flyers
Melbourne's climate seems to really suit these gorgeous flowers.

Melbourne was next and we were all charmed by the city – the combination of architecture and art combine to cast a spell. The concert hall is amazing, with state-of-the-art acoustics: everyone was amazed with the sound. I learned later that the hall is suspended on springs, and sits independent of the foundation. The reason for this is that the hall is in a very busy part of the city surrounded by roads, and the streetcar goes by all the time screeching metal on metal. This design entirely blocks out all the city noise. The orchestra played another incredible concert and inspired the people of Melbourne.

Jeanne, Alison, Lucas [Lucas Harris, lutenist] and myself did a live interview on national radio. Lucas and I worked out what we were going to do: it was to begin with Lucas playing an introduction, and then I would begin reading the letter of Galileo’s sentencing. When our moment came there was silence, Lucas was sitting staring at me with his lute flipped over on his lap. I made a face at him to say “okay, start playing,” and he just looked back at me confused. I then employed all my acting powers and mimed for him to start playing. Again he looked totally stunned. Then I started doing charades, as though I was an evil villain with a cape, twirling my moustache, acting out the striking of three evil chords in descending order … still nothing. After about 15 seconds of total silence on national radio I just started speaking and we did our piece. Afterwards I asked Lucas what happened and he said, “What do you mean?" I said, “I was waiting for you to play the bit off the top.” His face dropped. He had totally forgotten that he was to play the intro. He almost died – but we had a good laugh about it.


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