Mar 14, 2012

Australia/New Zealand Tour - Mar 14, 2012

Cristina Zacharias (violin)

We left Sydney and headed to Adelaide, where we are part of the Adelaide Festival. The Adelaide festival is a huge month-long event that incorporates orchestras, bands, food, drink and a huge fringe festival. Crowds of people and long lineups attest to the popularity of the event, in fact it was almost impossible to walk down the sidewalk in some areas!

Our two concerts in Adelaide took place in the beautiful Town Hall. We've had wonderful responses at all our concerts in Australia, but had been advised early on that these audiences generally don't do standing ovations. I'm happy to report that this did not hold true in Adelaide! The CEO of Musica Viva, Mary Jo Capps, told me later that this was only the 2nd time in her 13 years that she had seen that audience give a standing ovation. I was so pleased to hear it that I forgot to ask when the first time had been. Luckily we had prepared a second encore!

Adelaide Town Hall
Adelaide Town Hall - as stunning on the inside as the outside

The day after the first Adelaide concert we had some time to take the tram to the beach, check out festival events, and support the local economy, which we did with a lot of enthusiasm. Following the second concert, we were treated to a star party, put on by local astromers and Musica Viva. There were five telescopes set up, each trained on a different part of the sky. The astronomers were wonderful tour guides of the experience, explaining over and over what the telescope was focused on, and helping us put it into a context we could understand. 4.2 light years away is close? That star is really a nebula?

With the naked eye we had great views of Orion, who is upside down in this part of the world, and the Southern Cross. Though the telescopes we saw a nebula that is part of Orion's sword, the "jewel box" that is close to the southern cross, the planet Mars, and a distant star cluster that is 3/4 the age of the universe. It was magical.

Having witnessed just how small our own place in the universe really is, we were hungry, so we took the tram to an Italian restaurant where Musica Viva was hosting a dinner for us. It was fun to spend an evening all together, and especially nice to spend some time with the Musica Viva team. They have been wonderful to work with, and between them and our own touring and production team the orchestra has been supported and taken care of every step of the way.

Musicians with Kangaroo
Socializing with a native. No, he wasn't invited to the star party.



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