Although our beautiful building is currently closed, we remain committed to finding creative ways to profile local artists and provide our audiences with great musical experiences.
Last week, we launched #HearTogether; a way for music-lovers to connect with the Centre through videos captured from past performances in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall and Primrose Potter Salon as part of the Live From Melbourne Recital Centre digital project. This unique platform and our extensive archive of recordings of local and international artists were made possible thanks to the generous support we have received over the past five years from a range of sources, including the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust, the Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation, the Department of Education and Training, and the many individual donors to the Mary Vallentine Limitless Stage Fund campaign.
Over the Easter long weekend, we were delighted to collaborate with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for an exclusive one-off screening of Handel’s Messiah. The footage of the complete concert recorded in 2017 hadn’t been seen before, so it truly was the concert’s digital premiere on Saturday. Some 9,400 viewers tuned in on our YouTube channel, along with another 5000 viewers who watched through the ABO’s YouTube and Facebook pages. In the end, the reach of this repeat performance was the equivalent of 14 Elisabeth Murdoch Halls!
There was even a surprise visit by the featured Greek countertenor Nicholas Spanos, who dropped by from the other side of the world to say hello in the live comments section of the broadcast. It was really lovely to be back, if only virtually, inside Elisabeth Murdoch Hall again.
We have already received much wonderful feedback from our digital audiences:
‘What a wonderful opportunity to soothe the inner concertgoer, thanks and best wishes from Fremantle’;
‘Social isolation without music would be seriously damaging – thank you indeed for the effort and making it free so many can enjoy and share what is indeed a divine gift’.
On Wednesday this week we launched SongPlay via Zoom for local Southbank families with children aged 0-4. The theme this week was ‘going on a picnic together’. These weekly sessions used to take place on the purple carpet in the ground floor foyer area; they were always full of colour, fun, play and song. I’m pleased to say that the virtual platform continued to stimulate more fun and learning through musical play.
Each fortnight we will publish a new curated program of videos from our archive that you can watch online via YouTube premiere. In addition, you can also revisit other past performances on our website here.
Our digital season will continue with more appointment-viewing opportunities, and we’re looking at how we can expand other programs such as Music Always – our outreach program for residents in aged care and assisted living facilities – and the annual Bach Competition into the digital realm, enabling us to keep engaging with our community, and connecting artists and audiences.