Wagner and the Snowy Uplands of Utopia

November 29, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, WAGNER |

Christmas Celebration of the Richard Wagner Society of SA, November 28, 2021 A very pleasant lunch ended the Wagner year with regrets for what could have been (The Ring in Brisbane, for example, cancelled for the 2nd year running) although we are now told it’s to return in December 2023.  The RWS (SA) chose the Tribschen Idyll as its Christmas theme, marking that cold day in 1870 when it was first performed on the steps inside Richard’s and Cosima’s house (main image). Presented as a Birthday / Christmas gift from Wagner to Cosima on 25 December, it features all the…

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Queensland Museum

November 29, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, TRAVEL |

November 2021 TVC loves V & A style museums, the ones that pile-up objects, so that stuffed animals lie cheek by jowl with ancient graves, next to planes, trains and automobiles, and so on. (For example, Edinburgh). Housed in a repulsive building after the New Brutalism style of architecture (main image), near to the Queensland Art Gallery’s quaint homage to the Louvre pyramid, the Queensland Museum was opened by then Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen (it’s a wonder the current Premier’s myrmidons haven’t covered-up the plaque).  It was a welcome respite from the heat after a brief stop at the Gallery of Modern…

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Gallery of Modern Art

November 26, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, TRAVEL |

Brisbane, November 2021 TVC ploughed through the liquid heat, on Southbank along Gray Street, only to be told that most of the Gallery of Modern Art (that we’d been dreading anyway) was closed for some weeks to prepare a new exhibition based on the effects on art of colonization of Japan and Malaysia (we were tempted to ask the guard if any good effects might be featured – a depiction, say, of Madame Butterfly, or pieces of Chinese porcelain) but we let it drop. We liked Karam Shrestha’s “unhearing” (2020), (above), reminiscent of a Da Vinci sketch. There were some…

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Stuffing One’s Face in Brisbane

November 25, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, FOOD, LIFE, Restaurants, TRAVEL |

November 2021 The Varnished Culture spent a (very) warm week in Brisbane sampling, inter alia, some of the very nice eateries. From restaurant to cafe, Brisbane serves good food in elegant settings and a relaxed mode. Here’s a sample. Otto (Shop 1, River Quay, Sidon St, Brisbane, Qld) Very posh. A short walk through the steamy riverbank gardens and then seats in the bar with delicious cocktails (a “Sicilian Sunset” – Vodka, Limoncello, Lemon sorbet, Vanilla and soda; and an “Arancia Sour” – Johnnie Walker Black, Lemon, a Chinotto reduction and whites).  Then in to lunch. There we encountered some…

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Tigris centenarius

November 24, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

A celebration of 100 years of Glenelg Football Club in the SANFL, Saturday 6 November 2021, Grand Hotel @ Glenelg A good year: one crap day. Unfortunately, that one bad day was Grand Final Day, in which the team was more or less humiliated (15.9 to 4.8.).  The Tigers have the worst Grand Final win ratio of any club with 26.32%, having lost 14 out of their 19 Grand Final appearances. (I have seen 12 of those defeats.) So while musing in my room at the Grand Hotel, gazing out at the gloomy sea, it occurred to me that losing…

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