This month’s cover features a striking image from Stephanie Lake’s epic dance work Colossus, which premiered in 2018 and is now being performed around the world. As Deborah Jones discusses in her feature Stepping Up, Lake is now at the top of her game and in hot demand. Her latest contemporary dance work for her own company, Manifesto, premiered at this year’s Adelaide Festival and now has a season at Melbourne’s RISING festival. On top of that, ballet companies are beginning to call. Jones talks to Lake and her partner and regular collaborator, audio-visual artist Robin Fox, about how it feels to have arrived.

June 2022 magazine

William Barton has made an enormous impact of Australian music. In our second feature, Will Power, Steve Dow talks to the didgeridoo virtuoso and composer about his life and booming career, and the numerous projects he has underway, including a new opera about former footballer Adam Goodes. Dow also talks with musical leaders including Deborah Cheetham and Simone Young – who will conduct a new Barton composition at the reopening of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall –about Barton’s significance.

Numerous composers have written music inspired by the vast, icy landscape of Antarctica, among them Ralph Vaughan Williams, Peter Maxwell Davies and Australia’s Nigel Westlake. Now, Mary Finsterer has written an opera called Antarctica. In our third feature, Frozen Music, Jeremy Eccles talk to the Melbourne composer and her librettist Tom Wright ahead of the opera’s world premiere at the Holland Festival in June, where it is being co-produced by Sydney Chamber Orchestra and Dutch new music ensemble Asko|Schönberg.

Why does music make us feel so good? In our fourth feature, Music and the Brain, neuromusical educator Dr Anita Collins – who will be remembered by many as the on-screen expert in the ABC documentary Don’t Stop the Music – explains what happens in the brain when we listen to music, and how fireworks really explode when we play an instrument or sing together.

Peter Tregear has written about the winds of change at Opera Australia, which recently appointed a new Chief Executive Officer (Fiona Allan) and is currently searching for a new Artistic Director to succeed Lyndon Terracini, whose contract expires at the end of 2023. Treager argues that it’s time for the company to instigate a fresh vision, put more of an emphasis on Australian repertoire and singers, and consider whether Australia is best served by having a national opera company.

Paul Ballam-Cross interviews British-German violinist Jack Liebeck about his first program as Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, running in Townsville this July/August. Ballam-Cross has also written this month’s Cutting Edge column about the music of Romanian-born Greek-French composer Iannis Xenakis. Born a century ago, Xeanakis’s music remains as challenging, bold, confounding, hypnotic and cutting edge as ever.

In this month’s Playing Up column, concert pianist Stephanie McCallum writes about the Érard piano, and explains how she and Erin Helyard have recorded and performed live on an 1853 Érard. Jenna Breen, who plays horn for the Seattle Symphony, discusses her delight at joining the Australian World Orchestra in 2022; and Meow Meow, who performs at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June, is the subject of this month’s My Music column, revealing her eclectic tastes in music from Piazzolla and Mahler to Nina Simone and Radiohead.

In this month’s Soapbox, Guy Noble discusses our obsession with coining euphemisms for dying, and argues that we will only be truly dead when everyone who knew us has ‘passed on’, while in this month’s Sacred Cow, Diana Simmonds says that it’s time for ageing audiences to put their demands for old-fashioned opera out to pasture.

As usual, there is plenty more to savour, including Clive Paget’s On the Record in which he discusses the latest and best classical recordings, and reviews of The Australian Ballet’s Kuntskamer and Simon Tedeschi’s new book Fugitive. Enjoy!


Subscribe by Monday 16 May, 9am AEST to receive a copy of the June 2022 issue of Limelight. All purchases include a chance to win tickets and accommodation to see Zubin Mehta and the Australian World Orchestra, and annual subscriptions come with a free six-month digital subscription to share with a friend.

Subscribe to Limelight - AWO Offer