Noosa Alive with Vivacious Events

Image source: Contributed

From the hinterland to the beach, enter the cultural world around us as Noosa comes alive with mesmerising sights, creative flair, a love of vibrant theatre and eclectic events, says Helen Flanagan. 

Curtains up, lights dimmed, sound on and tables set. It is time to tune in and prepare to be enthralled with more than just jaw-dropping ballet, cabaret, outdoor concerts and circus shows; dazzling divas, singers and dancers; tenors and bubbles on the beach; classy art and food; as well as thought-provoking films and authors, in this year’s scrumptious Noosa Alive program. 

Early indicators suggest the Festival from Friday 21 July until Sunday 30 July will be a sell-out, so best foot forward with some tantalisers for all tastes. 

What about a world premiere performance as an entrée, the extraordinarily titled Tartan & Tchaikovsky Mash, part of Queensland Ballet’s Brisbane Bespoke season and a befitting festival opener. 

Delight in a sea of tutus and tiaras with a dash of quirk in Matthew Lawrence’s Tchaikovsky Mash, a compilation of short works featuring the music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty; then be transported to the majestic Highlands of Scotland with Paul Boyd’s Tartan, a brand-new contemporary piece inspired by a suite of Scottish music. 

Queensland Ballet’s future, the gifted Jette Parker Young Artists will perform the breathtaking works, choreographed by Paul Boyd, the Queensland Ballet Academy ballet master and Matthew Lawrence, the resident choreographer. 

Australian Chamber Orchestra’s artistic director Richard Tognetti will lead the ensemble through a characteristically diverse program from beloved works by Mozart and JS Bach to songs by Randy Newman and US-German musician Kurt Weill, featuring principal violinist Satu Vänskä who will also perform vocals, before rounding out the performance with Dvořák’s sublime Serenade for Strings.

Cirque Bon-Bon Encore, is back by popular demand with new acts sprinkled with favourites, all jam-packed into a 70-minute spectacular guaranteed to astonish. Ash McCready former creative for Cirque Du Soleil has teamed up with world-renowned director and choreographer Julieann Nugent who coincidentally was her childhood dance teacher, for this amazing boutique cirque, dance and comedy spell-binder.

A Queensland premiere and Noosa Alive exclusive performance is courtesy of Meg Washington and Paul Grabowsky who first encountered Meg as a young jazz singer and Queensland Conservatorium of Music graduate. 

Within a few months of meeting, they had co-written a repertoire of new songs, some of which will form part of their latest collaboration. In the meantime, Meg’s highly influential, genre-defying work has won many ARIAs, and been widely recognised by peers and industry influencers. 

The Seaside Vibes Music Festival in the Evie Networks Marquee, on Noosa Main Beach, will be on-song for a weekend. Tenori Opera Under the Stars with special guest soprano Laura Coutts, a perfect match to a delightful 2-course dinner and a welcome glass of bubbles. Not to your taste? How about an electrifying line-up of DJs with Raw Ordio; an intimate performance from Bobby Alu headlining with Rob Edwards as support; or Beach Bubbles & Brunch, which will have a cool Sunday samba, rhumba and jazz vibe from the Ingrid James Quintet. 

Hot foot it to the Hinterland Majestic Theatre Pomona for a side-splitting fun-filled afternoon of stand-up comedy for the whole family, hosted by Anna Brennan. Headline act will be Greg Sullivan, aka Sully with support comics Matt Ford and Jemma Bayley.

Sunshine Coast Film Collective will host an evening of short films, mini-documentaries and reality show concepts from the Sunny Coast Showdown and independent producers, who will also spill the beans on all the hi-jinks that happen behind the camera, and how the collective is set to put the Sunny Coast on the movie map.  

Slow Food Noosa’s Film with Food, a feast for the eyes with movie The Perfect Dinner at the Majestic Theatre, the Hinterland Producers’ Long Lunch at Kin Kin’s Black Ant Gourmet, and Seafood Seduction at Rickys River Bar & Restaurant, all have wait lists. 

So, you want to Live Younger Longer?’ is by Dr Norman Swan who said, “we can live younger, longer – at any age – we’ve just got to know what to do.” Lively discussion, perhaps controversial over breakfast with him at Noosa Springs Golf & Spa Resort.

On a different but equally interesting trajectory is Wifedom. If you’re looking for wonder and some reprieve from the everyday, author Anna Funder slips into the pages of her hero George Orwell. As she watches him create his writing self, she tries to remember her own. Join her for a Q&A at The J. 

Riverside Guitar Ensemble starring Queensland’s finest young professional guitarists with its director the renowned Karin Schaupp, multi-instrumentalist Joel Woods and rising star Jeremy Stafford in a musical feast, showing the guitar in ways you have never seen before. 

When it comes to effervescent personalities has Rhonda Burchmore met her match with friend Damien Anthony Avery-Rossi? Find out when the international stars return to town and name-drop in Up Close & Personal. 

Damien says he met Rhonda 20 years ago “and my, does she have some of the most hilarious and unbelievable stories you can imagine!”

“I’ll never forget being stranded in a Brisbane hotel during the 2011 floods with Bert Newton, and we spoke for half an hour mostly about how much he loved and adored her, a real testament to this extraordinary woman,” Damien said. 

So, what can audiences expect? 

“A very honest, intimate conversation about my career which spans over 40 years,” Rhonda replied. “From some of the fabulous people I’ve had the opportunity to work with and perform for, including Princess Diana, former President Bill Clinton, and some wicked tales about some famous stars including Mickey Rooney Ann Miller and more. 

“I’ll also be throwing in some of my favourite songs on this very special evening.”

Celebrate Noosa Alive’s 21st Anniversary with eight hours of music and entertainment in the Noosa Woods on Saturday 29 July. 

It commences with Damien Anthony Avery-Rossi the very excited host of the Noosa Stars Alive finals, a talent search for the creme of wannabe Sunshine Coast stars in the eight-to-18 age group who will be competing for the title and prize. 

Last year’s winner singer Sari Abbott will be part of the afternoon’s live music line-up which follows and includes super star Kate Ceberano, indie/folk/pop artist TOBiAS and Indigenous band Tjaka. 

Alive in The Woods on Sunday 30 July, is the finale event of the Noosa Alive Festival. 

On stage will be the outstanding vocal duo Vika and Linda who came to prominence after singing backing vocals for Joe Camilleri’s band The Black Sorrows, also the celebrated jazz vocalist Emma Pask who has had the pleasure of making music in Noosa for 20 years in front of “lovely, lively audiences,” says Emma. 

“It holds a very special place in my heart too because charming Rodrigo and I were married at Hidden Cove on Noosa Main Beach ten years ago. 

“I’ll be joined by my trio of Australia’s finest musicians, and we plan to play lots of everything including tracks from new album Dream of Life, released last year, and landed in the top 10 Jazz and Blues chart that very week. 

“Also, some fun upbeat Latin tunes that I recorded on my Cosita Divina album. It’s always a high energy set from me and my swinging trio, especially in beautiful Noosa!” 

Watch for new events from Festival Director Ian Mackellar such as Noosa Regional Gallery art exhibitions and Floating Land.

About the Author /

Noosa’s sophisticated charm, vibrant food culture and the magnetism of a subtropical paradise surrounded by national parks, inveigled Helen’s manic world and flipped it on its side. She pursues the good life with gusto, instinctively understanding the joys of travel, the art of story-telling, a candid review and surviving another reno whilst thriving on the motto Live Laugh Love!

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