Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Long Weekend continued -- rock opera

The Noosa Long Weekend festival wraps up this week, but our part in it has ended already.

On Tuesday night, we went to see Kevin Borich perform. This was, by far, the rockiest part of the arts festival. Borich made his name in the late 60s and early 70s as the leader of a Kiwi band called the La De Da's. He then led a band called the Kevin Borich Express. These days he's a skinny 60-year-old who plays a rockin' blues guitar.

The first half of the show was done with a trio -- bass, drums, and Borich on a steel resonator guitar playing mainly slide blues. Really good, loud and fun. In the second half he was joined by a rhythm guitarist and moved into rock n' roll. Good, really loud, and fun, even though the sound board guys had cranked it to eleven and introduced a bit of unnecessary distortion. Ana and I were supposed to be there to take a turn at the door, checking for stamps as people came and went, but since most of the other volunteers found it too loud in the hall, we ended up just spending two hours there watching the show.

The next night we were supposed to work at a supper club (late night shows held at some of the area's finer restaurants.) Usually you don't get to sit in on these shows, since the tickets are $75 and include a meal, but last night was an exception. As the last tickets were handed in, Jim Berardo, who owns berardo's restaurant where the event was held, came out and invited us to stay for the meal and the show. Unfortunately for Ana, she wasn't feeling well and had decided to stay home, so there were just two of us who got to enjoy roasted peppers stuffed with saffron paela, chicken with chorizo and green olives, and churro with cinammon ice cream.

The meal was great, but the best part was the entertainment: Virgilio Marino and Emily Burke, two soloists from Opera Queensland performed a set of popular opera and musical theatre songs. Powerful voices and -- mainly -- great music, including several pieces each from Rigoletto and West Side Story. It was a shame they had opted to use mics for most of the show, as their voices were so much more effective unmediated, but regardless it was a wonderful evening.

The only downside was that I missed almost all of the second State of Origin game. Yes, I know: choosing opera over footy. What a poofter! My excuse is that I didn't realize the game was on when I agreed to work that show. Perhaps I shall make up for it in game three, by wearing Maroon face paint and watching the game in a pub. Even though Queensland has won the series, apparently they play all three games regardless.

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