Oxford Bar at the Centennial Hotel re-launches as a cosy haunt for drinks, food, music and art.

On Thursday 7 July 2016, Hotel Centennial re-launched its backroom, The Oxford Bar, into a cosy haunt inspired by SoHo House in New York.

After several weeks of renovations, The Oxford Bar has been transformed into a cosy lounge area with a fireplace, a library, a music room which includes a grand piano, and a video art installation.

The Oxford Bar will host live music weekly and art-focused events on a monthly basis.

Guests enjoyed canapes by celebrity chef Justin North and drinks including Tanqueray Gin and tonic, Snow beer, Riva Dei Frati prosecco, Kumeu Village pinot gris and Magpie Estate shiraz grenache.

The whose who of Sydney attended including television personality Deborah Hutton, actress Kristy Hocking, Polo Enterprises’ Janek Gazecki and model wife Natalie Decorte, Wink Models founder Taryn Williams, and US entrepreneur David Fischer.

Oxford Bar

88 Oxford Street Woollahra NSW 2025

Phone: 02 9362 3838

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The Erko celebrates the 4th of July with music, beer and their backyard smoker

The Erskinville Hotel (affectionally known as the Erko) celebrated the 4th of July with an all day party on Sunday 3 July 2016.

The venue was decked out in American memorabilia and American flags. Live rockabilly bluegrass and country music was played by the band Cruisin’ Deuces in the front room while out the back the backyard smoker produced meats for their 4th of July special of brisket sandwich with house slaw and Westmont pickles, and BBQ pulled pork sliders with house slaw and Westmont pickles.

Other specials supplied by the kitchen inside included footlong hotdogs (traditional, chilli dog and BBQ pulled pork), Louisiana Gumbo consisting of chicken and andouille sausage gumbo with cajun rice, USA cheeseburger extravaganza with double beef, double bacon, double American cheese and pickles, 1/2 rack of smoked pork ribs with kansas BBQ sauce, slaw and pickles and key lime pie with dried lime and vanilla ice-cream.

4 Pines Brewing Company did a tap takeover supplying four beers on tap including Brookvale Union Fresh Apple Cider, 4 Pines American Style Pale Ale, 4 Pines American Amber Ale, and Keller Door Small Batch (which is supplied exclusively to The Erko). The Keller Door is a new experimental beer that was made from hops imported from America that gave the beer a more citrusy flavour.

There was also a range of imported American beers on offer including: Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Brooklyn Lager, Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose and Boont Amber, North Coast Puck Petite Saison, Mad River Extra Pale, Lost Coast Indica IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Hop Hunter, and Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Yellow Snow IPA.

For the non-beer drinkers there was a cocktail special called American Pie that was made from Young Henrys Moonshine, apple juice and cinnamon bitters.

The kitchen is led by Richard Price, the ex-Head Chef of Queensland’s Lester and Earls, who prepares Southern-style American smoked and barbecued meats that take 12 hours to smoke and barbecue. The Erko is known for its brisket and chopped-pork collar, its baby-back ribs lathered in viscous barbecue sauce, and its succulent buffalo wings encrusted with a layer of zesty spice.

So whether you’re a buffalo wings fanatic, a baby-back ribs enthusiast or an pulled pork burger devotee, there’s sure to be something on the menu that will delight you any day of the year (not just the 4th of July).

Erskineville Hotel
102 Erskineville Road, Erskineville
(02) 9565 1608

Opening Hours
Mon to Sat 10am–12pm
Sun 10am–10pm


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Sydney Fringe Festival highlights announced

Sydney Fringe Festival, the largest independent arts festival in NSW, marks seven years of success by announcing its largest and most dynamic program yet, to be presented from 1 until 30 September. For the first time in 2016, Sydney Fringe together with Inner West Council will unveil and enliven a new Sydney cultural precinct ‘Off Broadway’ bringing pop-up spaces, performances and street activations to a previously disused strip of Parramatta Road.

Sydney Fringe Festival returns to take over the city this September with a ‘call to party’ theme inviting audiences onto the streets with more than 300 productions in over 50 venues spread across five cultural villages. Highlighting the city’s vibrant culture, the cultural villages presented for Fringe will activate Sydney suburbs with a diverse program spanning theatre, music, comedy, visual art, film, musical  theatre, dance, circus, literature and poetry.

Sydney Fringe CEO and Festival Director Kerri Glasscock said: “In 2016 the Sydney Fringe Festival will put the sparkle back into our City’s nightlife. It’s time for the Independent sector to stand up and say “party”, to celebrate the rich cultural offerings that are lovingly created throughout the City all year round and we want you to be there. This year we’ll be reawakening old haunts, reviving long forgotten venues and activating new precincts across the City throughout the month of September.”

A highlight of the 2016 festival will be the new Sydney creative precinct titled ‘Off Broadway’ to be unveiled by Sydney Fringe and Inner West Council for the first time during the Festival. Off Broadway will host a series of events in the disused shop fronts along Parramatta Road in Sydney’s inner west.

FRINGE IGNITE, the festival’s opening party, returns on Saturday 3 September and will take place in Darlinghurst along Stanley Street and neighbouring laneways. Teaming up with the Live Music Office and APRA AMCOS with guest curator Barney McAll, Fringe Ignite features a decadent program that will then spill into the neighbouring venues of Oxford St and Darlinghurst post 8pm for further celebrations. Further parties are planned for the Festival including a series of themed discos to take place at venues around inner Sydney.

Sydney Fringe Festival is delighted to work with 2016 Festival Ambassadors including actress Camilla Ah Kin, actress Paula Arundell, actor Nicholas Brown, comedian Sam McCool and the multi-talented Stone family with Yael Stone of Orange Is The New Black fame, musician Elana Stone and Jake Stone previously of band Bluejuice.

An extended family program of events will be offered with FRINGE KIDS presented over the first weekend of the school holidays on 24 – 25 September, including workshops by local Instagram sensation Handy With Scissors plus kids performances and family friendly events at 5 Eliza St Newtown. Sydney Fringe is also hosting a high tea for mothers while the kids are in workshops, a champagne brunch in aid of raising funds for Fringe Festival’s community partner Look Good Feel Better providing support to cancer patients. Camperdown Park will play host to a family movie screened in the park on 17 September and an Edwardian inspired family cricket and picnic day on 18 September.

A large-scale Silent Dinner Party at Paddington Town Hall on Saturday 24 September will be a highlight of the Festival’s closing weekend, following the popular 2015 Fringe Festival event that set a record for the largest silent dinner party. Guests at the Silent Dinner Party are instructed to “not use words or your voice, please don’t read or write, try to make as little noise as possible, don’t interact with technology and stay for at least 2 hours.” Dinner is included in the ticket price, offering the chance for guests be part of a living artwork that has now been hosted in eight countries across the world.

The full program for the 2016 Sydney Fringe Festival will be announced on 1 August 2016. Please visit https://www.sydneyfringe.com/ for further details and updates.


Celebrate Bastille Day at Circular Quay with dancing, eating and drinking

BBR Festival is proud to announce the 4th annual weekend bustling with appreciation for everything FRENCH. Held over Bastille Day weekend,Thursday 14 July – Sunday 17 July, the four day open air Festival boasts an array of artistic events and delicious stalls for punters across Circular Quay foreshore and Customs House Square.

Paying homage to Frances National Day (La fête nationale), the BBR Festival celebrates Le “Quatorze Juillet” in style with an array of live concerts, traditional French cabaret, French films, food and exciting cooking masterclasses with French chefs ! Oui, s’il vous plaît !! Last year’s festival attracted 350,000 people over the three days. This year is expecting to go above and beyond with an additional day of celebration, more attractions, stalls and entertainers.

The French immersion begins Thursdays 14 July at 7am with a French croissant and a “Cafe crème” on actual Bastille Day. Live concerts will start at 11am, followed by the official Bastille day party from 6pm with French music and cabaret girls ringing in Bastille Day in style. Firemen officers will also be around to celebrate Bastille Day like the French do !! Celebrations are set to be so French, you’ll be transported from Circular Quay to the Moulin Rouge with tunes, dancing, eating and drinking.  The party will be followed by the first of many films screened over the festival, the greatest cult French film “Les Bronzés font du ski” at the Open Air Cinema. (Free events)

Friday 15 July at 7pm, the Festival Village will host a 20 minutes authentic French Cabaret Show. Voted best three things to see in Sydney, The Magicians Cabaret will deliver an enchanting body of work at 2016 BBR Festival. When the curtain will rise, your will step back to Paris in the 18th century, the birthplace of cabaret. Experience its story telling, its song, its dance, its magic. (Free event)

For food lovers, one of the highlights of this year’s festival are the “Tour de France” cooking masterclasses held daily by French Chefs to learn how to cook traditional dishes from the regions visited by Le Tour de France 2016. From Mont St Michel to Mont Blanc, explore the culinary specialities of these summits crossed by Le Tour in 2016. The Masterclasses are the only ticketed events at this year’s festival.

The French Village Market features everything you need for a French experience in our backyards. Glorious French food with Stalls offering the best of the best from French eats. Bite into the best baguettes, smell stinky cheese and try traditional French cakes and treats.

The food centric market would not be complete without a feature of the best wines from the most reputable regions. Drink your way from Bordeaux to Beaujolais, Loire valley to of the nation’s luxury, Champagne.


This year, the BBR Festival also brings the best of European and French-speaking cultures home without the jet lag. Fest through the European village market with stalls across Greece, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland. In total, the festival boasts 60 food vendors from 9 countries over 3 villages.

The market place will also feature authentic European style Artisan and Flea Antique Markets, showcasing the best of Parisian lifestyle design so you, your home and your fridge are so “Oh la la!”

Daily entertainment will be provided by a range of Street Artists, performing each afternoon, ranging from fire twirlers, circus revellers, flamenco and salsa dancers, German, Italian and Grec Folklore, and tantalising acrobats daily at Gateway Plaza.

We will also enjoy 14 free live concerts by French and international artists and bands and  funky free dance parties in the Festival village.

This year,watch your favourite French movie in a bed !  The Open Air Cinema will run nightly, featuring cult French movies with English subtitles, a selection from the funniest to the most popular family friendly films.


One of the biggest highlights of the BBR Festival 2016 is the Canadian Snow Island which will cover AMP Square/ Scout Place with 3 tons of real snow throughout the weekend for a total winter experience. The winter island welcomes a hockey field where the Sydney Bears players are set to host a street hockey game. There will be also a Maple Candy on ice station to create your own lolly with Maple syrup, a Maple products shopping area and of course the traditional Canadian “poutine”

The festivities end on Sunday 17 July with bang as a parade featuring all the performers takes place throughout the festival locations.

The BBR Festival is a not-to-be-missed celebration of the French “art de vivre”. 3 villages will transport you to the streets of Montmartre on a sensory exploration of Europe and snowy French Canada through wild entertainment and delicious delicacies across four days in Sydney’s Circular Quay foreshore.

Stay up to date with the BBR Festival
Website: www.bbrfestival.com.au/
Facebook: facebook.com/BBRfestivalSydney
Twitter: @bbrfestival
Instagram: @bbrfestival

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Carriageworks and Vivid Sydney today unveiled the BJÖRK DIGITAL exhibition, including two world premiere virtual reality works, presented free to the public from 4 until 18 June 2016 exclusively at Carriageworks in Australia. BJÖRK DIGITAL features immersive, large-scale and intimate digital video works and virtual reality experiences across five bespoke spaces at Carriageworks, created by Björk collaborating with some of the finest visual artists, film makers and programmers in the world. Björk will also perform DJ sets at two sold out concerts at Carriageworks on Friday 3 June and Saturday 4 June 2016.

BJÖRK DIGITAL invites audiences to experience Björk’s music and videos in 4D through the immersive medium of virtual reality, including the world premiere of Notget by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, along with the Australian premiere of virtual reality projects Stonemilker and Mouth Mantra. Shot on location in Iceland by award winning director Andrew Huang, Stonemilker presents Björk in a windswept 360 degree film, while Mouth Mantra, directed by Jesse Kandra, transports the viewer to inside the Icelandic icon’s mouth, her tongue and teeth warped and twisted seemingly taking on a life of its own.

BJÖRK DIGITAL includes the Australian premiere of Black Lake presented exclusively in Sydney, an immersive cinema experience featuring a cutting-edge surround sound system, where the audience is encased in the claustrophobic and visceral experience of Black Lake. Commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, the work is directed by Los Angeles based fashion and music filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang and was filmed in the highlands of Iceland.

Speaking from Sydney Björk commented on the project: Björk said: “I am very excited for you to see the VR videos to vulnicura. VR is not only a natural continuity to the music video but has an even more intimate theatrical potential, ideal for this emotional journey.”

A separate space in the exhibition offers visitors the chance to explore Björk’s immersive multi-media educational experience Biophilia, the first ever app to be purchased into the collection of MoMA. Biophilia comprises a suite of original music, interactive artworks and musical artefacts, that saw Björk collaborate with artists, designers, scientists, instrument makers, writers and software developers to create an extraordinary exploration of the universe and its physical forces, processes and structures.

BJÖRK DIGITAL also features a curated program of Björk’s extensive video work, remastered for this unique exhibition experience at Carriageworks.   The video works spans the artist’s 24 year career including collaborations with film directors including Academy Award winners Spike Jones, Michel Gondry, Nick Knight and Stéphane Sednaoui.

Carriageworks is located at 245 Wilson St, Redfern NSW 2016.  

EXHIBITION DETAILS: Björk Digital is presented from 4 – 18 JUNE, 10AM until 6PM. Entry to the exhibition is FREE. Timed tickets or bookings are required for the VR rooms in the exhibition, and are available online and onsite same-day. VR rooms are recommended 13+ Entry and access to the Cinema Room is free, no bookings required.

Pelicano Restaurant and Bar celebrate their 4th birthday with a mad hatter themed party

Pelicano Restaurant and Bar celebrated their 4th birthday with a mad hatter themed party on Friday 3 June 2016.

A large white rabbit statue wearing a blue waist coat and holding a large pocket watch is positioned at the entrance of the Double Bay venue. Guests followed the red carpet down the stairs and find the fantasy world that Alice found when she fell down the rabbit hole. The mad hatter theme decor included a giant chess game, large coloured mushrooms, an enormous cupcake, Kings and Queens playing cards, pink flamingos, and red Queen of Heart thrones. The theme is complete with waiters and waitresses dressed as mad hatters.

Guests enjoyed a Mad Tea Party feast which included both savoury and sweet canapes. Sponsors GH Mumm and Absolut Vodka provided the ingredients for the cocktails. The DJ played upbeat tunes while guests danced the night away.

Special guest of the night included Braith Anasta.

Pelicano is located at 24 Bay Street, Double Bay NSW 2028

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Get prepared for an evening of culture and craft beers when Opera in The Pub returns to the Dove & Olive Sunday 26 June, 2016 from 4:30pm.

The theme of the night is Around the World of Opera, which delivers an engaging and informative journey through opera’s history with favourites old and new. From balmy Spain to mythical Egypt, outer space to the realms of pure imagination, operas have been set in every conceivable location, and now it’s the Dove & Olive’s turn for a cultural injection.

Presented by Opera Bites, this special showcase brings fully costumed condensed opera to unexpected places. As the sublime music begins, a touch of narration is added and the operatic spectacle comes to life in one of Surry Hills’ neighbourhood gems. Sit back, relax, enjoy a cold craft beer and scrumptious meal whilst the world’s best opera plays out along the floor of the pub.

This event is traditionally a sell-out, with the $69 ticket price that includes a Coopers Pale Ale or house wine on arrival and a Sunday Lamb Roast with all the trimmings. A vegetarian option is also available on request. Tickets can be bought online now (http://worldofopera.eventbrite.com.au/).

Hosted in an intimate setting so you feel like you have front row seats, there is no better place to explore Opera than at an iconic Sydney pub with a pint in your hand – you won’t want the fat lady to sing and for it all to end!

Enjoy the best of opera, in bite-size pieces, whilst savouring a delicious craft beer and Sunday Roast this June.

See the talent and passion of Sydney’s arts and craft industry come alive at The Rocks Markets

On Sunday 15 May 2016, media and bloggers were taken on a tour of The Rocks Markets and provided an insight into the creativity of stallholders and history of The Rocks.

At The Rocks Markets you will find arts and crafts, photography, clothing, bags, Australiana, indigenous artware, one-off jewellery, books and much more.

As part of the tour we got to talk to various stallholders and heard the stories behind the unique products they created. What became apparant was that the products they created were handmade with a lot of passion and talent.

We also met Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s archaeologist, Wayne Johnson, who told us about the history of the families who lived in the houses for almost 200 years. In the 1970s, the local community was concerned about being moved out of The Rocks, a place they and their families had been living in for generations. They called on the trade union movement and prominent Sydney personalities to help them save The Rocks. A leading force was Nita McCrae who formed The Rocks Residents Group. McCrae could trace her ancestors in The Rocks back to 1800. By 1975, the government decided all buildings north of the Cahill Expressway were to be retained, conserved and restored. As a result of the actions of this community group, the Australian Heritage Commission Act was passed. It set about the identification and protection of both built and natural items considered important to the people of Australia.

The stallholders at The Rocks Markets included:

  1. Bell Art has created unique aromatic, dining and stationing gifts with painting of Australian native flora by Meryl Bell.
  2. AHW Studio has been designing and making jewelry for over five years. Each piece is a combination on old elegance and modern detail.
  3. Animalyser has been making quirky animal t-shirts, singlets and accessories for four years. Buyers are encouraged to select an animal which reflects their personality.
  4. Arthur Avenue creates clothing with a vintage flair and modern twist to create mesmerising designs for trendy kids.
  5. Bee Bowen creates scarfs that capture a unique snapshot of a time and place in Australia.
  6. BonnieBix makes all butter shortbread pop culture themed biscuits that are decorated with sprinkles and M&Ms on the back.
  7. By Pure Pleasure manufactures natural products for well being such as skin treatments and aromatherapy candles.
  8. Christopher Hanlon makes organics skincare, handmade leather bags and fashion accessories.
  9. Christmas Never Ends sells exclusive Christmas ornaments all year round.
  10. Cleanse with Benefits creates artisan soaps, skincare and candles.
  11. Cool Leather sells Australian kangaroo leather bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings and accessories.
  12. Creatively Belle sells handmade jewellery.
  13. Downward Dingo has t-shirts and singlets featuring animal yoga poses.
  14. Emporium of Chocolate has unique and delicious mouth-watering chocolates.
  15. Enchanting Angels is a newly launched range of unique premium Angel teddy bear and Angel playsuits.
  16. Erlenmeyer Art is a collection of watercolours and ink artwork by Stephanie Gray including illustrations, playing cardsm gift cards, books, prints and originals.
  17. Eva Cassis is a  lifestyle brand that creates fashion, accessories and homewares.
  18. Garage 16 makes customised and redefined new clothing with a renovated look.
  19. Giorgi’s Gelato is small husband and wife owned business making premium gelato.
  20. Gourmet Tucker is a business which makes dried fruit (without sulphites or sugar, jams, marmalades and curds.
  21. Hoity Toity makes baby clothes for newborns to 18 month old toddlers.
  22. Joseph Austin prints etched artworks particularly of Australian plants and animals.
  23. Jularoo Designs makes chalkboard mats for children, and hair accessories and jewellery for females of all ages.
  24. Kanguro Originals makes Australian made garments, unique Australian Christmas cards, greeting card, 100 per cent cotton tea towels.
  25. Kerry Malone Books creates illustrations for books and is the author of ‘You can do it Joey’.
  26. Leatheron is a premium leather fashion brand created in 2013 by designer Tommy Ge. It offers a full range os women and men’s ready to wear leather and accessories.
  27. Libby Pool creates exquisite handmade paua shell jewellery which she sources from New Zealand.
  28. Market Fresh Chestnuts provides freshly roasted chestnuts that are great for winter.
  29. Matteo Berna Art is art created by Matteo Bernasconi on a variety of mediums such as watercolour, oil, ink, charcoal, print and digital media.
  30. Mini Monet Cupcakes are unique shaped cupcakes inspired by the French impressionist artist Claude Monet.
  31. Mislu specialises in handcrafted papergoods, featuring quirky and unique designs and printed using premium paperstock and archival ink.
  32. MJ Ryan Leather makes goods in the Northern Rivers, keeping the old tradition of leathercraft alive.
  33. Natalie Ness is a bespoke jewellery designer specialising in custom made pendants and charms which are locally cast and plated in antique gold.
  34. Nattivo provides handmade wooden watches and sunglasses crafted by artisans in the Caribbean using recycled tropical wood.
  35. Paula Church is a botanical and brd artist who has previously worked on the diamond jubilee state coach of HM the Queen
  36. Penelope Red designs unique clothes with lots of colour, interesting textures and mixed with vintage styling
  37. Perri Dee creates original edgy artwork that is elegant, timeless, aesthetic stimulating and exciting.
  38. Ping Lian Yeak is a young artist whose work has been exhibited around the world. He was discovered at the age of 11 and has appeared in numerous documentaries and various high-profile shows.
  39. Poco a Poco are a group of artists that create new products out of glass bottles and provide consumers with a unique range of products that also help the environment
  40. Poetry makes deliciously crisp toffee, laced with roasted almonds, topped with the finest Belgium chocolate and dusted with almond fines.
  41. Ronnie-arts provides customers with contemporary made artworks and designs.
  42. Somkiat Hansathit makes beautiful watercolour prints featuring a personal view and a collection of Sydney areas by Dtai S. Hansathit. The artist carries a small sketchbook and portable watercolour palette with him everywhere he goes. He captures the mood, atmosphere and essence of his subjects across the spectrum of day to day activities; landscape; cityscape; people; sports.
  43. Soontaree creates multipurpose and everyday items with Soontaree’s unique eye for detail.
  44. Sticky confectioners make hand made beautiful rock candy that can also be used for weddings and corporate events.
  45. Studio 106 make traditional and art nouveau style jewellery handcrafted from sterling silver with 9ct gold details and a sparkle of natural gem stones
  46. Supertrooper Studio is a multidisciplinary design studio in the Northern Beaches which utilises traditional Swedish design values of quality, functionalism and simplicity.
  47. The Licorice Shop makes a variety of flavoured certified organic liquorice.
  48. Valeria D-Annibale is a 3D printed jewellery designer that makes hand dyed jewellery.
  49. Your Nuts makes a selection of tasty caramalised nuts.
  50. The Rocks Market Buskers is: The Rosie Meader Trio, a family band based in Sydney who originated from the Netherlands; or the Mimosa Duo, a Sydney born and bred guitar and violin duo.

The Rocks Markets is open from 10am to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday.

It is located at Playfair Street, George Street and Jack Mundey Place, The Rocks.

For more information go to: www.therocks.com

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Homebase Sundaze is back every month at the Lord Gladstone with good vibes, music and food.

The Homebase Sundaze is a once month music event held at the Lord Gladstone in Chippendale.

Following a successful launch in February 2016, Homebase Sundaze is back once a month on a Sunday, backed by carefully selected mix of DJ’s and Live Acts, playing nothing than the feel good old school RnB, Hip Hop, Funk and a touch of Neo-Soul.

At Homebase Sundaze the main focus is good vibes, good music and great food, providing the essential elements of a chilled out Sunday ‘sesh’ where people can come with their friends or make new ones.

Come over, have a beverage and try the very own signature plate (THE HOMEPLATE), which has been created by the Lord Gladstone’s well reputed chefs, comprising of Fried Chicken, Greens, Mac n Cheese, Cornbread, Jalapeno Gravy and Pickle. At previous events it has sold out in an hour, so be sure to get in early.

And while your there, don’t forget to check out the famous murals painted by Scott Marsh. The artist made international headlines when he painted Kanye Loves Kanye in Teggs Lane Chippendale and claimed he was paid $100,000 to paint over it by Kanye’s management team. He celebrated his windfall by drinking from the topshelf at the Lord Gladstone. Well, at the Lord Gladstone, he painted his famous Casino Mike mural on 17 April 2016 and a portrait of the notorious American rapper Biggie Smalls on 15 March 2016.

The next Homebase Sundaze will be on 8 May 2016.

Entry is free all day and all night.

For more information about the event, check the facebook and instagram pages: Homebasesundaze

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The opening night of Turandot on Sydney Harbour was a star-studded event

On Thursday 24 March 2016, Opera Australia held the opening night of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s Turandot at the Fleet Steps at Mrs Macquarie Point.

Turandot is opera in three acts written in the 1920s by Giacomo Puccini, completed by Franco Alfano after his death, and set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. It is a Persian tale which is set in China and is about a brave suitor that risks his life to win the love of Princess Turandot.
The scenery was spectacular, with the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney opera house in the background. The performance space is situated at the water’s edge in a pop-up opera house with purpose-built bars, restaurants and a grandstand under the stars.

For the fifth year, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour makes the aria the “firework moment” and it’s lead tenor, Riccardo Massi, provided the Luciano Pavarotti vocals to match for the aria Nessun Dorma. There is also a magnificent, massive, fire-breathing dragon, which comes to life at a dramatically poignant moment, and a pagoda tower from which Princess Turandot rules over China.

Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng does his best to adapt the production to a less stereotypical Westernised view of China. Italian tenor Riccardo Massi plays the smitten suitor Prince Calaf with enormous vocal passion. Serbian soprano Dragana Radakovic is an outstanding ice cold princess Turandot. However, it is Korean Australia soprano Hyeseoung Kwon who is the crowd favourite as the lovelorn servant.

The who’s who of Sydney attended this black tie event including: actress April Pengilly; Channel 7 presenter Anne Sanders; fashion designer Peter Morrissey; TV presenter Fiona Falkiner; media personality Deborah Hutton; theatre and cabaret talent Paul Capsis; actor Tim Draxi; journalism queen Ita Buttrose; TV presenter Sophie Falkiner; actor Craig McLachlan; editor and journalist Melissa Hoyer; Channel 9 news presenter Deborah Knight; artistic director of Sydney Dance company Rafael Bonachela; Home & Away actress Emily Symons; TV presenter Heather Maltman; actor, singer and writer Peter Phelps; Master Chef winners Adam Liaw and Julie Goodwin; Home & Away actors Nic Westaway and Kyle Pryor; actor Ian Stenlake; fashion designer Carla Zampatti; and the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy Turnbull (who arrived just after me and I had a security guard tell me from behind to move aside for a little while so he could pass).

Turandot is at Mrs Macquaries Point until April 24. For more information, go to:


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