A glittering night was enjoyed by all who
attended the recent Melba fundraiser held at Jeanne
Pratt’s residence, Raheen.
Jeanne made everyone welcome with her
characteristic charm; her introduction to the evening
offered insights and a laugh.
The evening’s guest of honour Bruce
Beresford took the floor in conversation with Terry
Lane. Bruce offered his insights on a range of subjects,
from neglected masterpieces—“Yes, there are such things
and the stories behind them are frequently
complicated”—to his love of music and direction of a
young Elizabeth Hurley in the movie Aria to the
music of Korngold—to the enormous success of his film
Mao’s Last Dancer and the aversion in Australian
movies to happy endings—to his
enjoyment in directing opera, in particular André
Previn’s wonderful but challenging Streetcar Named
Desire for Opera Australia.
The musical contributions of the evening
were of a very special order. Heartfelt congratulations
go to Suzanne Johnston, Paul Dean and Timothy Young. The
three presented totally different musical worlds but
their performances all shared emotional intensity and
artistic truth, benchmarks by which truly great
performances are judged.
Dazzling instrumental virtuosity was
represented by Paul Dean with his ebullient performance
of the finale to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.
Who with a soul could remain unmoved by
the performance of Suzanne Johnston, as she stood arms
outstretched, (emotionally) eviscerated, singing the
lines So taunt me and hurt me, Deceive me, desert me,
I'm yours 'til I die, So in love, So in love, So in love
with you, am I from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate.
As a finale, Timothy Young, the
supportive cohort of the other performers, provided the
answer. Timothy took the spotlight and melted everyone’s
hearts with his wistful and yearning performance of
Charles Edward Horsley’s Impromptu at leaving
Melbourne (1867) rounding out the musical part of
the evening and returning us to ourselves.
Funds raised from the evening will go
towards the recording of exceptional young Australian
Chinese violinist Ray Chen with Timothy Young.
[Buy Paul Dean's
Sublime Mozart and
Beloved of the Gods]