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]


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