April 22, 2016


The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra is presenting one of classical music’s greatest and most famous works, the breathtaking Mozart’s Requiem, featuring the Brandenburg Choir, at concerts in Sydney and Melbourne.

The exciting programme prior to interval will include a wide selection featuring Williams Festive Alleluia, Palestrina Alma Redemptoris Mater
with the Brandenburg Choir and Handel Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah
with both the Brandenburg Choir and Brandenburg Young Voices. After interval the MOZART Requiem Mass in D minor, K. 626 
with the Brandenburg Choir & soloists will be performed.

This will be the Brandenburg’s first performance of Handel’s rousing Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, with over 100 voices combined from the Brandenburg Choir and Brandenburg Young Voices. Four young emerging soloists will perform with the Brandenburg Choir, two of whom first performed in Brandenburg concerts as boy trebles, tenor Paul Sutton with the St Mary’s Cathedral Choir in Sydney in 2003 and Maximilian Riebl, the winner of the IFAC Australian Singing Competition in 2015, with the Melbourne Grammar School Chapel Choir in Melbourne in 2008.
 Hayden Barrington first performed with the Brandenburg as a boy treble with Trinity Grammar School in 2008 and returned as a baritone to the Brandenburg Choir in 2015.

Artistic Director and Conductor, Paul Dyer AO commented “Children’s voices were part of the musical landscape in the Renaissance and Baroque. It is time to bring that glorious sound back to the Brandenburg stage and we are going to do it in a huge way.”  Paul with the assistance of Guest Conductors, Anna Sandström in Sydney and Philip Carmody in Melbourne, has formed a specially selected children’s choir, the Brandenburg Young Voices, to perform in the first half of the concert program. The Brandenburg Young Voices range in age from 8 to 17 years. Some are from Australia’s leading children’s choirs and some perform with their school.

Only time will tell how many of the Brandenburg Young Voices will return to the Brandenburg as adults, like Paul Sutton, Maximilian Riebl and Hayden Barrington, but there is no doubt that the opportunity to perform on the professional stage alongside the acclaimed Brandenburg Choir will be life changing.

Sydney: City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place on 29 & 30 April plus 4, 6 & 11 May at 7 pm
 with a Matinee on 30 April at 2 pm.

Melbourne: Recital Centre on 7 May at 7pm and 8 May at 5 pm.

Sandra Tiltman


April 22, 2016

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North Sydney’s newest bar and eatery, Hunter Gatherer, has now opened on the Greenwood Plaza rooftop at 36 Blue Street, located directly opposite North Sydney railway station, which should make access a breeze for those city workers wanting to zip over the bridge for a delightful lunch or after work drinks.

Hunter Gatherer is by the owners of renowned Bondi establishments The Corner House and Panama House.

The contemporary interior fuses Danish design with rustic farmhouse finishes. There is a wide variety of seating from tables for two to large round tables that seat a crowd, to stools at the bar. The Italian designed feature wall is a focal point of the venue, with its illuminating landscape imagery that changes colour every few seconds. The lush greenery throughout blends the indoors seamlessly with the outdoors and on to the large terrace.DSC08715 (1)

At the recent launch, I sampled two of their delicious cocktails, “The Burnt By The Storm” (Bundaberg Rum, in-house made Salted Caramel Ginger Beer and Lime) and “Cobbled Together” (Tanqueray Gin, Fino Sherry, in-house made Preserved Nectarines and Lemon), which had me coming back for seconds. I decided to give the beers from Sydney Brewery a miss, as I was well satisfied by the wines from Mad Hatter after I finished my cocktails.

From a very large open kitchen along the far side wall, Michelin trained head chef Paul “Mick” Micklewright served up “Hunted” and “Gathered” canapes which showcased the full menu. Using fresh, locally sourced produce such as Thirlmere free range chicken liver parfait with brioche and onion jam and O’Conners Range Black Angus wagyu brisket pasty with house-made pastry, the tasty canapés were refreshingly different from those normally on offer. Another highlight were the incredible Batemans Bay oysters, which were shucked on the spot by Luke Robinson of Oysters Unplugged. I must confess I could have easily eaten a dozen.

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Hunter Gatherer’s full menu is on constant rotation, using fresh, locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and ethical produce.

Hunter Gatherer trades Monday and Tuesday from 8.30 am to 4 pm and Wednesday to Friday from 8.30 am to late, with a license until midnight. The venue, together with its large outdoor area, is also available for weekend functions and events, which should prove very popular.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond


April 18, 2016


The ever popular Cirque Du Soleil will be returning to Sydney with an adrenaline rush of acrobatics when Kooza, their eighth big top show to tour Australia, premieres on 25 August 2016 for a limited engagement.

Cirque du Soleil will rediscover their origins with a return to the intimate and fundamental human elements of circus. Combining thrilling acrobatic performance with the art of clowning, Kooza follows “The Innocent” as he takes a journey of self-discovery through a comic kingdom of eccentric characters, electrifying thrills and out of the box surprises.

With an international cast of 50 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors presenting heart-stopping feats and comedic antics to a live soundtrack fusion of jazz, funk and Bollywood beats, Kooza should appeal to the whole family.

DSC08058From its beginnings in 1984 with a group of 20 street performers, Cirque du Soleil has grown into a major organisation based in Québec that provides high quality artistic entertainment. The company has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil’s trademark blue and yellow big top housing the all new production, Kooza, will be pitched at The Showring in the Entertainment Quarter, at Moore Park, Sydney.

Brisbane – From 24 November 2016, Skygate Brisbane Airport (near DFO).

Melbourne – From 20 January 2017, Flemington Racecourse.

Perth season will be announced later in the year.

For more information, visit

Sandra Tiltman    Photos: John Pond


April 12, 2016



After a successful run in Melbourne, it’s now Sydney’s turn to see the incredible Anthony Warlow, along with a talented all-star cast, starring in Fiddler on the Roof at the Capitol Theatre.

Produced by Tim Lawson for The Works Entertainment from a book by Joseph Stein, with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock, audiences will delight in hearing such favourites as If I Were A Rich Man, Matchmaker, Matchmaker and Tradition along with many other songs accompanied by the live orchestra.

DSC08529Directed by the acclaimed Roger Hodgman and boasting the spectacular choreography of Jerome Robbins, this timeless musical set in the nineteenth century is as relevant today as it was when the show premiered over 51 years ago.

Set in a small village in Czarist Russia, the mainly Jewish population is constantly under threat from the pogroms and the Czar’s army but despite these dangers the villagers try to live a normal life. The story centers on Tevye the milkman, (played by Anthony Warlow) and his relationship with wife Golde, (played by Sigrid Thornton) and their three daughters. As well as the love Tevye feels for his family and birthplace, his other feelings of pride and dignity, along with sorrow and oppression while experiencing threats from the enemies of his people, play an integral part in his current existence and plans for the future.

Mark Mitchell is a joy to watch as LaZar Wolf, who has desires for making Tevye’s eldest daughter his wife, however true love wins when she marries Motel, played by singer/songwriter LIOR, making his theatrical debut.

Fiddler On The Roof, one of the greatest musical masterpieces of our time, plays at the Capitol Theatre Sydney until 8 May 2016. Make sure you don’t miss this thoroughly enjoyable show that’s full of humour, tradition and warmth.

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond


April 12, 2016


The Genesian Theatre’s 72nd Season has opened with “Nothing Personal” written by David Williamson, one of Australia’s master dramatists. This witty play set in a modern day publishing house focuses on the rivalry between two women, one from the older generation who wants to play it safe with the material published and the other, a younger vibrant woman with plenty of new ideas, wanting to take a few more risks. Naturally this leads to fireworks between the pair and the battle between “old and new” begins.

Adding a further spanner in the works is Kelvin, the head of the board and infamous womaniser, who is torn between his attraction to Naomi plus her ability to take the company forward and his loyalty to the experienced and capable Bea. Directed by Sahn Millington, the production stars Laurel McGowan as Bea, the older publisher and Alexis Hammerton as Naomi, her younger rival with Shane Bates as Roxanne, the one in the middle, trying to keep the peace. Kelvin is played by Patrick Costello.

DSC08596David Williamson always seems to have his finger on the pulse of what is happening in modern day Australia and this play is no exception. The characters are all a mixture of those whom we read about in today’s media.

“Nothing Personal” plays until 7 May 2016 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
 with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. Theatre goers are advised that this production contains some adult language and themes.

Sydney Theatre – The Ge#204CB05

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond


April 12, 2016
Sandra  Tiltman with Lauren Keenan

Sandra Tiltman with Lauren Keenan

Lauren Keenan, Interior Stylist and founder of Find it. Style it. and the Find it. Style it. Podcast recently celebrated their launch at homewares and furniture retailer Life Interiors in Alexandria, where Lauren told everyone about her growing business and Australia’s first podcast dedicated to interior design and home styling.


The new podcast will tap into the huge demand for information about interior design, real estate and home styling. Award winning designer and author Jamie Durie plus Dani Wales and Dan Reilly from The Block have been confirmed as guests for upcoming episodes. Lauren said “People wanting to create their dream home now have a new place to come for advice and inspiration. As a working interior stylist I want to help everyone create a home they love. Since launching Find it. Style it. I’ve found that so many people love interiors and want to have a beautiful home look but they don’t know how to put it together for themselves and that’s where I can help. I’ll be talking to other industry experts, retailers, my clients and makers about trends and how people can apply them in their own home as well as other interesting people who have a passion for beautiful interiors and homes”.



Lauren went on to say “We’re going to help solve the real problems people are facing to show that it doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be expensive, even with the help of an expert. I’m going to tackle the big interior design dilemmas out there and how to select furniture that’s trendy without becoming a slave to the trends. We’re talking directly to consumers who are essentially looking for guidance and advice on how and where to spend their money. That’s powerful for me as a service provider and my podcast can also be a powerful vehicle for brands, retailers and influencers to connect with people.”

Find it. Style it. Podcast is available now on iTunes.

Lauren can be contacted at

Sandra Tiltman   Photos: John Pond


April 10, 2016
Historic Macao - Photo: John Pond

Historic Macao – Photo: John Pond

Macao will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of world literary giant William Shakespeare when the former Portuguese enclave hosts its 27th Macao Arts Festival from 30 April 2016.

This year’s theme for the month long festival that runs until 29 May is “Time: Reshape your Imagination. Experience the Spirit of Times”. Another highlight will be the 400th anniversary of the death of Ming Dynasty’s famed Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu.

Modern Macao - Photo: John Pond

Modern Macao – Photo: John Pond

The Macao Arts Festival will salute the works of Shakespeare and Xianzu through theatre. The Festival kicks off with a dramatic stage performance of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, rendered by the Shakespeare Theatre Company from the USA.

The Festival program will feature as many as 27 shows and artistic exhibitions, along with more than 100 activities to “bring the audience into the spaces of the Chinese and Western cultures”. There will also be plenty of song and dance and family activities during the Festival, along with indoor and outdoor theatrical performances.


Dinosaurs have also found their way to Macao, where The Living Dinosaurs expo is on until 11 September 2016. Venture to the Science Centre where you will make huge strides in learning about dinosaurs at an exhibition that includes fourteen mechanical replica dinosaurs.

With the 2016 calendar packed full of colourful festivities and a program of events such as the annual A-Ma Festival, Procession of Our Lady Mercy, Feast of the Drunken Dragon, the Macao Dragon Boat Festival, Feast of Hungry Ghosts, the International Fireworks Display Contest, Mid Autumn Festival, Macao City Fringe Festival and International Music Festival, there is always something happening whatever time of the year you plan to visit Macao.

Photo: John Pond

Photo: John Pond

November will be packed with events, highlighted by the 63rd running of the Macao Grand Prix, the 16th Macao Food Festival, the annual Marathon and the spectacular Light Festival similar to Sydney’s Vivid.

Macao gives visitors the very unique experience of a modern city blended with its Portuguese past. With a huge selection of four and five star hotels to choose from, wonderful restaurants offering the best in Asian and Portuguese cuisine, plus everything else in between, Macao is a destination that will delight.

Sandra Tiltman