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MUSIC AND DRAMA.
IMPORTANT MUSICAL EVENTS.
It was heartening to see such ft Urge audience at the Conservatorium Orchestra's concert last Wednesday night. There were hardly any vacant Mall. If the orchestra can only t_et to the stage of hanging out the "House Pull" sign once or twice, Its future will be assured. People who stayed away on Wednesday missed a splendid Interpreta- tion of the Delius Piano Concerto. Though there can be no question of Delius imitating Liszt, this concerto does recall the older com- poser in the rhetorical violence of Its con- trasts; and the quality (ave Mr. Percy Grainger opportunity for superb display.
After this performance, one looks forward eagerly to Mr, Grainger, two chamber music recitals at the Conservatorium next week. Following his usual practice, he will link together the music with a running commen- tary of talk. The Wednesday concert will be devoted to "Various Systems of Harmony." By means of historical examples, the recital will traverse the growth of vocal scoring In Europe from 12-0 to 1904; the development of string music; of solo song with Instrumen- tal accompaniment; of foSc-harmonlsatlon and of "experimental music"-this last not the twentieth century phenomena of Schon berg, Stravinsky, and the like; but earlier outcropplngs of unconventional form. To further widen the field, Mr. Orainger will In- troduce some Javanese music, which he has transcribed from a performance by one of the fascinating gamelan orchestras. The Saturday programme Is entitled "The Goal of Musical Progress."
Dr. Bainton has supplied a draft of the programmes which the State Orchestra is to play at the Town Hall during the year. There will be a soloist at the opening concert, after all; for Madame Gooss-ns-Viceroy has been engaged. Other well-known artists will ap- pear at each subsequent concert. The pro- gramme for Tuesday week comprises the "Meistersinger" Overture; Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Scheherazade"; two Slavonic Dances by Dvorak; Richard Strauss's tone-poem, "Don Juan"; and the "William Tell" Overture. The later series of concerts holds a careful bat- anee between lighter and more solid ele- ments. There is to be a Sibelius symphony, besides this composer's exquisite tone-poem, "The Swan of Tuonela." Other symphonies Include the Schubert C Major; the Brahms E Minor, and the "Fantastique" of Berlioz. A glance down the remaining titles reveals such interesting things as two units from Hoist's "Planets" Suite; Arnold Bax's "The Garden of Fand, and Vaughan Williams's overture, "The Wasps" (these three part ot an all-British programme to celebrate the King's jubilee) ; Dr. Bainton'- rhapsody, "Epithalamion;" Strauss'« "Till Eulenspiegel;" and Eugene Goossens' scherzo, "Tam o' Slian tei."
NEW J.C. WILLIAMSON ARTISTS.
The J. C. Williamson management Is busily proceeding with the engagement of artists for the Gilbert and Sullivan company, which begins an Australian tour in May. Mr. Ivor Menzies, Miss Evelyn Gardiner, and Mr. Gregory Stroud are to return; and there will be a number of singers drawn from the d'Oyley Carte company. A comedian, Mr. Freddie Foss, and a ballet mistress, Miss Nina Starace, are coming from London for the pro- duction of "Yes, Madam," and a new actor, Mr. Oskar Denes, will take Mr. Cecil Kellaway's place in the Melbourne season of "Viktoria
and Her Hussar."
AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT'S VISIT.
Among the American visitors whom the Franconia brought to Sydney during the week were Mr. Moss Hart and Mr. Cole Porter. The former Is part author (with George S. Kaufman) of the hilarious play, "Once in a Lifetime," which has been a great success in all English-speaking countries. Mr. Porter composed the music for "Gay Divorce," so re- cently seen here. The two are at present col- laborating on an entirely new musical play. It has always been a source of wonder to the writer of this column how anyone on shipboard can concentrate sufficiently to do any serious writing; so he inquired of Mr. Hart as to his system of work. "It really does need a lot of will-power," the playwright responded. "The only way I can get anything done Is to subject myself to the discipline of a soldier. Four hours In the morning and two or three hours In the afternoon. That's my rule. Porter Is lucky. He finds he can just lie in the sun and work out the music in his head. I have to be at a writing table before I can do any- thing."
Noel Coward, went on Mr. Hart, would probably join the ship in the East Indies. The latest Coward play, "Point Valalne," had been a great success in America, Mr. Hart, who had seen it in Chicago, said It wag one of the most brilliant and the most repellent plays he had ever sat through. Mr. Alfred Lunt and Miss Lynne Fontanne appear in the lead- ing roles. Mr. Coward has gone on a sea trip to China in order to finish his auto- biography, on which he has been engaged for some time. There is talk of him writing an- other musical play for Drury Lane.
During his brief visit to Sydney, Mr. Hart made his unofficial headquarters the Indepen- dent Theatre. He felt a bond of friendliness with that organisation because it had pro- duced "Once in a Lifetime." He expressed amazement that a city of Sydney's size should not be able to support a full-time repertory company. The New York Theatre Guild, he said, which now put forward productions sur- passed nowhere in the world, had begun operations on a scale smaller than that of the Independent Theatre. On Tuesday evening he attended a rehearsal of "Dulcy," by George Kaufman and Mare Connelly, which will be the theatre's next attraction. It is an en- tertaining farce, which appeared on the silent screen some years ago with Constance Tal madge in the title role.
THE LATE JOSEPH BRADLEY.
The eloquent tribute to the late Mr. Joseph Bradley by "E.W.," which was published in the "Herald" on Thursday, will have been read with sympathy by all who came into con- tact with this gifted musician. In the Conservatorium lecture-room, as the present writer can testify from personal experi- ence, Mr. Bradley was gruff and exact- ing. He used to reduce some of the girl students almost to tears by his caustic com- ments on their exercises. But, if one went to him after the lesson with some individual difficulty, he would often go out of his way to give help and advice. His orchestral con- ducting was always sound, rather than excit- ing; but there was never any doubt as to his enormous knowledge and experience. He was a valuable force in the musical develop- ment of this city.
THE AMATEUR STAGE.
The members of the Independent Theatre have excelled themselves with their current production of "The Witch." This is the sort of play which the amateur organisations ought to be doing regularly, instead of courting public favour with mystery melodramas and pot boiling farces. Only the extreme limitation of professional activities during the last few years gives any excuse for, this latter aspect of things. On the first night of "The Witch," the Lord Mayor made an enthusiastic speech from the stage, commending play and players to the public. After "Dulcy," audiences will see "The Distaff Side," a John Van Druten play, In which Dame Sybil Thorndike appeared with success in London and New York. After- wards "Richard of Bordeaux" will be staged.
Miss Beryl Bryant, of Bryant's Playhouse, plans to hold a one-act Australian play tour- nament in a few months' time. She Is thus carrying on a tradition established by Miss Carrie Tennant, who, in these same premises (then called the Community Playhouse), held several interesting contests of the kind. The closing date for entries is May 23.
A new amateur organisation called the Little Theatre has been established at 156 Pitt-street, with Miss Evelyn Perrott as director and Miss Elma Paul Perdrlau in charge of production.
Miss Renie Riano having gone to Melbourne to play a part in Mr. Ernest Rolls's revue, "Rhapsodies of 1935," her place as director of the new Progressive Theatre has been taken by Mr. George Parker. This amateur venture has been organised by Mr. Richard White.
A number of Yiddish amateurs have formed a dramatic and literary circle, which meets at tiie Maccabean Institute on Tuesday even- ings. Performances of plays in Yiddish will be Riven from time to tims. The first takes place to-night at the Maccabean Hall.