Under the musical guidance of Sue Johnson, explore the heritage towns of Gulgong, Mudgee, Hill End + Rylstone through the eyes of its artists, artisans + growers.
What’s included: Daily workshops, excursions + interactive experiences; daily breakfast + a selection of other organised meals; accommodation at the Ten Dollar Town Motel in Gulgong; transport to excursions + local dinners.
Price: $3490 pp
Under the musical guidance of Sue Johnson, one of the world’s emerging choir directors, Live at the Prince of Wales Opera House Gulgong will be a sensational musical homage hosted in the heritage town of Gulgong.
Following a magnificent week exploring one of Australia’s most fascinating regions, singing in its’ woolsheds and old pioneer churches, exploring the gold mining region of Hill End, Mudgee + Rylstone, and rehearsing daily in the 1871 Opera House, the group will perform to a local crowd on the same stage as Dame Mellie Melba.
The Opera House is rated as one of the world’s finest sound spaces, a fact that brings renowned pianist Roger Woodward and trumpeter James Morrison back regularly to perform.
The famous Ten Dollar Town Motel in Gulgong serves as a home base for the entire week. Daily singing sessions in the Opera House are broken up with forays into the surrounding villages.
The Mudgee Region is the home of artists, artisans and writers for a reason. It is a beautiful and evocative part of New South Wales, a place renowned for its epicurean tradition of wine + produce. The towns breathe story and character; from poet Henry Lawson to the gold miners of Gulgong + Hill End; from the heart-wrenching tale of Jimmy Governor (Chant of Billy Blacksmith) to the local artists who have made this country their muse. As with all SoundTracks programs, singing and performance act as the connective tissue that links guests to landscape, people and community.
The Ten Dollar Town Motel in Gulgong acts as a home base for the week long immersion, a perfectly centred in the middle of this wonderful heritage town allowing for easy explorations into the surrounding areas.
This itinerary may be adapted as required, either to enhance its quality or to cater for any COVID19 considerations or weather conditions.
Not assigned in the itinerary are ongoing sessions with Jan Cornall punctuated throughout the day that integrate the story and encourage attendees to document their experiences with writings, sketches and journaling. Also not assigned are structured interactions with local people invited to present their personal and family narratives.
Theme – The Holtermann Museum + Welcome Address
Arrive 1pm in Gulgong – check in to accommodation – Welcome at the Holtermann Museum – Introductory talk by Jan Irvine on the development of the Museum before extended personal exploration of its photographic treasures – Dinner at local Thai Restaurant.
Theme – The Town of Gulgong
Morning talk on Wet Plate Photography at the Holtermann with photographer Adrian Cook explaining the process used by the Holtermann photographers (Adrian will stay for the week to offer small masterclasses and photograph the program) – Gulgong walk with locals: absorbing the town – visit Henry Lawson Museum with costumed commentary – Story of Billy Governor (Chant of Billy Blacksmith) – Dinner at local restaurant.
Theme – Aesthetics
Visit to the home and studio of Chester Nealie and textile artist Jan Irvine. Singing session amongst this inspirational environment – Dinner at a local restaurant in Gulgong.
Theme – Hill End – History, Characters + Gold
Visit selected artists and characters of Hill End – town walk and local activities. Rehearsal in local Hill End Church. Dinner in Mudgee.
Theme – Artisans
Morning Rehearsal in Opera House – Then a day of creative delights. Visit Lue and the Bonsai Academy with a lecture on the philosophy of bonsai. Enjoy traditional dumplings in Rylstone, visit the Convent and Chapel Wool Shop and explore the historical township. Meet with local characters in Kandos – Brett Nutting of Ad Hoc Furniture and Alex Wisser, convenor of the Cementa Festival – discover how this unique festival invigorates the town of Kandos. Dinner in Gulgong.
Theme – Epicurean
Morning Rehearsal in Opera House. Explore vineyard sculptures, meet cheese makers, visit a working olive press. Local dinner to be confirmed.
Theme – The Opera House Performance
Rehearsal and Technical Rehearsal for an evening performance for the town in the Opera House. Enjoy a Performance from local comedian + actor Jude Bowler and a catered evening meal.
Reflect on the week that was and depart after breakfast.
- A bus will be organised to pick up from the nearby town of Mudgee which can be reached by air, bus or train. A return link will be offered back to Mudgee on the final Sunday morning at 9am.
- Attendees are welcome to drive directly to Gulgong for the work.
- A luxury coach will provide links throughout the week to the various excursions, however attendees will be welcomed to follow in private cars if they prefer. None of the drives are more than 2 hours.