John Bell and Simon Tedeschi at Avoca Theatre

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Posted 2017-06-21 by Helen Bellifollow

Fri 16 Jun 2017

Enoch Arden was one of Lord Alfred Tennyson's most famous poems which he wrote in 1864. Richard Strauss wrote the accompanying music in 1897. It was well received in its day but was shelved when fashions changed. It returned to the repertoire in the early 1960, when Claude Rains and Glenn Gould made a recording back in 1962. It has been recorded and performed from time to time ever since.

To the delight of a mostly local audience John Bell, with Simon Tedeschi at the piano, performed the poem at the popular local Avoca Theatre. Both John and Simon were born and still have homes on the Central Coast.

John Bell knew at a very early age he would choose the stage for his lifelong career. He produced and starred in one-man shows while at school in Maitland. After graduating from Sydney University he went on to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England. He returned to Australia and after teaching at N.I.D.A. for many years he formed the Bell Shakespeare Company in 1990. He retired from the company after 25 years but performing was still on the agenda and he had no intention of staying around the Bell Shakespeare Company 'hovering around like old Hamlet's ghost'. Among his many awards, he is also been named an Australian Living Legend.

Simon Tedeschi has been called 'one of the finest artists in the world'. He decided at the age of six he would spend his life working as a classical pianist. He has performed at home and throughout the world to great acclaim. John and Simon have formed a wonderful working relationship which was clearly visible at the concert last Friday night.

The costume choice for the evening was casual. Both wore traditional fishermen's jumpers setting the scene for an informal evening.

The programme opened with Simon playing two well-loved pieces, one by Brahms who is his favourite composer and the other by Schubert, a universal favourite.

Enoch Arden opens with three young children playing on the beach in a fishing village, one very pretty girl named Annie and two boys Enoch and Philip. Both love Annie but she chooses Enoch for her husband. Enoch and Annie live happily together for seven years, have three children [one boy dies at an early age] but the love Phillip has for Annie never dies. 'All things human change'

Enoch goes to sea one day, is shipwrecked and spends ten years living in China. He is presumed dead back home and after many years Annie and Phillip wed and have a child together. Enoch arrives back home but doesn't reclaim his rightful place with his family. He sees the happiness his lifelong friends have together and retires to live a solitary short life. Ouch! Melodrama in spades.

This was a one-night special performance like many at the Avoca beach picture theatre, and if it is received elsewhere as it was last Friday, it will be a resounding success at the Adelaide Festival in July which is one of the upcoming venues.

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!date 16/06/2017 -- 16/06/2017
159821 - 2023-06-14 16:57:22


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