A little magic was sprinkled when Tait Memorial Trust hosted Festive Firebird – an evening of music and ballet – at Leslie MacLeod Miller’s glorious and glittering salon in London.
Starting with a fascinating history of Australian ballet from Ross Alley, guest lecturer at the Royal Opera House, we were then treated to a spellbinding performance of Saint-Saens’s The Swan by young cellist Lavinnia Rae accompanied by Chad Vindin and followed by the wonderful voices of two Tait awardees (sopranos Katherine Allen and Sarah Prestwidge). Classical pianist Piers Lane rounded off the musical part of the evening with a spirited performance of Trois Mouvements de Petrouchka.
Ross Alley also interviewed pre-eminent portrait painter June Mendoza, whose own childhood had been suffused with ballet as her mother, the composer and répétiteur Dot Mendoza, took her on tour with ballet, opera and musicals. June’s joy at being back painting after the deprivations of lockdown was palpable.