ANDREA BOCELLI'S STUNNING PERFORMANCE FROM THE DUOMO IN MILAN

On an Easter Sunday like no other, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli gave the most extraordinary performance of his life. There was no audience present in Milan’s iconic Duomo, but across the globe people tuned in to witness his emotional performance, streamed live via YouTube, uniting the world at a time when many are apart, being isolated at home.

This unique performance, offering an uplifting message of love, healing and hope through music, took place at the historic Duomo, the cathedral of Milan, Italy, by invitation of the City and of the cathedral, and thanks to the hospitality of the Archpriest and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo.

Bocelli says of the event: “I will cherish the emotion of this unprecedented and profound experience, of this Holy Easter which this emergency has made painful, but at the same time even more fruitful, one that will stay among my dearest memories of all time. That feeling of being at the same time alone – as we all are in the presence of the Most High – yet of expressing the voice of the prayer of millions of voices, has deeply impressed and moved me. Love is a gift. Making it flow is the primary purpose of life itself. And I find myself once again indebted to life. My gratitude goes to all those who made this possible, the City of Milan and the Duomo, and to all those who accepted the invitation and joined in a planetary embrace, gathering that blessing from Heaven that gives us courage, trust, optimism, in the certainty of our faith.”

Accompanied only by the cathedral organist, Emanuele Vianelli, Bocelli sung a carefully chosen selection of pieces, specially arranged for solo voice and organ for the occasion. This included the beloved Ave Maria setting by Bach/Gounod and Amazing Grace, opening completely unaccompanied – an incredibly poignant moment, in the still of a city under continued lockdown, alongside a stirring programme of sacred music for one of the holiest days of the year. The recording was released digitally on audio streaming services within hours.

The event was promoted by the City of Milan and the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, produced by Sugar Music and Universal Music Group, thanks to the generous contribution of YouTube. Andrea Bocelli’s participation was entirely pro-bono (in collaboration with Almud and Maverick Management).

Bocelli, with the Foundation that carries his name, is currently involved in an emergency COVID-19 campaign. The Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) has started a fundraiser to help hospitals purchase all the instruments and equipment necessary to protect their medical staff. It is possible to donate through the GoFundMe campaign.

Source: The Andrea Bocelli Foundation


Foxtel: Bringing the Workplace Home on your viewing device

Missing your dysfunctional work family while working from home? Foxtel has you covered with a hilarious line-up of the best office comedies available on demand that will bring the workplace to you.

Foxtel’s BRINGING THE WORKPLACE HOME on demand compilation features all your favourite workplace comedies including The Office, Veep, Workaholics, Superstore and Fawlty Towers.

The ultimate workplace comedy and multi-award-winning series, The Office presents a hilarious documentary-style look at the humorous, and sometimes poignant, foolishness that plagues the 9-to-5 world. Based on the award-winning BBC hit, The Office delves into the lives of the workers at Dunder Mifflin, a paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), the preppy salesman and die-hard Cornell alumni whose endless and unique musical talents keep the office entertained, is the new Dunder Mifflin Scranton manager. Reporting to Andy are the loyal, and often times unmotivated, staff who together create a truly dysfunctional and hilarious workplace setting. All nine seasons are available now on Foxtel.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars in Veep as Vice President of the United States, Selina Meyer, who finds the job is nothing like she expected, but everything her incompetent staff warned her about. The series follows Meyer and her team as they attempt to make their mark and leave a legacy without becoming mired in the day-to-day political games that define American politics. All seven seasons of the hilarious and award-winning comedy series Veep are available now on Foxtel.

Starring Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine and Anders Holm, Workaholics follows Blake, Adam and Ders, three friends who work together as telemarketers from 9 to 5, live together from 5 to 9 and party together 24/7. The three met at college, where Blake and Adam were roommates and Anders was their RA. As they settle into adulthood, they continue to do things associated with college after dropping out (such as drinking, partying, and pranks). The self-proclaimed “friendship family’s” schemes are generally confined to their house in Rancho Cucamonga, California, where they often interact with their drug dealer, and a cubicle they share in the Rancho Cucamonga office of a telemarketing company called TelAmeriCorp, where they clash with their boss and coworkers. All seven seasons are available now on Foxtel.

America Ferrera and Ben Feldman star in the hilarious workplace comedy Superstore, about a unique family of employees at a supersized megastore. Superstore centres around Amy, who recently was promoted to be the store manager and is the glue holding the place together, and Jonah, a dreamer determined to prove work doesn’t have to be boring. Their fellow associates include the sardonic Garrett, the sweet and clueless Cheyenne, and the perpetually dismissed Sandra. Also on the team are Glenn, who stepped down as manager in an attempt to have more family time, and Dina, the aggressive assistant manager who enforces Cloud 9 policy with an iron fist. Mateo was also part of the team, most recently as the self-promoted floor supervisor, until being detained due to his undocumented status.

Once named the greatest ever British TV sitcom, Fawlty Towers is the iconic farcical comedy set in a seaside hotel in Torquay run by Basil and Sybil Fawlty, played by John Cleese and Prunella Scales. The plots centre on the tense, rude and put-upon owner Basil Fawlty, his bossy wife Sybil, the sensible chambermaid Polly, who often is the peacemaker and voice of reason, and the hapless and English-challenged Spanish waiter Manuel, showing their attempts to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding and eccentric guests and tradespeople.

All of Foxtel’s workplace comedies are available to stream for Foxtel subscribers On Demand via internet connected IQ boxes, on smartphones and tablets using the Foxtel GO app, and via Foxtel Now.

Source: Foxtel


Harry Potter Magic Breaks New Ground in Melbourne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has established a new standard for blockbuster plays in Australia, drawing more than 325,000 attendees through the doors of the Princess Theatre in a run now entering its second year.

Opening to rave reviews 12 months ago, the production officially celebrates its first birthday. The Andrews Labor Government secured the production for its February 2019 debut, making Melbourne only the third city to welcome the acclaimed play following its premiere in London in 2016 and a season in New York in 2018.

Victoria continues to be the creative and cultural capital of Australia, with studies showing that the state generates the highest share of national live performance attendance, as well as the highest share of attendance at musical theatre productions.

Harry Potter fans have travelled from near and far to enjoy the play in Melbourne with 50 per cent of ticket holders coming from regional Victoria, interstate or one of 42 countries around the world.

For many, the production was also a first theatre experience (51 per cent) and the first time visiting the Princess Theatre (77 per cent). The appeal of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to younger audiences has also been strong with 44 per cent of attendees under the age of 35, introducing the theatre to a new generation.

The Princess Theatre, which was restored ahead of the show’s launch, is the only place in the southern hemisphere where theatregoers can see this lauded production.

Major events are big business for Victoria – an independent study in 2018 found that they contributed $2.5 billion to the state’s economy.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.

The critically acclaimed production is one play presented in two parts, which are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is booked at the Princess Theatre until mid-2020. For more information and tickets, go to harrypottertheplay.com/au.

Source: Harry Potter The Play


Dial a Drag at QT Sydney

 This Mardi Gras, QT Sydney is offering the city’s first ever ‘Dial a Drag’ in partnership with MINI. Piling their stilettos and falsettos into the backseat of a MINI, Drag Queens will personally deliver Sydney-siders to Mardi Gras parties between 4-6pm on February 29″. Meanwhile, the hotel will come to life with rainbow love letter installations, glitter stations, DJs and more.

It’s official, surging Ubers are out and backseat drag shows are in; all from the comfort of a MINI. ‘Dial a Drag’ will be available to party-goers sipping a selection of Mardi Gras inspired cocktails at Gowings Bar or Parlour Cucina and to guests spending the night in one of QT Sydney’s luxurious rooms.

Those in need of a lift with a Mardi Gras-twist, will simply dial QT Sydney reception desk and a complimentary MINI Countryman will meet them outside the hotel within thirty minutes; complete with chauffeur in the front, and Drag Queen in the back.

Not to be missed on the streets, the iconic cars, renowned for their go-cart feel behind the wheel, will have their front doors painted with Mardi-Gras inspired prints.

`Dial a Drag’ won’t be the only Mardi Gras celebratory action, in partnership with Absolut, from Monday 24″ February, a rainbow love letter installation will pop up in the QT Sydney lobby, encouraging guests to share a message of love, support and positivity for the LGBTQI+ community. There will be love letter stations set up in all public areas of the hotel for guests to pen their romantic missive.

A selection of bespoke cocktails will be on offer at Gowings Bar, including the effervescent Death Drop featuring Absolut Vodka, Aperol, passionfruit, pineapple and lime, the flirtatious Yaaas Kween featuring Absolut Vodka, Cinzano Rosso 1757, Campari, Artisan Skinny Tonic and the outrageous The Shady B*tch featuring Absolut Vodka, Kahlua, Cargo Cult Banana Spiced Rum and Espresso.

The Mardi Gras party will start as soon as guests hit the QT front door with the hotel music hijacked by Sydney’s favourite Drag DJ, DJ Kitty Glitter, pumping the greatest gay anthems from sunup to sundown.

Guests will also have the opportunity to get glittered by QT Sydney’s resident makeup artist between 12 – 4pm and indulge in pre or post party treatments with spaQ’s selection of His & His, Hers & Hers and Theirs & Theirs couple’s treatments.

For those travelling interstate or splurging on a gaycation before a night of festivities, QT Sydney is offering ‘That’s Quite A Package’ accommodation packages. Book an overnight stay and receive two complimentary cocktails to kick start the celebrations, breakfast for two in QT’s signature restaurant Gowings Bar & Grill and extra late check out because let’s face it, party queens need their beauty sleep.
Bookings for QT and MINI’s ‘Dial a Drag’ Drop Off Service are subject to availability. Bookings can also be made onsite through the front desk.

Source: QT Sydney


ABSOLUT HOUSE OF LOVE LAUNCH

World-renowned Australian LGBTQIA+ venue The Imperial Erskineville in partnership with the leading brand of premium vodka Absolut has launched their Absolut: House of Love campaign, a month-long series of activations and an out-of-home and digital campaign celebrating the 42nd annual Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. 

 The Imperial has always stood for equality and the LGBTQIA+ community and we’re passionate about nurturing the diversity within our community,” says The Sydney Collective’s CEO, Fraser Short. 

Absolut took over the iconic inner-west Sydney hotel transforming the three-storied establishment into an interactive social media playground and experiential cocktail bar for party-goers. The month-long calendar of events includes a two-part QueerTank symposium series, a gallery of archival Absolut LGBT campaigns from global markets, and an out-of-home and digital campaign launching with bill posters around central Sydney.
 

Archival Absolut LGBT campaigns are plastered on the walls throughout the venue; a 360 degree Absolut rainbow-branded photo-booth and Absolut Love Letters letterbox and strictly Absolut bar took-over the Imperial’s iconic UP! rooftop; and performance artists The Huxley’s added their unique flavour of glitterati,” says The Imperial Erskineville’s marketing manager, Matt Folino. 

 Throughout the month of Mardi Gras, officially February 14th through to March 1st, Absolut and The Imperial Erskineville are also serving an exclusive cocktail, the Absolut: Frida Las Vegas trialled and tested by the venue’s lead mixologist, Ty Singleton. One dollar from every cocktail poured during the festival will be donated to the long-standing AIDS and HIV charity organisation the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. 

 We’re proud of our relationship with both Absolut and The Imperial Erskineville and hope to provide the wider LGBTQIA+ community with the support to help destigmatize living with HIV in 2020,” adds The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation CEO, Nick Lawson. 

On hand to celebrate the campaigns launch were 2016 The Voice winner Alfie Arcuri, celebrity chef Anna Polyviou, Rugby Australia’s head of diversity and inclusion Casey Conway, Channel Nine’s The Block host and interior designer Darren Palmer, stylist Emma Read, celebrity make-up artist Max May, Double Rainbouu creative director Michael Nolan, Chadwick’s model and social media personality Reece Carter, American-Australian media personality and Studio Ten host Richard Reid, Oyster magazine fashion editor Sarah Starkey, Sunrise presenter Shaun White, and The Amazing Race winners Tim and Rod Sattler-Jones. 
Source: Absolut