Lorne Festival of Performing Arts 2016

Lorne Festival of Performing Arts Twilight ChorusThe Lorne Festival Of Performing Arts kicks off this weekend for a three day celebration of performing arts across all genres igniting the Surf Coast town of Lorne with a carnivalesque fanfare.

The 2016 FOPA program is awash with some of most exciting artists across the country – with more than 4,000 people expected to visit Lorne’s spectacular coastline – this boutique festival by the sea will host some of the best cabaret, comedy, theatre, circus and music events, as well as a whole horde of free outdoor performances for kids and families in a revamped Festival Hub.

“For our first Lorne Festival, we are thrilled to present a festival that celebrates frivolity, laughter and musical splendour, showcasing artists at the top of their game,” says Artistic Director Edwina Lunn. “The talent on offer this year is bound to attract people from near and far and we can’t wait to see Lorne hopping with festival fever,”

This year there’s an extra reason for Lorne to dress-up, pop open the champers and give cheers as the team at FOPA have managed to source an original Spiegeltent to provide an intimate, specialised experience for the discerning punters. With an interior comprising of teak booths, mirrors, stained glass – even velvet – it will indeed be posh!

The Festival kicks off with the FOPA Gala, an evening extravaganza overflowing with snippets and tastes of the festival program. This is a chance to experience a smorgasbord of artistic excellence that encapsulates a fresh new FOPA fiesta. From comic twerker Tessa Waters to laconic storyteller Phil Spencer as emcees, not to mention Elana Stone of All Our Exes Live in Texas, and the junkyard theatrics of The Suitcase Royale, expect music, acrobatics and operatic solos. Tickets to opening night have sold-out, so the Gala will be repeated on Saturday night to give everyone a chance to experience the fun.

And speaking of fun, why should adults be the only ones to have some? Drum roll please – we hereby present the first ever Lorne FOPA Kids Gala, a family-friendly show bursting at the seams with circus tricks, theatrical wonder and giggles galore. Jacked up on adrenaline, the FOPA Kids Gala will send some of our younger audience members over the brink of insanity. Think acrobatic hijinx and earth shattering jokes and then times it by 1000 to the power of 16.

A FOPA first, the Drawing Room Series takes audiences into the living room spaces of some of the Surf Coast’s most exquisite and historically significant homes. With a limited capacity and an exclusive, up close and personal performance at each address, the Drawing Room Series puts Baroque, indie-folk and operatic arias into some of the most spectacular domestic settings for your absolute pleasure.

This very special music series will include a living room drama of operatic proportions: Chamber Made Opera’s Turbulence – a once in a lifetime concert at the newly restored Waverley House by Baroque masters Latitude 37, as well as the opportunity to be wooed and delighted by the most glorious alt-country pair, Miles & Simone in the spectacular contemporary surrounds of the Glasshouse.

This year’s Festival jewel is the Twilight Chorus. Guided by the professional voices of Australian indie-folk darlings, All Our Exes Live in Texas, community choirs around the region will join forces to showcase the power of the voice through wind, rain or shine.

Set on the Lorne foreshore, with oceanic musical accompaniment, all voices will combine in a cappella harmony for one incredible community choral event. Spanning all age ranges and genders, the Twilight Chorus dusts the shipwrecked ghosts from Lorne’s shores, uniting the community in song, one of the most binding elements on earth.

This year’s program includes the quickest wits in funny biz, such as the much-loved comedy legend Denise Scott; one night only with one of Australia’s best comedy brains, the cyborg smart and instinctively hilarious Tom Gleeson; and the pixie love child of Cher and Mr Bean, Tessa Walters, with her multi-award winning physical comedy, WOMANz. And don’t forget those purveyors of junkyard theatre and rollicking musical mischief, The Suitcase Royale – who will pepper the FOPA program with late night shenanigans and pop-up appearances.

Direct from indie-folk heaven All Our Exes Live in Texas will make you swoon with sweet harmony, then catch you unawares with their whip-cracking banter and on-stage hilarity. Renowned for her blistering harmonies, Rowena Wise’s pop infused melodies and quirky conversational lyrics are delivered with a voice that can caress you in one breath. The seductive sounds of Mojo Juju will headline a free Closing Festival Party, as she sings songs that sound just like that night you can’t quite remember, in that bar you swear you weren’t at, with that girl you promise you’ve never met.

After proving to be a huge hit at last year’s Festival, our local stars return to FOPA – this time to perform in the School Bands Showcase in the stunning surrounds of the Spiegeltent. Showcasing the wealth of talent overflowing from our coastal communities, expect nothing less than virtuosic guitars, simmering vocals and songs penned by the next generation of musical legends.

The Lorne Festival of Performing Arts takes place at various venues throughout Lorne: 2 – 4 September 2016. For more information, and complete program, visit: www.fopa.com.au for details.

Image: Twilight Chorus