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There are some interesting new music projects and tours getting underway in May.

Percussionist Louise Devenish is launching her album Music for Percussion and Electronics with a national tour starting in Perth on May 15th. The evening also marks the formation of the Women’s Giving Circle, a fabulous new initiative created by Tura New Music to support women in all aspects of music creation and performance.

The WA Academy of Performing Arts present their festival of new sounds from 7-11th May featuring composition and music technology students and staff performing original music. Sound Spectrum 2018 features WAAPA Composition and Music Technology students and staff performing five nights of original music at ECU’s Spectrum Project Space. It will include a concert recognising the contribution rock band Radiohead made to the mainstreaming of alternative musical techniques.

Sound artist Rachael Dease will launch her installation Like Embracing Ice on the 25th at the Fremantle Arts Centre where she will share sound recordings captured from the  Arctic Sea, using hydrophones floating under drifting icebergs and microphones lowered into glacial cracks.

And don’t forget the monthly Noizemachin!!  a  noise and experimental music concert curated by Eduardo Cosiso at Perth Artifactory where artists texchange ideas, get inspired, find collaborators, conspirators and listen to some fresh new sounds.

Meanwhile there’s plenty of other arts events crowded into May. Opera in the Pinnacles on the 5th has already sold out, confirming that WA Opera’s combination of opera, starlight and ancient landforms is a winner. The West Australian Symphony Orchestra will present the third instalment in their Harry Potter series with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the 4/5th at the Perth Convention Centre.  On the 10-12th the orchestra will premiere Carl Vine’s Concerto for Two Pianos with pianists Piers Lane and Kathryn Stott, plus Ravel’s Bolero and Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks.

St George’s Cathedral will feature the new Magellan Ensemble with their program Ole which they are touring around the south-west. Paul Wright, Sacha McCulloch and Faith Maydwell will perform Spanish piano trio favourites at a morning concert on the 3rd including Turina’s Piano Trio and Arbos’ Spanish Dances. On the 18th baritone Andrew Fotoe and pianist Mark Coughlan will perform Lieder to Cabaret. The programme includes Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, piano solos to showcase the Cathedral’s new Fazioli Concert Grand, and a selection of cabaret and lighter songs.

The WA Academy of Performing Arts calendar includes four concerts of interest. Defying Gravity will present Cirque du Rhythm from the 3-5th WAAPA featuring percussion virtuoso Marcus Perrozzi from Cirque du Soleil’s fame. On the 9th pianist Thomas Hecht will perform Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Barber. Soprano Emma Matthews stars in Glitter and Be Gay with the Faith Court Orchestra from the 11-13th. American tenor Kevin Hanrahan will be joined by David Wickham and Classical Vocal students on the 17th for Pacific Rim Art Song, a series of songs commissioned from composers from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US.

The ultimate feel good musical Mamma Mia the Musical opens at Crown on the 15th. PJ Hogan’s iconic Australian film is set on a Greek island paradise and inspired by the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs in this new setting.

On the 19th the Tafelmusik ensemble will begin their Musica Viva national tour in Perth. The interesting project provides a multi-layered exploration of Bach’s life and music using spoken word, video and images as well as their period instrument performances. 

Also on the 19th the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra will give a concert with Kate Ceberano and Voyces will take audiences on a journey to the cutting edge of contemporary choral music with Sorry I Missed You.

On the 27th seventeen year old string sensation Emmalena Huning will perform Korngold’s Hollywood film-style Violin Concerto in D with the WA Youth Orchestra. The program also includes Ravel’s Bolero and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition

The Perth Symphony Orchestra are performing their popular sensory-rich Baroque by Candlelight on the 12th and a brand new collaboration Signed Sealed Delivered with the WAAPA gospel choir on the 30/31st featuring the music of Stevie and Arethra.

The Darlington Ensemble season opens on the 27th with the ensemble in quintet formation, with a program including Mozart’s String Quintet.

One of the world’s oldest surviving BALLET works La Sylphide is being performed by the West Australian Ballet. Based on choreographer August Bournonville’s traditional Scottish setting with its sprites, forest-fills, sylphides and trouble-making witches, La Sylphide opens on the 18th.

The Perth THEATRE scene is busy this month. Sparrow opens on the 2nd at the Subiaco Arts Centre, a play written and performed by Susie Conte to celebrate Mollie Skinner, a WA writer and nurse silenced by time and history.

Black Swan State Theatre’s new production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, one of the most significant plays in Australian theatre history, opens on the 5th. Set in 1950’s working class Melbourne, ‘The Doll’ revolves around the events of the seventeenth summer where two mates, on yet another layoff season, come back to live it up in the city with their girlfriends. On the 10th the company will present Hir an intelligent, heartfelt and humorous portrayal of a family in crisis, described as “Roseanne on acid”.

Phoenix Theatre will perform Be More Chill (opening on the 18th) based on the novel by Ned Vizzini about a teenager who finds out about “The Squip” – a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires.