The Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership

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Simone Young!

the divine Ms Young and Alexander Soddy (her assistant at Hamburg State Opera)
will perform a piano (four hands) arrangement by Engelbert Humperdinck
of Richard Wagner's Parsifal, with narration in German and English,
at Villa Music venue, 427 Tourist Road, Bellawongarah,
at 2.30pm on Sunday 12th August 2007

this unique event is to raise funds for the
Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership,
a group based in Kangaroo Valley that supports projects in East Timor

"I'm surrounded by philosophers, authors and writers who put profound thoughts down on paper. That isn't my profession. My language is music. If you want to hear my deep thoughts, you will have to come to (Bellawongarah) and listen to one of my concerts."

ticketing information | map | Parsifal | Simone Young | Alexander Soddy | KV-RP

to snap up tickets ($72 each):

Call Martin Wesley-Smith on 44 651 299 and reserve your ticket(s); then, immediately, print the booking form (click here), fill it out and post it, with a cheque for the right amount made out to "KV-RP", to Concert Bookings, PO Box 6159 Kangaroo Valley NSW 2577 - your ticket(s) will arrive in the post (or, if too close to the date, will be kept for you at the box office on the day)

the booking form gives you the opportunity to book for two other events, also (see here)

note (Wed Aug 1):
Several people have ordered tickets by phone or email but haven't yet sent the money. If we sell out, which is looking likely, and if you have ordered tickets but haven't sent the money, then you will miss out! Please get your cheques into the post. If there's a problem, call [4465 1299] or email Martin Wesley-Smith.

STOP PRESS: 1pm Sunday Aug 5: SOLD OUT.

11am Monday Aug 6: two people are now on a waiting list. If by 12 noon Wednesday Aug 8 I have not received the money for tickets already ordered, I will start selling those tickets to people on the waiting list.

STOP PRESS: 9am Wednesday Aug 8: not SOLD OUT!!

A block booking of 15 tickets has been cancelled, so all the people on the waiting list can now purchase tickets (I will call them individually). For the rest it's first in, best dressed, so call me, Martin Wesley-Smith, on 44 651 299!

note 1: The tickets were erroneously printed with the date as "Sun Aug 16". This should, of course, have read "Sun Aug 12". The ticket designer (me) has been disciplined.

note 2: For various reasons I have not posted some tickets but will have them at the box office for collection. If you are expecting them to arrive in the post, please see if your name is on the following list (if it isn't, call me!):

Bairstow, Burns, Dosseter, Foster, Gaston, Haertsch, Jeffrey, Kubale, Lawrence, Lee, Mathews, McKenzie, Melanie, Morgan, Nobel, Prescott, Schaeffer, Spencer, Turnock, Webster & Yemtsov

ticketing information | map | Parsifal | Simone Young | Alexander Soddy | KV-RP


Click on this map (of how to get to the Villa Music venue) for a version you can print:

see for detailed instructions on locating the Villa Music venue

ticketing information | map | Parsifal | Simone Young | Alexander Soddy | KV-RP

Richard Wagner's


twelve short movements for piano, four hands
by Engelbert Humperdinck

"In 1914 Engelbert Humperdinck seems to have applied for the post of director of the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, but with the outbreak of World War I it became unthinkable for a German to hold this position, and the job went instead to Belgium's Henri Verbrugghen." [more]

If Humperdinck had been successful then the Con's Verbrugghen Hall would, instead, be Humperdinck Hall.

In 1880, before Engelbert Humperdinck (1884-1921) had composed his hugely successful opera Hansel and Gretel, he visited Richard Wagner while the latter was on an Italian tour. The meeting was of major significance to the young musician, for Wagner invited him to work with him in Bayreuth on the premiere of Parsifal. At first Humperdinck worked there as a copyist, but he was drawn more and more into the creative side of the preparation. Some sections of the interlude music from Act I from the first performance are in his hand.

Hansel and Gretel was first performed after Wagner's death. Humperdinck remained in contact with Wagner's widow, Cosima, who was probably the reason for his Parsifal arrangement. The score carries the following dedication:

to the family of the master in thankful memory

Each movement is preceded by a passage of text from the opera, read by Greg Condon, which is then set to music in the following passage. The chronology essentially follows that of the opera:

Act I

1. Vorspiel - Overture

2. Amfortas
The teacher-monk, Gurnemanz, greets Amfortas, the Grail-Knight, who has been wounded by Klingsor under mysterious circumstances. Healing for the wound is sought with balms and baths, but the prophecy speaks of the Pure Fool who will heal Amfortas' wound, and save the King, Titurel, who is old and ill, and kept alive by the Grail communion.

3. Das Heiltum - The Sacred Objects
Gurnemanz relates the legend of the vision in which Titurel was given the Grail and the Spear to protect. These sacred objects would give great strength, invincibility, to the knights that served with a pure heart.

4. Der Schwann - The Swan
Parsifal arrives at the Grail Castle and, not knowing that the swan is considered sacred by the Grail Knights, kills it with his bow and arrow. Gurnemanz rebukes him for his unthinking killing of a living creature (one of the Buddhist themes which Wagner pursues in this opera) and Parsifal feels remorse for the first time, without, however, achieving understanding.

5. Einzug in die Gralsburg - Procession into the Grail Castle
The Knights of the Grail proceed into the Castle for the Grail service, during which the Grail will be unveiled and from which communion will be taken. It is this service which keeps the Knights invincible and keeps Titurel alive.

6. Das Liebesmahl - The Communion
The sharing of bread and wine at the Grail Service. This is the conclusion of Act I, and it is the similarity to a religious service in this scene that led to the tradition at Bayreuth of not applauding at the conclusion of this act. Parsifal is led to witness the unveiling of the Grail, but cannot comprehend what he sees. Gurnemanz despairs and sends him away.

- intermission -

Act II

7. Klingsor and Parsifal
Klingsor is the evil knight who controls Kundry, a beautiful woman he keeps under a spell. We now learn that it was Kundry who seduced Amfortas, allowing Klingsor to steal the Spear and wound him with it. He sets Kundry the task now of seducing Parsifal, as Klinsor, unlike Gurnemanz, has recognised Parsifal as the Pure Fool who could restore the Spear and with it the power of the Grail Knights.

8. Die Blumenmädchen - The Flower Maidens
Klingsor's first weapon however are the lovely Flower Maidens who have so far successfully prevented any Grail Knights from recovering the Spear.

9. Herzeleide
Kundry dismisses the Flower Maidens and seeks to win a kiss from Parsifal by first telling him the story of his own mother, Herzeleide. Parsifal feels remorse now for the second time, but still does not achieve understanding or compassion. Only upon kissing Kundry does the vision he has witnessed in the Grail Castle of the wounded Amfortas and the wonder of the Grail become knowledge for him. Kundry seeks to seduce him by offering him power and glory but he now rejects her and wins the spear from Klingsor.


10. Karfreitagszauber - Good Friday's Wonder
Parsifal returns to the Grail environs and once again meets Gurnemanz. Parsifal is now recognised as the Pure Fool and Gurnemanz sings of the wonder of the day when nature feels compassion.

11. Titurels Totenfeier - Titurel's Funeral
Parsifal's return is however too late for the King, and the knights have gathered in the Grail Castle for Titurel's funeral. Amfortas, mad with the pain of the wound, which the sight of the Grail enflames, has refused to perform the Grail Service for some months now, and so all are in despair.

12. Die Erlösung - The Salvation
Parsifal appears, carrying the Spear, and assumes his place as the new King, Knight of the Grail.

ticketing information | map | Parsifal | Simone Young | Alexander Soddy | KV-RP

Simone Young

Born in Sydney. Studied (amongst other things, composition with Don Banks and Martin Wesley-Smith) at the Sydney Conservatorium. Music Director Opera Australia. Appointed General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Music Director of the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg beginning August 2005
Opera Australia repertoire: The Little Mermaid, Aida, The Bamboo Flute, The Mikado, Falstaff, Tannhäuser, Don Carlo, Rigoletto, La traviata, Il trovatore, Verdi's Requiem, Simon Boccanegra, Andrea Chénier (2002 Helpmann Award: Best Musical Direction), Tristan und Isolde (2001 Green Room Award: Best Conductor: Opera), La bohème, Le nozze di Figaro, Katya Kabanova, Don Giovanni, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Un ballo in maschera, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lulu, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Other Companies: Has a world-wide reputation as one of the leading conductors of her generation. Conducted a broad range of operatic and symphonic repertoire for major opera companies and orchestras including the Berlin Staatsoper, Cologne Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Maggio Musicale in Florence, ORF Radio Orchestra Vienna, NDR Hannover, NHK Symphony Orchestra Japan, Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra 1999-2002. Engagements with overseas orchestras and companies into 2007.

ticketing information | map | Parsifal | Simone Young | Alexander Soddy | KV-RP

Alexander Soddy

b. 1982 in Oxford. Chorister of Magdalen College, Oxford, and choral scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge University. Also studied at Royal Academy of Music, London (piano, conducting and singing), and at the National Opera Studio (sponsored by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Scottish Opera).

His many musical activities have involved conducting opera and concerts, performing as a pianist and accompanist, and, since 2005, working as repetiteur at the Hamburg State Opera, working closely with Simone Young. Recently he has assisted her in many concert and opera preparations and performances. They also regularly perform piano duets for fun.

Alex is travelling with Simone for her current Symphony Australia engagements in Perth and Sydney and has assisted her with a wide range of repertoire, including a Wagner/Strauss recording with Lisa Gasteen. He has also assisted with recordings of Bartok, Henze and Messiaen.

ticketing information | map | Parsifal |
Simone Young | Alexander Soddy | KV-RP

The Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership

After the destruction and killing which swept East Timor in September 1999, a small group of KV residents felt a need to do something. A partnership was discussed with an East Timorese village and the Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership was formed. Now, nearly eight years on, we have a mix of local and district people working with many East Timorese in Australia and East Timor.

Remexio is a small village in the hills about one hour's drive south of Dili.

The KV-RP is a "bottom up" or "grass roots" approach to helping the East Timorese help themselves. We hope to assist the East Timorese achieve dignified living through health, education, justice and ecologically sustainable industry. We selectively try to help in ways that are different from those of the UN and other NGOs.

Rather than large single projects, we pursue a multitude of small, personal and usually integrated activities. Being substantially self-funded, and consistent with our philosophy, our material contributions are small. Instead, we rely on sharing our existing skills in day to day situations.

We pursue long-term personal relationships with the East Timorese and actively encourage this approach in others. That part which is conducted in Australia is the provision of education and training to those who have appropriate interests and aptitudes for leadership and mentoring roles back in East Timor.

We now enjoy the beginnings of likely long-term relationships with numerous on-going activities. In addition, much of our involvement is outside of Remexio, in other parts of East Timor, as well as in active networking within Australia. Along the way we have tried to identify the best and worst of our respective Australian and East Timorese lifestyles, to better influence both our paths into the future.

Remexio kids left: kids in Remexio, March 2002


KV-RP is largely self-funded but donations are always very helpful. If made to "AFAP KV-Remexio Partnership" they will be tax deductible (AFAP - Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific Ltd - is our umbrella group, which is recognised by the ATO for tax deductibility).

We cover all our own expenses such as air fares, accommodation etc as well as all administration overheads. 100% of funds raised from the public go directly towards helping the East Timorese and are fully accounted for. Donors may request that their funds be directed towards particular areas of their own special interest, such as health, education, etc.

Paul Turnock (02 4465 1357)

ticketing information | map | Parsifal | Simone Young | Alexander Soddy | KV-RP

Those contributing to getting this event happening include Ben George, Helen George, John George, Diana Jaffray, Michael Moore, Louise Morgan, Peter Morgan, Chris Nobel, Sue Prescott, Peter Stanton, Libby Turnock, Paul Turnock, Belinda Webster & Peter Wesley-Smith. Main organiser, for the Kangaroo Valley-Remexio Partnership: Martin Wesley-Smith. Our copious thanks to Alexander and Simone, of course, who have donated their services to the cause, and to Greg Condon, ditto, and to Tony Strachan, who has lent us his magnificent home for the occasion. Tony runs his own concert series, with two concerts coming up on Saturday Sept 15 (Daniel de Borah, piano) and Sunday Sept 16 (Australian Trio). For details, click here.

html by Webmaster Walnut of Don Key Design
page last updated Aug 11 2007

enquiries: Martin Wesley-Smith
PO Box 6159 Kangaroo Valley NSW 2577; 44 651 299

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