The Tender Land: cinematic and accessible.
Dark side of Oklahoma
Aaron Copland's TV-made opera The Tender Land was rejected by American CBS and failed on stage in New York in 1954 before finding a spectacular new life in the setting of a chamber orchestra in the 1980s. It is in that intimate and potent form that Melbourne's Lyric Opera stages the Depression-themed work at Chapel Off Chapel from May 2 to 10. Musical director Pat Miller promises a cinematic, accessible work that plays like a dark rejoinder to Oklahoma! - ''and no American accents''.
Day job inspiring
Long-lost: The Marcus Hook Roll Band.
Bethany Simons received acclaim and a Green Room nomination for her first musical, The Weather and Your Health, in 2009. But in her day job as receptionist for the Australian National Academy of Music she was disappointed ''all the students had Shostakovich and Beethoven on their iPods''. Then she met pianist Peter de Jager. In two lunchtimes they had the first two songs for Reception: The Musical. Directed by David Wicks with choreography by Joseph Simons, itruns at the Butterfly Club from April 29 to May 4.
AC/DC rumours add poignancy to release
Speculation about AC/DC's future adds significance to the recent discovery of a long-lost Aussie rock obscurity at Abbey Road in London. The Marcus Hook Roll Band was an early '70s studio outfit concocted by former Easybeats Harry Vanda and George Young, with the latter's brothers, Angus and Malcolm, on guitars. Their album, Tales of Old Grand-Daddy, is so long out of print that rare sightings attract big bids on eBay. A couple of unreleased tracks have been added to the CD, vinyl and download reissue, which will be available on June 3.