12-14 April 2019

Jane Austen Festival Australia is an annual celebration in Canberra where Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia come and indulge themselves in everything Regency - including dancing, music, food, games, archery, fencing, theatre, promenades, grand balls, talks, workshops, costumes and books. This festival is now a regular part of the ACT Heritage Festival, Australian Heritage Week and is supported by the ACT Government, the Australian Costumers Guild and the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy. Since its inception in 2008 this little festival has blossomed into one of the most delightful four days anyone could experience each April in an old and beautiful part of Canberra, the Federal capital of Australia.

April 13, 2011

The Sweets of May: Jane Austen’s Music in the Garden

Gardens, flowers, trees and country life feature prominently in many songs of the late 18th and early 19th century, and soprano Gillian Dooley has devised a program of music on these themes from Jane Austen’s family music collections. She will be accompanied by Fiona McCauley on piano, and with guest artists Charlotte Fletcher (Sydney) and Chris Rawlinson (Adelaide) on violin.

The concert will take place at 2pm on Sunday 17 April inside historic St John’s Church, Reid, as part of the Jane Austen Festival in Canberra in April, Australian Heritage Week and ACT Heritage Festival.

Most of this music is rarely heard today. Alongside music by better known composers such as Handel and Thomas Arne, there are rousing comic songs by Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), and folksongs, parlour songs and theatrical songs, by composers including Stephen Storace, William Field and James Hook. The instrumental pieces include popular dances and melodies of the day.

Gillian Dooley has been organizing and performing in concerts of this repertoire since 2007. She presented concerts at the Canberra Jane Austen Festival in 2009 and 2010, and in the Adelaide Fringe in 2008 and 2010. In September 2010 she travelled to England to research the Austen music collections held in Chawton and Winchester, and performed at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath and the Jane Austen Conference in Harrogate.

Bookings for the Canberra concert should be made via the Jane Austen Festival Australia website at http://www.janeaustenfestival.com.au/

For media enquiries please contact Gillian Dooley on 0413 625 560

Gillian Dooley performing at the Jane Austen Festival, Bath, in September 2010 with harpist Mike Parker    

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