The official opening of the two-day proceedings took place in the city's famous 'Weltspiegel' theatre on the evening of 22 October, and invited guests and film crews packed the venue to watch the formalities and the entertainment.

Following the performance of excerpts from the opera Voss, those present participated in a live link to artist Bill Gannon in Sydney. Despite the obscene time difference (with NSW on summer time, it was the dark pre-dawn hours of the following morning Down Under!), Bill was his usual lively and engaging self, as he introduced an enraptured audience half a world away to his "Looking into Leichhardt" artworks, on display at Leichhardt Town Hall in Sydney's inner west.

With a question-and-answer session, translated by Frances Hill, the Cottbus audience gained an insight into the years-long project, undertaken by Bill and his creative collaborators, to sketch and paint their way along the 1844-45 expedition route. The session concluded with Bill heading off to bed (at sun-up, his time) and the German audience watching a couple of short films about the project. (You can see the creations of Bill and his colleagues on another page of this website, by clicking here.)

The evening's events concluded with a signing of the Cottbus "Golden Book" ~ watched over by a very special guest (see picture below) ~ and the audience adjourned for a choice of cocktails or further feature films with a German-Australian theme. Tomorrow would be a big day in Goyatz!

Our thanks to Wieland Eschenburg, Chief-of-Staff to the Lord Mayor of Cottbus, and photographer Michael Helbig, for these images. You can download a PDF (1.4 MB) of the evening's program here.

2013.10.22.CB.02 Dietmar-Woidke Ministerprsident des Landes Brandenburg Foto-Michael-Helbig 300W

Compere Anne Holzschuh, a reporter from Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg (rbb), was assisted during the evening by Frances Hill, from the 'Down Under Berlin Australian Film Festival'.

Proceedings were opened with an official welcome from the Premier of the state of Brandenburg, Dr Dietmar Woidke (left).

Foto: Michael Helbig

2013.10.22.CB.04 Voss excerpts Foto-Michael-Helbig 300W

The audience was then treated to a performance of four excerpts from the opera Voss (composer Richard Meale, lyrics by David Malouf; based on Patrick White's Nobel Prize-winning novel).

Ensemble performers from the Staatstheater Cottbus included Andreas Jäpel (Voss), Debra Stanley (Laura) and Ingo Witzke (Judd), accompanied by Bo-Kyoung Kim on the piano.

Foto: Michael Helbig

2013.10.22.CB.06 Voss audience WeltSpiegel Foto-Michael-Helbig 300W Front row in the audience (L to R) were: Doris Jakubowski, chair of rbb in Cottbus; Ralf Braun, board member of sponsor Sparkasse Spree-Neiße; Frank Szymanski (with flowers), Lord Mayor of the city of  Cottbus; Australian Ambassador Peter Tesch; Brandenburg Premier Dr Dietmar Woidke, Queensland representative Matthew Tesch; and Reinhard Drogla, Chairman of Cottbus City Council.
2013.10.22.CB.07 Golden-Book signing Foto-Michael-Helbig 300W

Australian Ambassador Peter Tesch signs the renowned "Golden Book" of the City of Cottbus, under the careful eye of Lord Mayor Frank Szymanski.

Behind the mayor, Brandenburg Premier Dietmar Woidke looks on, and, over the Ambassador's right shoulder, the unmistakeable figure of Ludwig Leichhardt himself observes proceedings.

Foto: Michael Helbig

 

 

OUR SPONSORS 
AND PARTNERS
LOGO GACCQ LOGO HK-BNE  LOGO BRD-CG SYD  LOGO BRD-BOT CBR www.australien.diplo.de  LOGO DFAT   LOGO MDC
   LOGO OKT-BNE 200  LOGO LGIsolde LOGO Goethe NEW 200RGB  LOGO ACfE LOGO JPC web 200RGB
          LOGO BNE-Marketing LOGO OrmeauSS 60pxH PNG-2