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16th of October 2018

Australia News

Madame Flute hosts a series of salons at The Street

And she chose The Street Theatre, where she's performed before.

She likes the idea of a "salon" presentation.

"There's an intimacy about the way the music is presented."

These will be evening performances and Rutter says the audience will be able to have a drink and a chat with the performers after each concert.

In the first, Flute Spirits and the Seasons, she will be joined by didgeridoo player Gavi Duncan, a Central Coast elder, in a program ranging from Spring from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons (arranged by Jean-Jacques Rousseau) to Ross Edwards' Ulpirra, the traditional Irish song Danny Boy (arranged by Rutter for solo whistle) to pieces which connect the Australian Dreamtime to various cultures' gods of the flute - the Greek Pan, Hindu Krishna, African Esu and Native American Kokopelli.

"Another god is the Indonesian mosquito spirit Nyamuk, represented by the suling, a bamboo flute," she says. "I'll also be performing a mash-up of the beautiful pop song He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother with the violin cadenza from Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending."

This combination was arranged for dizi (Chinese flute) and gold flute by Rutter and Ricki Edwards.

In addition to playing the flute, Rutter also sings and both her talents will be displayed during the series.

"I feel very natural singing - I grew up singing," she says.

Rutter was in the choir at school and had the lead role in a primary school production of the musical The Boy Friend. She also says in the French school the flute is considered a voice so perhaps it isn't surprising she takes naturally to vocalising.

Flautist Jane Rutter in Paris.

Flautist Jane Rutter in Paris.

The second salon, Composers in Exile, will be performed with baritone Peter Coleman-Wright and the Naxas Saxophone Quartet. It focuses on the music of the Weimar Republic and the Second World War period when many people fled the Nazi regime. Coleman-Wright and Rutter (representing Lotte Lenya) will be dressed in costumes of the period while performing works by Kurt Weill - including Pirate Jenny, September Song and Moritat von Mackie Messer (Ballad of Mack the Knife), Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Paul Hindemith, and others.

Rutter was taught in the French method by flautists lain Marion and Jean-Pierre Rampal and was awarded the Chevalière de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2016. She also plays a lot of French music and is known as 'Madame Flute' in France. All this his makes it especially appropriate that the final salon is called I Love Paris.

Accompanied by accordionist and jazz pianist Marcello Maio, she will perform a range of French-accented repertoire including pieces by Poulenc, Satie, Ravel and Claude Bolling and Cole Porter (I Love Paris, naturellement).

"He was part of that American smart set who hung out in Paris."

There will be numbers made famous by Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour and she will also sing the Henry Mancini/Leslie Bricusse song Gay Paree from the movie and stage musical Victor/Victoria.

"I've done so much performing - when the occasion calls for it I am prepared to sing a song that suits my voice."

Ron Cerabona is an arts reporter for The Canberra Times.

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