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Hydro jazzes up Mountains’ nightlight

(l-r) Damien Whiteley and Brad Cooper perform at the Hydro Majestic Hotel at last year’s opera festival. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Masterpieces performed by some of the finest operatic and classical music talent followed by the unique tones of the Steve Hunter Trio will help jazz up the Blue Mountains nightlife scene in time for summer from the end of this month.

Bass Damian Whiteley. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Celebrate the long weekend in a sensual atmosphere of music, heartbreaking tragedy, passion and cheeky fun when the operatic traditions of the grandest of the region’s grand hotels are revived during the Blue Mountains Opera Festival on Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October 1.

Opera buffs can choose from one or more of the following performances:

  1. High tea, Saturday: Mozart’s magnificent masterpiece, his Clarinet Quintet, will begin the weekend on a high note featuring Sydney Symphony Orchestra clarinettist Frank Celata with the Enigma Quartet (you may even catch the singers giving a sneak preview of the evening concert).

Pianists Kristian Chong and Grace Kim perform together at the Hydro Majestic recently. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Opera Gala Dinner Concert, Saturday: After a glowing inaugural success last year, Opera Australia tenor Brad Cooper, mezzo/soprano Sally Wilson and bass Damian Whiteley will take guests on an evening of drama, passion and cheeky fun. The singers will be accompanied by Sun Yi and Monique Irik on violin, Neil Thompson (viola), Minah Choe (cello) and Grace Kim (piano). Guests will also enjoy drinks and canapes on arrival at 5.30pm followed by an alternate two-course dinner with four-hour beverage package before the 7pm concert. Cost: $150pp.

  1. High tea, Sunday: The festivities crescendo when eight of the finest string players perform with the ever popular Mendelssohn Octet featuring the talents of Sun Yi, Marianne Broadfoot, Monique Irik and Kerry Martin on violins, Rosemary Curtin and Neil Thompson on violas and Minah Choe and Rowena Macneish on cello.

Each high tea concert package ($65pp) includes a glass of sparkling wine or cocktail on arrival with a sumptuous three-tier offering including a selection of gourmet sandwiches, scones, pastries and handmade desserts served with tea and coffee. High tea will be served between 10.30am and 12pm with the concert from 12pm to 1pm.

The Boiler House Restaurant. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Then, surrounded by the rustic industrial textures of brick and steel in the historic Boiler House Restaurant, the Steve Hunter Trio will kick off a new monthly Live@TheBoilerHouse music series on Saturday, October 7, with an intimate musical experience.

Featuring the internationally-renowned Steve Hunter on electric bass, Matt Keagan (sax) and Gordon Rytmeister (drums), the band encourages unique input from its individual musicians. Instead of taking on one typical jazz style, the composition style sees a focus on the strength of the “voices’’ of the players.

Joined by Michael Storey on guitar and Mervyn Sequeria on bass, singer Rebekka Neville will perform her repertoire of jazz standards, Latin and contemporary grooves on November 4.

Steve Hunter. Photo: Supplied

The renowned George Washingmachine Quartet will play the Boiler House with his special blend of music and visual talent on November 25.

General manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Ralf Bruegger said: “With a more casual atmosphere, contemporary music lineups, tapas food and reasonably-priced beverages, Boiler House events will introduce a new generation to the original Blue Mountains party palace.

“Music, parties and general revelry have always been a signature of the Hydro Majestic experience. People came here a hundred years ago to indulge and have fun, and we encourage the same today (elegantly of course).’’

The Steve Hunter Trio will play the Boiler House Restaurant from 7.30pm to 10pm Saturday, October 7. Tickets: $35. Bookings:

Go to or phone (02) 4782 6885 to book concerts, accommodation and dining.

*Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

The Boiler House Restaurant. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

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