An Evening in the Garden of Earthly Desire

Premiere 6 October, 1989
Venue Great Hall, Monsalvat, Eltham, Victoria

Elision and handspan Poster Garden of Earthly Delights red and black print on white background

Elision poster, 1989

Handspan was approached by Elision Contemporary Music Ensemble in 1988 to collaborate in the development of a new work that combined experimental classical music form with interpretive visual imagery.

The creative development outcome was presented in two showcase performances titled THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DESIRE after a year of occasional workshops in which artists from both companies explored their ideas around two new compositions for the music ensemble. The presentations were billed in the program notes as a taste of the fruit in the garden of earthly desire

Workshops explored the painted imagery of Hieronymous Bosch, and the medieval figures of the tarot with music of Richard Hames and Liza Lim. Both puppeteers and musicians performed in new territory, the former conducted in performance and the latter participating in roles that connected directly to the the visual threads of the performance.

Garden of Earthly Delights conductor, harpist and music stands in foreground with a pair of white figures holding hands above

Showcase at the Great Hall, Monsalvat.
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Garden of Earthly Delights singer, Merlyn Quaife in long red dress, harp and 2 musicians wearing white face make up

Company snapshots, 1989

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An Evening in the Garden of Earthly Desire : Company post-performance
Company snapshot, 1989

Creative team
Composer Lisa Lim Garden of Earthly Desire
Composer Richard David Hames Danses Gothiques
Artistic Directors Daryl Buckley (Elision)
Trina Parker (Handspan Theatre)
Director Douglas Horton
Assistant director Avril McQueen
Lighting design Philip Lethlean
Conductor Christopher Lyndon Gee
Soprano Meryln Quaife
Flutes Kaye Duffell
Oboe Richard Kerr
Guitars Daryl Buckley
Mandolin Stephen Morey
Harp Delyth Stafford
Percussion Peter Neville
Violin Susan Pierotti
Viola Jennifer Curl
Violoncello Rosanne Hunt
Contrabass Kirsty McCahon & Kees Boersma
Puppeteers John Rogers & Peter Seaborn
Production team
Lighting operator Philip Lethlean
Marketing consultant Stephen Armstrong
Production administration Amy Lim & Robin Kirkham (Elision)
Vivia Hickman & Liz Nicholas (Handspan Theatre)
Production assistants Annie Wylie, Stephen Armstrong, Cliff Dolliver
6 & 8 October 1989 Great Hall, Monsalvat, Eltham, Victoria
Total performances 2
Total audience 230

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