Paul Kildea talks about the evolution of Long Lost Loves (and Grey Suede Gloves). 

I have always loved Bolcom's Cabaret Songs, but they're so bats. Unconnected, but not disconnected. Bolcom is a real genius when it comes to word setting. He's worked with this fantastic poet, Arnold Weinstein, throughout his career, whose lyrics are funny and full of pathos. I always wondered what it would be like to somehow thread them together, with the sense of a story.  

When I first mentioned this to a lovely supporter of Musica Viva Australia, Ian Dickson, we started working on a loose way of joining these songs. You start with that idea, then you scratch your way a bit, and if it's still there in the following weeks, that's when you start approaching people.  

In this instance, it was Anna, whom I'd heard sing one of the Bolcom songs before. I'd known her singing and admired her artistry for a long time. And Michael, who is one of those rare repetiteurs that can play a lieder as well as an aria. Having admired Con Costi's work as a director in a number of different productions, I thought this would be a fantastic combination of artists to bring out that narrative from the juxtaposition of these songs. 

Con has this an interesting way of saying, ‘Well, what is a cabaret recital or a song recital?’ and asking how you can look at it through a different prism. The creative gang have put together a really wonderful narrative explanation for why the songs should be done as a whole, rather than just as an encore. So you're going to have fantastic performances, but also something more existential about what a performance of music today is, and how it can be simultaneously profound and funny and a little bit nerve-wracking, as well! 


Long Lost Loves (and Grey Suede Gloves) tours to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle Perth and Sydney from February 20.