Increasing the connection to the community is a key focus for new Port Fairy Spring Music Festival artistic directors Monica Curro and Stefan Cassomenos.
While the pair will this weekend enter their first festival in the leadership post, they are no strangers to the event. Both have performed on multiple occasions at the festival.
Curro said this experience gave the duo an important insight into the festival's dynamics.
"I think it is certainly an advantage to us that we are known to the festival audience," she said.
"While we are thrilled with the large numbers that come to the festival from Melbourne, we are also determined to earnestly engage the community in which the festival takes place.
"In the past there has been some community engagement.
"This has come through the schools concert on the Friday and local choristers performing at the festival.
"The Saturday Gala is going to be a real showcase of talent in Port Fairy and Warrnambool."
The theme of the Saturday Gala is In the Beginning.
Conductor Richard Mills, who is the artistic director of Victorian Opera, will lead a star-studded band of visiting performers.
These will include Liane Keegan, James Egglestone and David Parkin.
These chamber music heavyweights will share the stage with an array of local talent.
This will include Port Fairy Spring Music Festival orchestra and choir, the Warrnambool Organ Festival chorus, the Warrnambool Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra, the Limestone Coast Symphony Orchestra and choirs from Port Fairy Consolidated and St Patrick's primary schools.
"There are performers from across five shires, it's a wonderful opportunity for them to work with professionals from Melbourne," Curro said.
"We have been done here meeting people and building up real relationships.
"The festival is for three days but we want to engage with the community 365 days a year."
The Port Fairy Basketball Stadium at Southcombe Park is once again a major venue for the festival.
The stadium will host the Saturday Gala and the Closing Gala on the Sunday.
Curro said the stadium was a valuable asset for the festival.
"About three years ago the stadium became a regular venue for the festival," she said.
"It fits more people which increases capacity for the bigger shows.
"It also allows us to set up a bigger stage so we aren't restricted as to how many performers we can have on stage."
Other venues to be used for the festival will include the Reardon Theatre, the Merrijig Inn, the Drill Hall, the Lecture Hall and Saint John's Anglican Church.
Blarney Books will serves as the festival box office.
While music will be at the forefront of the festival, the spoken word and film will also play a part.
The animated film the Magic Piano will screen at Reardon Theatre on Saturday morning.
It will be preceded by The Chopin Shorts, a collection of short films.
Conductor and author Paul Kildea will present a lecture about presenter and publisher Louise Hanson-Dyer.
The lecture will take place at Reardon Theatre on Sunday morning.
Some of the best exponents of chamber music in the country will converge on Port Fairy this weekend.
Some of the artists to put on the must-see list include: Shauntai Batzke (soprano), The Partridge Quartet (strings), Caroline Almonte (piano) and Zephyr (quartet).
One of the most famous names in Australian history will take centre stage in at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.
When the name Bradman is mentioned, thoughts turn quickly to the greatest cricketer the world has seen, Sir Donald Bradman.
But it will be the Don's granddaughter, Greta Bradman, who will be in the spotlight this weekend.
Bradman has craved her own place in history as a prominent operatic soprano.
Both her Saturday and Sunday lunch shows, at the Drill Hall, are booked out.
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