Tag Archives: entertainment

Enjoying Viennese residential orchestra: Austria

Everyone asked me to make sure to go and enjoy the orchestra while in Austria so we decided to join our tour group and listen to the Viennese residential orchestra. I am not into orchestras but as they say, when in Rome… so we went with the flow. The bus took us from our hotel and dropped us at the Auersperg Palace.

Viennese residential orchestra

We attended an evening concert of Mozart and Strauss music presented by the Vienna Residence Orchestra in a beautiful concert room of the Auersperg Palace. The venue was lovely and intimate with beautiful painting, high ceiling and big chandeliers.

Viennese residential orchestra

It was an evening concert consisting of musicians many with instruments from the 18th century plus an Opera singer and Ballet troupe. The performance included solos and duets by a soprano and a baritone, a male and a female dancer, and a string ensemble.  Most of the musicians looked very young. Me and AS were observing their expressions, they were so into the music.

Viennese residential orchestra

During the show they got the audience to clap along with the music and some of the ballet scenes were very comic.

Viennese residential orchestra

Overall, the music was beautiful and professional, but they didn’t provide a program of what they were going to play unless you spent an additional 5 euros for a ‘professional’ program.

We enjoyed the performance immensely and it was absolutely one of the highlights of our trip. The music was mostly Mozart and Johann Strauss.

Viennese residential orchestra

There was one intermission. During the intermission we were offered a drink of either champagne or orange juice.

Viennese residential orchestra

We were given a CD from the Vienna Residence Orchestra too.

Viennese residential orchestra

Here is some samples of what we listened to.

The Dark Knight Rises

Before I review the latest movie in the batman trilogy, let me refresh your memory of the first two.

While not a big fan of superhero movies, I still managed to watch all three movies.

Batman Begins (2005)

I didn’t go to watch this movie in the cinema but was able to watch it on TV. I found the movie ok but as any other super hero movie; I did not feel that it was anything exceptional. I liked the fact that batman’s alter ego, the billionaire Bruce Wayne is so rich unlike most other super heroes.

Overall it was nice to watch but you could easily forget it soon after.

The Dark Knight (2008)

I went and watch this movie in the cinema. It was really hyped in Australia because just before the movie’s release, the Australian actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment after an accidental drug overdose. He played the part of The Joker in the movie.

This film was really nice and Heath Ledger’s performance definitely lived up to the hype.  The Dark Knight is a darker, more melancholic film than previous Batman films. Gotham City is more depressing and more real than previous films.

Heath Ledger as The Joker delivers the most intense performance of all. I believe The Joker garnered more attention in this movie than the Batman himself.

Christopher Nolan definitely delivered something unique with this film, and it shows. The performance of Ledger alone is what makes this film so unique, so good and it stands in a category by itself.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Yesterday we went and watched the The Dark Knight Rises and it was such a brilliant movie. A nicely constructed plot, a little unrealistic at some points, but overall a really good action thriller.

Anne Hathaway was perfect as Catwoman.

The story begins slow and then rises into a massively thrilling and epic finale.

I didn’t like the villain Bane with a mouth mask. He got this scary voice and stone-cold killer but I still think Joker was a great villain. The movie starts in slow pace but when batman decided to return, it gets really exciting.

And how cool is his Batmobile and Batpod.

The ending was superb as the finale for the trilogy. Both I and AS really enjoyed the two and a half hour of entertainment.

Published : Let the Revolution begin!

This article was published in +977 (a Nepalese Lifestyle Magazine in Australia) in May- June 2012 issue.

If you were in Kathmandu in the mid 90’s, you must have fond memories of the time when FM (frequency modulation) radio was first introduced in Nepal. It was one of the best things that happened in that decade for people like me, who enjoyed a wide variety of music. Choosing between various music stations to listen to was a great treat and stations like Kantipur FM,HITS FM, Classic FM, and Image FM paved the path for all other FM stations to come.

At that time, two brothers who called themselves Rhythm Brothers also made their impact on the FM front with their captivating voice, witty sense of humour and good personalities. It was their playful shenanigans that saw them climb to the top of the ratings chart and claim recognition as the modern day voice of FM radio.

I used to love them as they were presenters who could make you listen, rather than just hear and their programs were largely unscripted and instead, consisted of real chitchat and impromptu humour unlike some other programs in which it felt like the RJs were just reading from a paper.  I still remember the evenings with load shedding, when I had used battery operated radio just to listen to them; and Music Jam used to brighten up my evening. It was one of the best programs of its time and the brothers were able to make their mark on everyone’s memory.

Then I finished high school and decided to come to Australia. The day I came to Sydney, I missed a lot of things from home like my family, Nepalese food but I also missed listening to the show. It made me wish that it would have been so much better if I had an opportunity to listen to the show from here as well but unfortunately it was not possible.

Not until now that is. Yes you heard me right, now Asish and Prasan Syangden along with Manoj KC and Cabinet Shrestha have started a new radio station in Nepal and they named it very aptly, calling it REVOLUTION RADIO. In short it is also know as RVL Radio.

Talking to Asish about how they came up with this new concept for radio in Nepal, he said “Me and Prasan, and Manoj (from 1974AD) hit on the idea of online radio in Manoj’s room. We were just talking about radios and how things have become monotonous in this area and that we wanted to do something new.” As great ideas are always appreciated, they were joined by Cabinet Shrestha when he heard the concept and they expanded form the home studio to Moksh complex in Jhamsikel.

They worked really hard to convert their concept into reality and recently launched the radio station with a grand party called “Revolution at Moksh”. It was a black carpet (yes, not red carpet) event attended by many influential people of Nepal. It was a magnificent event introducing Revolution Radio followed by musical performances of Hemant Rana, Albatross, Subani Moktan, 1974 AD and Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory.

Revolution Radio has music for every taste from dance numbers, blues, metal, Nepali adhunik, Nepali folk, pop and rock music. They have live broadcasting from 7 am-11 am (12.15 pm to 4.15 pm Sydney time) everyday in the morning and the same time in the evenings as well. They are focusing not only on the audience in Nepal but also on people around the globe especially Australia,USA,UK and the Middle East.

I have been listening to them during my lunch breaks for a few weeks now and I’m loving it. The sound quality is really good and they play a great range of songs. It is easy to interact with them via Facebook, twitter or Skype. You can even have a peek at the studio from their RevCam.

The voices behind the revolution radio are:

  • Asish Syangden
  • Prasan Syangden
  • Samriddhi Rai
  • Elisha Scarlet Shrestha
  • Yanik Shrestha
  • Bhadrayo Chari
  • Sumeet Sigdel,
  • Sumita Gurung  and
  • Dj PhuCHheY
  • Monica Jha
  • Pretty Limbu

So don’t forget to tune in to Revolution Radio, I bet you will love it. Please visit their website www.rvlradio.com for more information.

They are powered by SUBISU Cablenet and partner with The Himalayan Times Kathmandu Conservatory, AGNI Incorporated Pvt.LTD.

Nepathya rocked Sydney for Nepali New Year

As I mentioned in my last blog, I was planning to celebrate Nepali New Year 2069 with a concert by a Nepali band, Nepathya in Sydney Town Hall.

I don’t want to admit it but may be I am getting older since my wedding, I haven’t been partying and clubbing as I used to. One of the main reasons was that the few times I went out I felt so out-of-place and I couldn’t stand the loud and wild crowd around me. It is a big contrast to the life I used to have before my wedding when I used to go to dance parties at least a few times a month. Anyway, when I heard that Nepathya was coming to Sydney, I told AS and my friends that we have to go and have some fun.

For all who don’t know Nepathya, it is a popular band from Nepal who are known for blending folk melodies into new, youth-friendly pop and rock tune. The band members are Amrit Gurung (Vocals), Suraj Thapa (Keyboards), Subin Shakya (Bass), Nikhil Tuladhar (Drums), Niraj Gurung (Guitar), and Hari Maharjan (Guitar). They were really popular when I was in Nepal in the 90s and are equally popular today as well. Some of their popular songs include Resham, Tal ko Pani , Chekyo Chekyo, Jomsomai Bazaar Ma, Yo Mann ta Mero Nepali Ho etc.

So on Saturday, all of us were ready with our tickets and reached Sydney Town Hall by 6 pm. Just judging by the crowd outside the venue, I knew that it was going to be a very big concert. Sydney Town Hall is an international venue and Lady Gaga had her ‘Monster Ball’ concert there last year. It is the first time that any Nepali events was conducted in an international arena.  I later came to know that more than 2000 tickets were printed for the event and it was all sold out leaving lots of people who came thinking to buy tickets at the door disappointed. No wonder the place felt very crowded as during lady Gaga concert, there were only 800 in the audience.

We waited outside for the venue to be opened as it said in the ticket, the concert will start at 6 pm sharp but to our disappointment, we had to wait another 30 minutes before the door was open. Most of the people were already there so there was a long queue to get in. As I had been to this venue before, I was not worried about being last in the line as I thought we would be standing for the concert so no need to be the first inside. But I was surprised to see the sitting arrangements. There were chairs everywhere. When we got inside, the show had already started with local artists performing some songs. As we had gone in a group, it was really hard to find place in one row with 10 empty seats. Also it was already dark inside so we had to split with friends and try to get a sit wherever we could. Some of my friends were in the middle of the hall while me and rest of my friends were at back of the room. The worst part of this sitting arrangement is that people were walking in and out all the time and as we sat in behind the corridor, my view was constantly blocked. On top of that, as there were not so many empty seats left, people were putting their friends on their laps which blocked my view permanently. I was really disappointed thinking that I couldn’t enjoy the concert.

I would have preferred numbered sitting, if the organisers were planning to have chairs, so people who went in a group could sit together, if they bought tickets together like in any international event. Anyway, there were more dances by local artist on the stage and we were frantically searching for another area to enjoy Nepathya. Unfortunately, everywhere we looked it was full and there were lots of people who couldn’t find a seat and were just wandering around or standing next to their friends. At 8 pm, they promised, Nepathya would come on stage but due to some technical difficulties, they played videos of Nepathya’s songs on the big screen for a while instead. By this time I almost gave up hope  to enjoy this concert as the guys in front of us kept standing and blocking the view even after we have told them not to stand there. Not only couldn’t I see the stage now, I could hardly see the big screen as well. On top of that, as the town hall does not have sound absorbers as it was not built for a concert, the sound bouncing off the walls was really irritating.

I felt really luck when my friends who were sitting in the middle of the venue came and told us that there are a few empty seats around them. I was overjoyed and went to join them with the rest of my friends and it was the perfect timing as Nepathya just came on stage.

Once Nepathya took the stage, everyone around us started to stand and we did as well but it wasn’t a problem since from that side of the venue, I could still see the stage. Rest of the evening went smoothly and I really enjoyed the whole show.

Amrit Gurung was such a great performer and kept everyone captivated for more than 2 hours straight. When he sang ‘Yo mann ta mero Nepali ho’ (This heart o’ mine is still Nepali), there was not a single person in the hall who wasn’t singing along. He sang a few songs that I haven’t heard before (must be new) but still the melody was so good that I enjoyed them all. When he sang ‘Resham’, the crowd were dancing and the audience got really loud and crazy. Overall, Amrit Gurug proved why they have been in this business for so long and still successful. The connection they made with the audience was undeniable. The guys who played  the maadal (Nepali drum) and guitar did a great job as well.

Making it clear to the crowd just how much he loves Nepal, Amrit Gurung at one stage draped a Nepali flag, that was given by the audience, around his shoulders. He delivered a few really heart touching words for people living abroad as well. One of the ones I really liked was

Mero desh lai padhe lekhako hoina safa hreedhya bhayako manche Ko jarurat cha. Matribhumi ko pukar sunidine bhitri kanbhayako maanish chahiyeko cha tashaile saknu huncha bhene Nepal farkinush haiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” –Amrit Gurung

 (Translation: My country doesn’t need scholars but it needs people who have a clean heart, one who can hear the country’s pleadings, so if you can, please come back to Nepal.)

I also got to know that he was involved with a lot of charities in Nepal where they look after poor and needy families. What an awesome human being. Going to a concert like these always draws me back toward Nepal and good people like him make me feel good about this world. I am still hopeful that things will get better in Nepal one day (hopefully soon) and we should always support people who are thinking of the betterment of Nepal in every way.

The organisers did a great job organising this event in such a big scale and was even proudly saying that it was a historical moment in Sydney for Nepalese people but I will definitely hope that they will be more organised in the future so that everyone one can enjoy the show without getting stressed out. Just one suggestion to the organisers for future events, if you are going to have seating arrangements, please number it .It makes everyone’s life easier.

Movie marathon month

Since we came back from Nepal, we had been a bit busy so we didn’t watch lots of movie but for some reason I just realised that we watched 4 movies in the last 4 weeks. So here I am reviewing all of them.

Young Adult 

 

I went to watch this movie because I like Charlie Theron but I was heavily disappointed by the plot, the cast, the acting, virtually everything.

IMDB has it rated 6.9 with synopsis as follows “Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.”

Sorry IMDB but you got it all wrong as I will give it a 2. It was so boring, nothing really happened in the movie to occupy the audience and the ending was so disappointing. I need to choose my movies more wisely from now one, just can’t go and watch it because there is a good cast.

Hugo

 

AS picked this movie as he loves movie like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Anyway I hadn’t had high expectation but was surprised that I loved it, It is a story set in 1930s Paris of an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station and is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Asa Butterfield, the boy who played Hugo, has the bluest eyes I have ever seen. I was expecting this movie to have robots and all from its trailer but surprisingly it was nothing like that. Also I think Chloë Grace Moretz, did a great job as well. There are many lovely things in this film that it is easy to forgive its small shortcomings. If you want to know a bit about early cinema, you should watch this movie.

For me the best clip was when people get scared when a running train comes on the screen when they are watching the movie for the first time. The moment people were trying to duck the train and run away from the seat in fear of being crushed by the train made me laugh. We have come a long way with movies.

Contraband

I chose to watch this movie as I am a huge fan of Mark Wahlberg since he made Entourage (I can write a whole post about it so I will leave that for another post).

It is a story about a man who gave up his criminal past to start a family and live a normal life but was forced to get back in it to protect his brother-in-law.

The best scene of the movie is the last one where the money just starts floating in the open sea.

This movie is watchable but not great .Whole movie goes in same pace so there is no adrenaline or excitement. Most of the story is predictable. I would have not gone to the cinema for this kind of movie but it is ok to watch at home on your leisure time. I was disappointed overall.

John Carter

 

We went to watch this movie because my husband’s work organised a private screening of 3D in a Gold class cinema. It was only 38 people in a luxury cinema with finger food served during the movie.

I think people who are into Sci-fi movies like my husband will love this movie.

John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs about a guy who is transported to Mars and meets a princess who is in desperate need of a savior (so Disney like). I loved some of the scenes of the movies as they looked so real and so Mars. But for me I was able to go through the whole movie only because I watched it in 3D. If it was a normal screen I would have been bored. I don’t like all these animated characters and out of this world story. I am sure most of the movie was shot in front of green screen as well.

I am waiting for Hunger Game to come in cinema. Really exited for that movie. According to who read the book, it has an excellent plot. It starts Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth (Aussie Aussie Aussie :), brother of the one who played Thor), Woody Harrelson, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Isabelle Fuhrman, Alexander Ludwig, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones and directed by Gary Ross  and realising on 22 May 2012.

If anyone has watched these movies, do let me know how you liked them.

Sydney Mardi Gras

Tomorrow, 3rd of March, is  Sydney Mardi Gras which is a yearly parade for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and intersex communities in Sydney, Australia. Every year there are lots of people who visit Sydney for this event and it is one of the biggest of its kind.

Normally this parade consists of tens of thousands of participants with lots of floats and loud music. Then there are thousands more who fill the streets of Sydney to get a glimpse of this magnificent event. It is also telecast on TV so there are thousands more who enjoy viewing the parade from their homes as well. 

This year for the first time, the parade will be broadcast to an international audience online.

 

In the 1970s, Sydney Mardi Gras started as a celebration following a morning protest march and commemoration of the Stonewall Riots where 500 people gathered on Oxford Street, calling for an end to discrimination against homosexuals in employment and housing . 

These days it has changed into a fun-filled parade with colorfully dressed men and women having a great time. There will be many floats with people dressing up as brides and grooms, cheerleaders, nuns, vampires etc. 

For the last few years each parade has a Chief of Parade like Rupert Everett (2007), Margaret Cho (2008), Matthew Mitcham (2009), Amanda Lepore (2010) and Lily Tomlin(2011), Peter Tatchell (2011) and I am so excited about this year’s Chief of Parade. She is no other than the famous Kyile Minogue, Australia’s pop queen. I am so excited to see her float after watching her spectacular show. I am sure it is going to be amazing and breath-taking. 

According to the news, Minogue’s song arrangements are completely tailor-made for the show, backed by 16 dancers, to be held in the Royal Hall of Industries at an unspecified time during the night. 

Diverse music styles and more performance art mark this year’s party, with ’90s sounds fashionably strong. Long, leggy drag singer RuPaul is confirmed to be there as well. 

I am looking forward to going and watching the parade this year. It will be AS’s first one too so I hope he will enjoy watching the fun and fabulous parade with some weird stuff mixed in. I will update all of you on this year’s parade soon. 

Enjoy some photos from last years Mardi Gras.