Richard Bonynge 90th Birthday Gala Concert – Broadcast September 29th


Tait Tuesdays at Home 

In support of the Tait Emergency Relief Fund for Australian & New Zealand Artists.


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Gala Concert

Celebrating the 90th Birthday of Maestro Richard Bonynge AC CBE

Introducing the new book Chalet Monet

Courtesy of the Australian High Commissioner

Artistic Director: Rosemary Tuck

Ballet Artistic Director: Leanne Benjamin AM OBE

The concert is financially supported by Tait Friend, Elspeth Turner Laing

The Tait sincerely thanks all of the artists involved in this celebratory concert for giving their services freely to honour Maestro Richard Bonynge AC CBE

Support the new Richard Bonynge Award Fund by purchasing your ticket along with a copy of Richard Bonynge’s book Chalet Monet direct from this site.

Make a combined ticket purchase and donation of £250 or more** and receive your copy of the book signed by Richard himself.

Learn about the book here. 

Special Guests include:
John Copley CBE, theatre and opera producer and director
David Mellor QC, broadcaster, barrister, and former politician

Guest Artists include:

The concert features outstanding performing artists from Australia and New Zealand who have been personally selected by Richard Bonynge:

(in order of appearance)

Yvonne Kenny AM, soprano
Rosemary Tuck, piano
Emma Matthews, soprano
Anna Sleptsova, piano
Fumi Kaneko, ballet **
Reece Clarke, ballet **
Helena Dix, soprano
Chad Vindin, piano
Benson Wilson*, baritone
Filipe Manu*, tenor
Calvin Richardson, ballet* & **
Valda Wilson*, soprano
Hermina Szabó, violin
Andreas Bittl, accordion
Catherine Carby*, mezzo-soprano
Waynne Kwon*, cello
Jeffrey Black, baritone

* Tait Awardee
** Soloist Royal Ballet

The Tait celebrates the 90th birthday of Australian international conductor/pianist, Maestro Richard Bonynge AC CBE in a gala concert specially curated by Australian concert pianist, Rosemary Tuck, with a cast of Australian and New Zealand international artists in a programme which will include excerpts from Norma, I Capuleti ed I Montecchi, the Pearlfishers and Die Fledermaus. Dancers from The Royal Ballet artistically directed by retired Royal Ballet principal dancer, Leanne Benjamin AM OBE will perform excerpts from ballets that Richard has conducted, and in some cases discovered, during his career. We thank The Royal Ballet and its Director, Kevin O’Hare most sincerely for their support.

The event will include special guest appearances by internationally acclaimed opera producer and director, John Copley CBE, and retired politician, broadcaster and lawyer, David Mellor QC. We are sincerely grateful that the Australian High Commissioner, HE the Hon George Brandis QC has permitted us to record in the Exhibition Hall and will be present at the recording. To learn more about the concert click here

The ultimate goal of the concert is to raise a substantial sum which will be added to our new   Richard Bonynge Award for a young Australian or New Zealand conductor or pianist. We will also be introducing a new book Chalet Monet: Inside the Home of Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, recently published by Melbourne Books this lavish coffee table book has over 1000 photographs which brings to life the home of two of Australia’s greatest cultural icons and will have it available to sale via our box office. More about the book here

The concert is financially supported by Tait Friend, Elspeth Turner Laing who we thank most sincerely for her very generous support.


About Richard Bonynge AC CBE

Throughout his illustrious career, Richard Bonynge has conducted in the world’s leading opera houses in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand and Asia. He has received world-wide acclaim as a scholar of bel canto opera and is celebrated for leading the renaissance of eighteenth and early-nineteenth century musical theater, such as Les Huguenots (Meyerbeer), Semiramide, Sigismondo (Rossini), La Fille du Régiment, Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti), Esclarmonde, Le Roi de Lahore, Thérèse (Massenet), Medea (Pacini), Orfeo (Haydn), I Masnadieri (Verdi).

In recent seasons he led performances of La Traviata in Athens, I Capuleti ed I Montecchi in London, Norma, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Scala di Seta, Signor Bruschino, Roméo & Juliette in Sydney, Lucia, Norma and Faust in the United States, La Favorite in Barcelona, I Lombardi in Buenos Aires and Semiramide (Meyerbeer) at the Wildbad Festival, Germany.

Mr. Bonynge’s extensive career includes innumerable performances with his wife, Dame Joan Sutherland, culminating in her farewell engagements in opera and recital throughout the world. The two artists also toured the United States with the Sydney Symphony in celebration of Australia’s Bicentennial, with concerts at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the United Nations.

 Chairman of The Tait Memorial Trust, Isla Baring OAM writes:

” My Father, Sir Frank Tait managed the iconic JC Williamsons Ltd, which were the largest theatrical Producers in Australia and at one time the largest in the world.  ‘The Firm’ owned theatres all over Australia and it became my father’s ambition to present Joan Sutherland to the Australian public as a return home after her international acclaim and becoming La Stupenda. Thus in 1965 The Sutherland Williamson Grand Opera Company opened to huge success in Melbourne with Lucia di Lammermoor. I will never forget the now legendary 40min ovation at the end of this performance.  With Richard Bonynge as Artistic Director and Conductor, Joan Sutherland in the title role and an unknown tenor Luciano Pavarotti had changed the operatic landscape in Melbourne forever. Just as the Taits had celebrated the return of Dame Nellie Melba in the early 1930’s they were now celebrating the future of opera. We are thrilled that now 55years on, we are able to continue our lifelong association with Maestro Richard Bonynge in celebration of his 90th Birthday”

Isla Baring, Chairman, Tait Memorial Trust.


Richard Bonynge 90th Birthday Concert

Yvonne Kenny – By Strauss (The Show is On) George Gershwin

Rosemary Tuck: Liszt – Venezia e Napoli : Gondoliera

Emma Matthews: Bellini : O quante volte from i Capuleti e i  Montecchi

Ballet- Sleeping Beauty : Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke

Helena Dix: Bellini – Norma : Casta Diva

David Mellor talking with John Copley and Yvonne Kenny about Richard, productions etc.

Benson Wilson and Filipe Manu: Bizet : Pearl Fishers duo Au Fond du Temple Saint

Ballet – Dying Swan (with cellist)  : Calvin Richardson & Waynne Kwon

Valda Wilson: Lehar – Meine Lippen, die küssen so heiß”

Catherine Carby (with cellist) : Massenet : Élégie, no 5 from 10 Pièces de genre Op. 10

Jeffrey Black – Happy Birthday!

David Mellor talking with Tait Chairman, Isla Baring about Richard, her father etc.

about the book – chalet monet

“Chalet Monet is a house with a thousand stories. It is living history, theatrical, a beautiful home with enormous spirit like its owners. It radiates grandeur yet intimacy with places to sit and contemplate, views to linger over, books to be read, paintings to admire and music to listen to. It is a treasure trove for the senses where many a story has been told or begun. Only its walls and its owners remember the decades of music making here and possibly the odd neighbour and the cows on the grassy slopes”.

Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation

This September, Richard Bonynge and the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation will launch this stunning new book in honour of Richard Bonynge’s 90th birthday and his lifelong partnership with Dame Joan Sutherland.

The Tait Memorial Trust has been fortunate to obtain a limited number of copies for sale as part of Richard Bonynge’s London birthday celebrations. We are proud to announce that the proceeds from the sale of these books will go toward forming a new Tait Award in Richard’s name. We are thankful to Melbourne Books for donating books in support of this initiative. The Tait Memorial Trust has 10 copies personally signed by Richard to award to the first 10 people who donate £250 or more to the new Tait Memorial Trust award set up in honour of Richard Bonynge. This is a great opportunity to become the owner of one of these special books, or to give to a friend as a very special gift, and in doing so to support young musical artists. The profit from books sold on behalf of the TMT at the usual price of £70 plus P&P will also include a donation to this new award, and if bought in conjunction with the concert ticket on the 29th September- the actual day of Richard Bonynge’s birthday- gives a reduced ticket price.

Inside its 344 pages, over 1000 photographs bring to life the lavish home of the greatest international cultural icons in opera, Dame Joan Sutherland OM AC DBE and her husband, Maestro Richard Bonynge AC CBE.

The book will be available from mid-October.


Richard Bonynge 90th Birthday Gala Concert Committee
Dr Margaret Mayston AM (Chairman)
Isla Baring OAM
Leanne Benjamin AM OBE
Rosemary Tuck
James Hancock