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News from the world of travel

The AJN takes you around the world to see what’s new in travel.

Singer Lior (left) and composer-conductor Nigel Westlake will premiere their new work, Ngapa William Cooper.
Photo: Ken Butti
Singer Lior (left) and composer-conductor Nigel Westlake will premiere their new work, Ngapa William Cooper. Photo: Ken Butti

Lior’s tribute to unsung hero at Adelaide Festival

The premiere of song cycle Ngapa William Cooper, the second collaboration between Melbourne singer Lior and composer-conductor Nigel Westlake, will be one of the highlights of the Adelaide Festival, to be held from March 3-19.

Lior joins the Australian String Quartet and First Nations singer Lou Bennett in Ngapa William Cooper, which is set around Aboriginal activist William Cooper’s protest march in 1938 to the German consulate in Melbourne just weeks after Kristallnacht.

“I was fortunate to collaborate with Dr Lou Bennet, a Yorta Yorta woman and a direct descendant of William Cooper, which heightened the experience of working on this project,” said Lior.

Ngapa William Cooper will be performed on March 5 at the Ukaria Cultural Centre, Mt Barker and on March 7 at Adelaide Town Hall. The program includes the Australian String Quartet’s Aheym, an homage to Bryce Dessner’s Jewish grandmother.

“Ukaria offered their support in commissioning Ngapa William Cooper right from the start and facilitated with the premiere as part of the Adelaide Festival,” said Lior.

Lior is excited to return to Adelaide to perform – in 2021 he sang in Compassion (his early collaboration with Westlake) at Womadelaide and over the years has performed at various festivals.

“March is a magical time in Adelaide,” he said.

For Lior, the idea to write the musical narrative Ngapa William Cooper blossomed a few years ago and he teamed up with Sarah Gory to write the lyrics and then create the songs.

“In a similar process to Compassion, I sent Nigel a capella voice recordings of me singing the lyrics and he would begin to orchestrate around my voice,” he explained. “It would go back and forth as it came together. We had established this collaborative working process during Compassion.”

This year’s Adelaide Festival has 11 world premieres, eight Australian premieres and 17 shows exclusive to Adelaide.

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From Schitt’s Creek to Reluctant Traveller

Eugene Levy is hosting a new travel series, The Reluctant Traveller.

A new globe-trotting travel series created and hosted by Schitt’s Creek co-creator and star Eugene Levy premieres on February 24 on Apple TV+.

Titled The Reluctant Traveller, the eight-episode series follows Levy as he visits some of the world’s most beautiful and interesting destinations including Italy, Japan, Maldives, Portugal, South Africa and the United States, exploring remarkable hotels and the places and cultures surrounding them.

Levy, who played John Rose in Schitt’s Creek, admits he’s not usually adventurous or well-travelled, but is stepping out of his comfort zone with his trademark humour.

The Reluctant Traveller is produced for Apple TV+ by Twofour.

Drones take flight over Uluru in new light show

A spectacular new light show will be held in Uluru from May.

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is set to launch an exciting new light and sound show at Ayers Rock Resort in May, combining ancient Aboriginal storytelling with drone formations and laser-light technology.

Called Wintjiri Wiru, the show will bring to life a chapter of the Mala ancestral story.

More than 1000 luminous drones will take flight to create ancient images in the sky, adding to the spectacle of lights, projections and lasers against the backdrop of Uluru.

The drones depict aspects of the Mala story accompanied by a narration in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages, and a soundtrack with traditional inma recorded with members of the local Anangu community.

Voyages has collaborated closely with the Anangu custodians of this chapter of the Mala story to obtain approval to bring Wintjiri Wiru to life.

Two Wintjiri Wiru sound and light shows will run nightly from May. The signature experience will be the three-hour Wintjiri Wiru Sunset Dinner, while the second show is the one-hour After Dark.



Work starts on new Langham hotel in Venice

Artist’s impression of the new Langham Venice hotel.

Langham Hospitality Group officially broke ground this month on The Langham Venice, which will blend modern luxury with authentic Venetian heritage on the island of Murano, famous for its centuries-old tradition of glassmaking.

The 133-room hotel including 30 suites is scheduled to open in 2026.

The hotel is being built on the site of the 16th century Casino Mocenigo building and Murano glass factory. It will feature the original facades of the old glass furnace buildings including their original wooden trusses.

The restored buildings will wrap around a central private courtyard with a 20-metre pool, a rare feature in Venice, to form the heart of the resort.

Brett Butcher, chief executive officer of Langham Hospitality Group said: “The Langham, Venice is an integral part of Langham Hospitality Group’s global strategic expansion. The ground-breaking transitions from concept to creation reinforcing our commitment to bring to life the iconic Langham signatures in one of Europe’s most important cultural hubs.”

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