Hellenic Museum, Melbourne, 21 February 2021
Congratulations to Arnold Zable on yesterday’s two sold-out concerts, The Fig Tree Replanted, at the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne.
Zable’s gentle storytelling about the migrant experience and the plight of refugees was combined with traditional and original songs performed by an array of cross-cultural musicians, including Kavisha Mazzella, Anthea Sidiropoulos, Irine Vela and the bands Klezmania and Klezmeritis.
Co-produced by The Boite, the Hellenic Museum and The Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre, The Fig Tree Replanted is a reinterpretation of The Fig Tree, the award-winning 2003 show and musical companion to the popular book of short stories by Zable, an acclaimed writer and human rights activist.
“We are a nation of Indigenous peoples and immigrants, a new world with an ancient past, a land of many melodies”, says Zable on The Boite website.
“The Fig Tree project is an exploration of displacement and belonging, through the beauty of story and song, performed on the lands of the Wurundjeri people, in search of that place where we can all meet.”
While The Boite has livestreamed concerts to online audiences throughout the pandemic, The Fig Tree Replanted was its first concert in nearly twelve months with an in-person audience.
“The producers, tech team, crew and the musicians were wonderful in their commitment to the project and their expertise,” Zable told Stereo Stories the morning after the show. “It was all done without any chance for a proper rehearsal due to Covid. It was among other things, a great learning experience.”
The sold-out audiences included recently released refugees Mostafa Azimitabar and Farhad Bandesh. “We salute their courage in speaking out on behalf of their fellow detainees,” said Zable at the conclusion of each concert, “fellow detainees who have been imprisoned by the Australian government for eight years.”
See also The Boite Facebook page.
Photo of Arnold Zable by Francesco Vicenzi. Copyright: © Casamento Photography 2012. Sourced from Faber Writing Academy.