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This week sees the grand finals of the Lexus Song Quest, 2018. 

Over the decades the award has boosted many a young opera singer's career, as well as being a significant confidence booster in this highly competitive artform.  This year, the five finalists are Joel Amosa, Eliza Boom, Joe Haddow, Manase Latu and Filipe Manu.  The winner was announced on Saturday night.   It was Joel Amosa.

Lynn Freeman congratulates Joel live from our Auckland studio, and we hear the winning aria, thanks to Concert FM, who are recording the event.

12:30  The rise of art galleries in Hamilton

Hamilton's CBD is in the midst of an art gallery bonanza, with several new galleries opening in just the last six months.

So what's behind this show of confidence in the visual art market? And which comes first - the gallery or the art buying public?

Lynn Freeman talks to three Hamiltonians directly affected - young gallerist Laree Payne from the Weasel Gallery, Wendy Richdale who runs WINTEC's Ramp Gallery and art writer and teacher Dr Carole Shepheard, who's written about the Hamilton resurgence for the next issue of ArtNews:

12:45  The Phoenix Foundation meet the NZSO

Phoenix Foundation

Phoenix Foundation Photo: Supplied

After more than a year in the making, The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is about to wish popular Wellington band the Phoenix Foundation a happy 20th anniversary with one of the biggest gigs they've ever played.

The Orchestra and the band are about to perform new arrangements of the Phoenix Foundation's greatest hits - plus two brand new tracks from their next album,

NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich has been down this road before with acts including Split Enz, Salmonella Dub and Little Bushman,  but it's all very new for the Phoenix Foundation.

Lynn Freeman spoke to founding member Luke Buda and to Hamish, asking him what it takes to be a band that can handle the NZSO treatment:

The NZSO and the Phoenix Foundaton - Celebrate! starts its tour on Thursday in Wellington before heading to Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews The Equalizer 2, and talks to some of the contriutors to this year's New Zealkand International Film Festival - Malcolm Turner and Annie Murray,from the Animation Now programme, talk about the films of Estonia, while Sari Braithwaite talks about her new documentary, the self-explanatory Censored.


1.32 A Scottish tapestry remembers First World War Kiwi soldiers

A massive tapestry telling the stories of injured First World War New Zealand soldiers and their carers at the Mount Felix Hospital in the UK, is about to go on display over here.

Also making the long trip is the tapestry's designer, Scottish artist Andrew Crummy.

It took more than 600 UK and Kiwi volunteers almost three years to stitch the 44 panels that make up the Mt Felix Tapestry.

A fire destroyed the hospital in Walton-on-Thames back in the 1960s, but those involved in the project want to make sure the memories of those who worked and recovered there, will live on for generations.

Lynn Freeman spoke to Andrew Crummy just before he boarded the plane to New Zealand.  She wondered how a muralist - used to working on a grand scale with broad paint strokes - also creates finely detailed drawings for tapestry projects like this one.

 Andrew Crummy is giving a talk on Wednesday at Auckland's Papakura Museum where the Mt Felix Tapestry will start its nationwide tour.

1:50 Jason Naylor is Breaking Art all over the country

Jason Naylor

Jason Naylor Photo: supplied

It's a perennial question - particularly on this programme - "How to balance the need to make a living with the desire to be creative?"   It's also one of the questions that photographer Jason Naylor is asking other artists around the country for his Breaking Art: The Podcast series.

Jason gets in his Combi van and heads out to talk to creatives in their natural habitat. 

Jason is also an award winning Wedding Photographer and he's one of the guest speakers at the upcoming Wintec Spark Festival in Hamilton on the 9th of August.  Lynn Freeman talks to him about his work and his podcast.

2:06 The Laugh Track - Chris and Liv Parker

Liv and Chris Parker

Liv and Chris Parker Photo: supplied

Chris/Liv Parker

Chris/Liv Parker Photo: supplied

The relationship between siblings is often a notoriously fraught one.  They know each other so well, they know exactly what buttons to press in an argument.

That's the idea behind a new show opening at Auckland's Basement Theatre.  It's called Sibs and it features real-life siblings - actor/comedian Chris Parker, and actress-comedienne Liv Parker.

Sibs - written, created and performed by Chris Parker and Liv Parker - opens on August the 7th at Auckland's Basement. 

2.25  Celebrating the life of Katherine Mansfield

It's the 130th anniversary of writer Katherine Mansfield's birth, and her home town is going all out to celebrate the life of one of its favourite daughters.

Wellington Arts Festival KM130 encompasses theatre, art, screenings, talks and a birthday party.

Nga Taonga Sound and Vision are contributing with online items relating to our greatest short story writer, featuring a Spotify playlist that includes Katherine's favourite singer, Raquel Meller from Spain.

But there are also documentaries including interviews with Katherine's elderly sisters. Lynn Freeman talks to Nga Taonga's Sarah Johnston about some of the other treasures in the online exhibition, which goes live this Thursday.

2:40 Owen Marshall and Grahame Sydney

Writer Owen Marshell may have been born in Te Kuiti but in his soul he's a Southern Man, a champion of the people and landscapes of Canterbury and Otago.

While best known for his novels and short stories, Owen's just published his fourth poetry collection - a combination of both earlier works and new ones.

Many of the poems are odes to the South Island, but others traverse the country - there's a whole section devoted to family and friends:

Owen invited long time friend and Central Otago stalwart, Grahame Sydney, to complement the poetry in View from the South with a selection of his photographs.

Lynn Freeman talks to Owen and Grahame about their three decade long friendship.:

View From The South is published by Penguin Random House.

2:49 Denys Watkins celebrates 50 years of colourful abstracts

For fifty years Auckland-based painter Denys Watkins has produced lushly-coloured abstract paintings often responding to nature, the joy of being part of it and threats to it.

Despite being a frequent exhibitor, especially now he's no longer an art tutor, he's about to show his first exhibition in Christchurch - at the COCA Gallery as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations in its Modernist building in the CBD.

Lynn Freeman talks to Denys Watkins about Dynamo Hum, which features a selection of important paintings, spanning the decades.

3:06 Drama at 3 - Part Two of Show Down by Elspeth Sandys


Music played in this show

Artist: Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin
Song: Je t'aime moi non plus
Composer: Gainsbourg
Album:  Initials SG
Label: Mercury
Played at:  12.12

Artist:  Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
Song:  Anything goes
Composer: Porter
Album: Cheek to cheek
Label: Interscope
Played at:  12.43

Artist: Phoenix Foundation
Song: Bright grey
Composer: Buda-Phoenix Foundation
Album: Happy Ending
Label: Flying Nun
Played at:  12.46

Artist: Julie London
Song: Come on a my house
Composer: Bagdasarian-Saroyan
Album: Beginners Guide to Lounge and Exotica
Label:  Nascente
Played at: 12.58

Artist: The Kinks
Song: Lola
Composer: Davies
Album: Lola versus Powerman and the Money Go Round
Label: Sanctuary
Played at: 1.07

Artist: Eartha Kitt
Song: Good little girl
Composer: Duke-Kahn
Album: Good little girl
Label: ?Spectrum
Played at: 1.43

Artist: Barry McGuire
Song: Eve of destruction
Composer: Sloan
Album: Songs of protest
Label: Rhino
Played at: 1.58

Artist: Howard Morrison Quartet
Song: George the Wild (er) New Zealand Boy
Composer: Morrison-Merito
Album:  (Single)
Label:  La Gloria
Played at:  2.04

Artist: The Cheers
Song: Black Denim Jacket
Composer: Lieber-Stoller
Album: The Fifties Complete
Label: EMI
Played at: 2.35

Artist: Harry Belafonte
Song: Brown skin girl
Composer: Spann
Album: Belafonte sings the blues
Label: Real Gone
Played at: 2.58

Artist: Marilyn Monroe (and Jane Russell)
Song: Two little girls (from Little Rock)
Composer: Styne-Robin
Album: Diamonds are a girl's best friend
Label: Tempoi
Played at:  3.04

Artist:  Split Enz
Song:  Six months in a leaky boat
Composer: Finn-Split Enz
Album:  Time and Tide
Label: Warner
Played at:  3.58