MEET THE TEAM

Monique Farmer

National Entertainment Editor

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?
A: Any event at the Opera House is always special, but the best would have to be the farewell concert to Crowded House in 1996, on the steps and under the late Spring sky. Every person in the crowd knew all the words and the atmosphere was fantastic.

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Ardyn Bernoth

Spectrum editor

I took on the editorship of Spectrum just three months ago. When I was announced in the position, countless people said to me that Spectrum is their favourite section in the Sydney Morning Herald and how lucky I was.

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Louise Rugendyke

Arts and Shortlist editor

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?
A: I get ridiculously over-excited about live music and often walk out of gigs proclaiming ‘That was the best thing I’ve EVER seen’. With a little distance, however, there are a few that have stuck in

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Susan Wyndham

Literary Editor

Q: Who is your cultural crush and why?
A: Helen Garner was famous for the novel Monkey Grip when I was a young journalist and I wanted to be her. Her writing about communal households, families, love and anger had a wild

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Adam Fulton

S Editor

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?
A: Stonehenge has long been on my list of places to see, but I never expected to be bouncing between its giant stones like a pinball. That happened on English artist Jeremy Deller’s inflatable,

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Nick Galvin

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?
A: It’s a baking hot late afternoon at Bob Dylan’s Wembley Stadium concert in 1984 and the air is fragrant with weed and euphoria. His Bobness, barely 30m away from my 18-year-old self and

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Lenny Ann Low

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?
A: Cat Power at the Seymour Centre turning the house-lights on and jogging around the room. Electric with the feeling we should not be watching.

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Garry Maddox

Film Writer

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?
A: In the ancient mists of Sydney’s cultural history, I can remember a night in the tunnels next to St James railway station. It was a guerilla art event under the banner Guido And Yakitori Go To

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Linda Morris

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?
A: There is something magical about that first moment of discovery, when you find a book or piece of music that speaks only to you. It was U2’s first Sydney concert, the Irishmen were largely

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Jacqui Taffel

LIFESTYLE EDITOR, SPECTRUM

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?
A: At the children’s show Stick Man in January at the Opera House, the actors ran around wildly in the audience at one point, one dressed as a

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Andrew Taylor

DEPUTY ARTS EDITOR

Q: Who is your cultural crush and why?
A: It’s hard to imagine a better ambassador for the arts than Edmund Capon, the longstanding director of the Art Gallery of NSW.

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Sarah Thomas

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?
A: What I love about Sydney is the accessibility and diversity of acts, from breakthrough artists through to an enormously fun mix of names from the past few decades (see Rick Astley selfie,

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Peter Vincent

NATIONAL MUSIC EDITOR

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?
A: Glen Hansard delighted the Sydney Opera House audience in 2013 by playing to hundreds of fans outside on the steps after the show. Hansard was a busker and thrives on playing with his

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Gabriel Wilder

SPECTRUM DEPUTY EDITOR

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?
A: Live music has always moved me, from Queen and Blondie in Brisbane when I was young to K-pop band Shinee in Tokyo and contemporary classical composer Max Richter at the Opera

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Bernard Zuel

MUSIC WRITER

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?
A: At the Adelaide Fringe Festival a few years ago I rocked up for a theatre project, knowing nothing more than they were Dutch or Belgian. I was blindfolded, put into a wheelchair, taken

FIND OUT MORE

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Monique Farmer

National Entertainment Editor

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A: I love enjoying culture outdoors, from Opera on the Harbour to concerts under the stars. One of my fondest memories is of walking through the streets of Paris one winter’s night many years ago, and wondering why huge crowds were gathered outside the Luxembourg Gardens on such a cold night. It turned out to be an outdoor photography exhibition, featuring beautiful images from around the world. The crowd was buzzing about the art, while I was buzzing about the sublime combination of unexpected art and Paris.

Ardyn Bernoth

Spectrum editor

BIOGRAPHY

I took on the editorship of Spectrum just three months ago. When I was announced in the position, countless people said to me that Spectrum is their favourite section in the Sydney Morning Herald and how lucky I was.
I am indeed lucky and it is more exciting even still to see the pages of Spectrum being brought to life in the Spectrum Now Festival.
Q. What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A. Often the most unforgettable performances are those that are most intensely personal to you.
I saw Les Miserables, a brand new musical from London, which re-opened the astonishingly renovated Princess Theatre in Melbourne in 1989. The owner of the theatre had asked me along. I took my mum. My dad was dying at the time, and well, given almost everyone dies in Les Mis, I cried and cried throughout the entire show. But it was the most bizarrely beautiful, cathartic somehow uplifting experience that I will never forget.

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Louise Rugendyke

Arts and Shortlist editor

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A: I get ridiculously over-excited about live music and often walk out of gigs proclaiming ‘That was the best thing I’ve EVER seen’. With a little distance, however, there are a few that have stuck in my head. Rufus Wainwright doing his Judy Garland show at the State Theatre. In typically Rufus style, he was all sequins and sass, and that voice, well, it’s almost too much. Glen Hansard playing with the Frames at the Metro and Bluesfest and with Marketa Irglova in a small tent in a faraway field at Glastonbury. Coldplay in the pouring rain at Splendour in the Grass and me standing on a wheelie bin high above the crowd. Oh, and ….

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Susan Wyndham

Literary Editor

BIOGRAPHY

Q: Who is your cultural crush and why?

A: Helen Garner was famous for the novel Monkey Grip when I was a young journalist and I wanted to be her. Her writing about communal households, families, love and anger had a wild mixture of tough tenderness, lean sentences and lyrical imagery. Whatever she writes – fiction, memoir or tragic true crime – I read her with admiration and a tinge of envy.

Adam Fulton

S Editor

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?

A: Stonehenge has long been on my list of places to see, but I never expected to be bouncing between its giant stones like a pinball. That happened on English artist Jeremy Deller’s inflatable, life-size reimagining of the monument in Hyde Park for the 2014 Sydney Festival. Sure it was colossally silly – that was part of the charm – but the jumping castle had the kind of novel creativity, surprise and playfulness I relish in Sydney arts and entertainment, and it could even get you thinking (what were those ancient architects up to?). The passion – another essential – came in the enthusiasm of the steady crowds of young and old queuing to jump on. It brought droves of inner children out to play – mine included – and Spectrum Now hopes to as well.

Nick Galvin

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?

A: It’s a baking hot late afternoon at Bob Dylan’s Wembley Stadium concert in 1984 and the air is fragrant with weed and euphoria. His Bobness, barely 30m away from my 18-year-old self and two of my closest pals, has just closed a blistering performance. But wait – there’s more. Out stroll Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Chrissie Hynde and Van Morrison for the encore.

Lenny Ann Low

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A: Cat Power at the Seymour Centre turning the house-lights on and jogging around the room. Electric with the feeling we should not be watching.

Garry Maddox

Film Writer

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?

A: In the ancient mists of Sydney’s cultural history, I can remember a night in the tunnels next to St James railway station. It was a guerilla art event under the banner Guido And Yakitori Go To The Barber that required patrons to sneak into the station after midnight and walk through the darkness from performance to performance. No tickets, no security, but a memorable example of underground art in every sense.

Linda Morris

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A: There is something magical about that first moment of discovery, when you find a book or piece of music that speaks only to you. It was U2’s first Sydney concert, the Irishmen were largely unknown then and I was just returned from visiting relatives in Belfast. But from Row XX of the Entertainment Centre the militaristic drumbeat of Sunday Bloody Sundaywas a siren call that, to this day, still stirs my heart.

Jacqui Taffel

LIFESTYLE EDITOR, SPECTRUM

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A: At the children’s show Stick Man in January at the Opera House, the actors ran around wildly in the audience at one point, one dressed as a dog chasing Stick Man. When they went back to the stage, a small girl of about 4, wearing a special dress and tiara, ran very determinedly up the stairs onto the stage, ran up to the ‘‘dog’’, gave her a pat, then ran back to her seat. The actors were speechless with admiration, the audience went wild. Priceless.

Andrew Taylor

DEPUTY ARTS EDITOR

BIOGRAPHY

Q: Who is your cultural crush and why?

A: It’s hard to imagine a better ambassador for the arts than Edmund Capon, the longstanding director of the Art Gallery of NSW.

Capon was a charming, eccentric and erudite presence and champion of the visual arts for decades and even in his retirement, he continues to open exhibitions, support artists and contribute to Sydney’s cultural life

Sarah Thomas

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A: What I love about Sydney is the accessibility and diversity of acts, from breakthrough artists through to an enormously fun mix of names from the past few decades (see Rick Astley selfie, above). But, hands down, the best gig I’ve ever been to was Pixies performing Doolittle at the Hordern Pavilion in 2010. They just filled the joint and made the aircraft hangar-like venue have the intimacy of the back room of a pub. It was jaw-droppingly compelling from start to finish, and Kim Deal is without question the coolest woman in rock.

Peter Vincent

NATIONAL MUSIC EDITOR

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?

A: Glen Hansard delighted the Sydney Opera House audience in 2013 by playing to hundreds of fans outside on the steps after the show. Hansard was a busker and thrives on playing with his audience not at them.

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Gabriel Wilder

SPECTRUM DEPUTY EDITOR

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What was the most unforgettable performance you’ve ever seen?

A: Live music has always moved me, from Queen and Blondie in Brisbane when I was young to K-pop band Shinee in Tokyo and contemporary classical composer Max Richter at the Opera House in 2014. But it was while travelling to and from Havana in the noughties that I had the most transcendent experiences: each day, I was captivated by an intoxicating blend of Afro-Cuban melodies and rhythms played by highly skilled musicians. Unforgettable.

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Bernard Zuel

MUSIC WRITER

BIOGRAPHY

Q: What is the most surprising performance or concert you’ve ever seen?

A: At the Adelaide Fringe Festival a few years ago I rocked up for a theatre project, knowing nothing more than they were Dutch or Belgian. I was blindfolded, put into a wheelchair, taken through various sections divided by sound or height, touched up by actors, made to watch one cry and asked to reveal intimate secrets. Best show ever.

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