Erin Helyard at Lanyon

Erin Helyard at Lanyon

During the Heritage Festival, Lanyon Homestead was honoured to invite Artistic Director of Pinchgut Opera, Erin Helyard, for a masterclass, recording session and performance. The house and gardens were once again alive with music from the 1840s Broadwood piano, as the sound carried across the property.

When we think of classical music, we may not think of ‘pop music’, but Erin played and discussed some of the popular melodies of the 1840s, taking visitors back to the Cunningham era. Guests were invited into the Drawing room for an hour-long performance; seated around the piano and fireplace. One was transported back to an era where Victorian men and women would entertain their guests with music and singing. Many attendees commented on how much they enjoyed the great ambience in the house, the music creating a whole new way to enjoy the setting.

Prior to his performance, Erin gave five fortunate musicians one-on-one time to learn the intricacies of the 1840s instrument, as well as time to play their own compositions or rehearsed pieces. He also took the time to record some special music for us, which will bring the house to life during tours in coming months.

The creaky floorboards of the veranda were all that could be heard, as visitors stopped to listen outside through the cedar louvre doors as Erin coaxed beautiful music out of the timber framed piano.

Our thanks to Louise Douglas, former chair of Cultural Facilities Corporation Board and Dr Jennifer Gall, whose generous support made this event possible.