Melbourne Gets Cultural In Autumn


Autumn in Melbourne heralds the start of a jam-packed events calendar featuring everything from world-class festivals to musicals direct from the Broadway stage.

Reinforcing its reputation as a leading cultural destination, Melbourne will host two of the country's most anticipated exhibitions and the Australian debut of the musical, Rock of Ages. 

For the first time in Australian history, the record breaking Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition visits Melbourne Museum for its only Australian stop before Egypt's treasures return to Cairo. Opening on 8 April, the exhibition features a dazzling array of possessions unearthed from the boy king's tomb. 

Vienna: Art & Design will showcase over 250 extraordinary works from the revolutionary artists of Vienna in the 1900s including the world-renowned Gustav Klimt at the National Gallery of Victoria from 18 June. This exclusive exhibition is the first of its kind to focus on the exquisite design of Vienna's greatest artists. 

Further magic can be enjoyed on Melbourne's stages with theatregoers spoilt for choice with a troupe of mesmerising musicals taking centre stage at Melbourne's historic theatres. 

Get rocking to the Broadway hit, ROCK OF AGES, a roaring and entertaining 80s love story which lands at Melbourne's Comedy Theatre in April. Featuring costumes reflecting the best (and worst) of the era and a rocking 80s soundtrack including the likes of Journey, Poison, Pat Benatar and Night Ranger, ROCK OF AGES will have audiences laughing from beginning to end. 

Be amongst the first in the world to see LOVE NEVER DIES, the compelling and much anticipated sequel to the highly acclaimed musical, Phantom of the Opera. Premiering in Melbourne's Regent Theatre on 28 May, LOVE NEVER DIES, is Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical offering and comes to Melbourne direct from its international debut in London. 

Autumn also brings some of Australia's most prestigious cultural and sporting events to the city. From 4-14 March, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival dishes up over 250 delectable events to whet your appetite. The largest celebration of its kind in the world, this culinary extravaganza sees trailblazing chefs and winemakers flock to Melbourne to show us what's hot on the global food radar.

All things fashion hit the runway when the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival struts into town from 14 - 20 March. As the largest consumer fashion event in the country, the festival offers direct access to some of Australia's hottest designers.

From 30 March to 24 April, some of the world's funniest comics gather for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This side-splitting extravaganza delivers some of Australia's and the world's most popular comedians, in a huge program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre and visual arts. 

Brace yourself as the 2011 FORMULA 1™ Australian Grand Prix blazes into Albert Park from 24 - 27 March. As one of Australia's premier sporting events, it offers an action-packed program for all ages, both on and off the track. 

From 30 March to 3 April, the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) returns to the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. As the largest annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere, MIFGS attracts Australia's hottest floral and landscape designers whose eye-catching displays offer lessons in colour, aesthetics and conservation coupled with great food and entertainment for the whole family. 

In between all the action, make the most of the mild autumn weather and dine alfresco style along the banks of the Yarra River or in one of the buzzing laneway cafes. Discover chic coffee shops and designer boutiques scattered throughout historic arcades and discreet alleyways or visit one of the city's many hip bars secreted behind non-descript doors, rooftops or unexpected locations. 

Melbourne's thriving and food scene is renowned as Australia's best with new and exciting ventures popping up every month. Most notable newbies to the culinary landscape include the Joost designed bar and restaurant Hare & Grace, Guy Grossi's latest offering Merchant and Philippe Mouchel's new restaurant PM24.

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