Singing Sisters Bring Back a Fringe Favourite

With Fringe still a thing in 2021, we sat down with two of the driving forces behind Adelaide’s Gospo Collective, the acclaimed community-based music program that is set to reheat a hit.

Gospo Collective’s founder and lead conductor Charmaine Jones

Singing sisters Charmaine Jones and Joanna Arul Tropeano are South Australia proud.  As Adelaide-based performers, educators and musical entrepreneurs, they’ve carved out careers that are as eclectic as the people they’ve worked with and the shows that they’ve produced over the last twelve years. 

Eschewing the notion that you have to leave this state to ‘make it’, the Sri Lankan born sisters are a testament to hard work and having passion for what you do. “Everyone should be encouraged to share their voice,” says elder sister Charmaine, Gospo’s founder and lead conductor. 

Raised by their parents to do exactly that, it’s a philosophy they pour into their roles as teachers, arrangers and performers with Gospo Enterprises, the company Charmaine founded in 2009.

“Singing and performing the way we do as a collective is a beautiful way of connecting and communicating,’ says Joanna, who takes charge of Gospo’s Jones Chorus, their education program for 12-16 year olds. 

Like Charmaine, she also works as a choral director at an Adelaide school and runs a well-followed fashion blog (@the_style_file) on the side. There’s no question, however, about where her heart truly lies.

“I’m a bit more reserved than Charmaine in terms of my personality, but when I sing there is a freedom that is undeniable. Sharing that with our students and seeing them thrive during a performance is my life’s reward. I’m so lucky to do what I do.”

Frequently recognised around town, the sisters grew up with music as a part of their daily lives. Although recalling early concerts performed at parents’ dinner parties and re-enactments of Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, none of it seemed attached to the concept of celebrity. “Singing was for everyone, and still is,”  Joanna says.

In addition to being a soprano singer, the pair’s mother ran a speech, drama and elocution school in Sri Lanka. It meant that the way the siblings spoke and presented was drummed into them very early on. 

“Singing was a natural extension of that and became a central part of our education. In reality, it’s been a discipline we’ve practised without thinking about it since before we can even remember. It even felt normal when I started teaching at the age of twelve!” says Charmaine.

Choral director Joanna Arul Tropeano

This early discipline carried them through an extremely difficult period in 2020. Although forced to move their choral groups online, The Gospo Collective continued to perform, inviting guests to their ‘Live Lounge Sessions’ via their growing YouTube channel.

By continuing to practice their art, Charmaine says they’ve ‘embraced  the complexities of life as we know it’, and emerged as better musicians.

This year, their work will again culminate in their annual showcase at the Adelaide Fringe, where they will reboot their award-winning presentation of Jackson v Jackson.

Playing to sellout crowds in 2019, the show is a combination of both Janet and Michael’s greatest hits, and delves deep into the famous siblings own influences. The result is a captivating journey through some of the best soul, funk and pop music ever created.

As per all of their previous shows, Charmaine says audiences can expect special guests on stage each night, and confirmed an overture had been written by Chong Lim AM, the legendary composer for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“We rejigged everything for COVID, so we can’t wait to bring back a show we know the people love.”

Check out some highlights of their earlier Fringe shows on YouTube @GospoMusicAUS

Words Jon Aspin
Images Diana Melfi

10 Ways to Change it up this Valentine’s Day

Forget the predictable dinner date and surprise your Valentine this February 14. Whether you’re ready to paint your partner or throw it back to the 70s, we’ve got you sorted.

Paint Your Partner with Vintage Van Gogh
Spend an afternoon with your Valentine and learn how to master the perfect partner portrait. Guided by local artists from Vintage Van Gogh you’ll learn the techniques needed to become your own artist. A selection of local wine will be available to purchase on the day.
When: 2pm – 4.30pm
Where: Hygge Atrium, Goodwood 
Cost: $70

Allure – Dating & Dancing – Valentine’s Day Singles Night
This one is for the singles – a night filled with dance lessons and speed dating. Learn how to dance the Bachata from One Dance Studio’s Nixon and Dominique and have a mingle at the same time. You’ll be greeted with a drink on arrival and spend the might laughing and dancing.
When: 6:00pm-9pm
Where: Mr Goodbar
Cost: $48.56

Valentine’s Day Picnic at Paxton
It’s the ideal Sunday afternoon activity. Picnic with your Valentine surrounded by the beauty and scenery of Paxton Winery. BYO food and picnic essentials or have the day arranged for you by the winery, with your picnic spot set up and waiting for you. 
When: 11am-4pm
Where: Paxton Landcross Farm
Cost: $10+

Valentine’s at the Green
Bring the family along to a day filled with locally sourced wine, gin and food from your favourite South Australian businesses. Browse through a range of art, homewares and fashion from local traders while listening to great live music and entertainment.  
When: 10am-3pm
Where: Norwood Green Warehouse & Display Centre
Cost: Free 

Valentine’s Day at Kingpin Bowling 
Add a little healthy competition to your evening with Kingpin Bowling’s Valentine’s Day special. Enjoy unlimited ten pin bowling and laser strike games all night long. 
When: 7pm-late
Where: Kingpin Bowling, Norwood
Cost: $30

Valentine’s Day at The Oval Hotel
An experience you will truly never forget. The evening begins with a three-course dinner for two on the Adelaide Oval turf followed by a romantic evening at the world class boutique hotel. End your overnight stay with breakfast at Bespoke Wine Bar Kitchen. 
When: 14th-15th February
Where: The Oval Hotel
Cost: $750

Valentine’s Day Argo Paint & Wine with Nicky Create 
Sip on a glass of local South Australian wine or some Argo’s tea while painting with your loved one. Australian artist and muralist Nicky Create will guide you through the evening, teaching you to channel your emotions into art. Create unique artwork with two canvases joined together, with each partner painting their half to match the other. Add wine, tea or a cheese board to enhance the evening.
When: 7pm-9:15pm 
Where: Argo On The Parade, Norwood
Cost: $65

The Notebook at the Moonlight Cinema
It’s the one and only movie to show on the most romantic night of the year. Snuggle up and enjoy a night filled with romance, bean beds and blankets. Don’t forget to bring the tissues!
When: 8:30pm
Where: Moonlight Cinema, Botanic Park
Cost: $15+

The Mile End Valentine’s day
Grab your partner or a bunch of friends because The Mile End Hotel has something for everyone this February 14th. Book lunch or dinner in the hotel or find the Sunday’s Singles Session in the Beer Garden. Make your night that little more special with accommodation available for booking.
When: 11am-8:30pm
Where: The Mile End Hotel
Cost: Various

Valentine’s Day Eve 70’s Party
It’s a flashback to the 70s. Pull out your spandex pants and tie-dye shirts and get ready for a wild night of dancing. Sing along to all your favourites; Abba’s Dancing QueenSaturday Night Fever, Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way and the list goes on. 
When: 13th February, 7pm-11:59pm
Where: Duke of York Hotel
Cost: $20

Words Mia Vidale

Pregnancy and Post Natal Pilates Classes in Unley

Calling all mums-to-be… Studio Pilates Unley is offering pregnancy and post-natal Pilates classes for those looking for a safe activity to help during pregnancy and beyond. 

During pregnancy, women experience a range of changes to their bodies, both internally and externally, including muscle inflammation, joint and back pain, postural changes and shortness of breath to name a few. 

Studio Pilates have tailored specifically designed pregnancy classes by their team of highly experienced physiotherapists, so that women can continue to enjoy an exercise routine that is both safe and good for their wellbeing.  

The low impact pregnancy classes work on the whole body with a focus on strengthening legs, glutes and arms as well working on the pelvic floor. 

These classes will help pregnant women achieve:

Healthy posture
Great balance and strength
Improved breathing
Spinal and pelvic alignment
Efficient body mechanics
A more comfortable pregnancy
Faster recovery time post-pregnancy 

Studio Pilates pregnancy classes are safe to attend throughout your entire pregnancy and are on at Studio Pilates Unley every Friday at 10:15am. Six classes are currently available for $120. 

For bookings and more information, contact Studio Pilates Unley on (08) 8464 7474 or via email unley@studiopilates.com.
148 Unley Road, Unley SA 5061.  

The Brotox Boom

The number of men chasing a line-free complexion may be on the rise. Adelaide-based Azura Dental explain.

There’s no doubt about it, men are the new growth market in the world of cosmetic medicine – in fact, Adelaide’s Azura Dental say that men now make up about 30 percent of their clientele. “We are seeing a lot of young men in their 30’s coming in for the first time,” says Azura’s practice manager. This statistic has seen continued growth in recent years, particularly in the wake of COVID as men become more conscious than ever before of their appearance (thanks Zoom calls). But despite the growth, anti-ageing for men still remains clandestine.  

Why do you think men are more reluctant than women to get anti-ageing injectables?

Men seem to feel more embarrassed around topics of self-care. We find that men can sometimes be stereotyped for taking pride in their appearance and being open about it. They can be concerned about how others will perceive them for having anti-wrinkle injections. It is something that is slowly becoming more acceptable to more men, however, we still have a lot of male patients who like to keep their wrinkle smoothing injections as their own little secret.

Do you think men are more comfortable making an appointment for anti-ageing treatments at a dental surgery rather than a traditional cosmetic clinic? 

Yes, definitely! In fact, one of the main benefits for men having their wrinkle smoothing injections at Azura is because no one has to know what they are here for. If they are seen in the reception area or tell a friend they have an appointment with us, it can be disguised as a dental appointment. Because we are in a medical field there are strict regulations around confidentiality. Meaning that your secret is our secret! Our environment is also tailored to both male and female dental and cosmetic patients, making it a comfortable experience for everyone. Our staff are expert in making patients feel more relaxed for their appointments, whether they be cosmetic or dental.

What percentage of your cosmetic patients are men? 

I would say about 30 percent at this time, and it’s definitely on the increase. We believe all men have the right to feel great about their appearance and are excited to see our male cosmetic patient percentage grow.

Has this increased in recent years? 

We have seen an enormous jump in male cosmetic patients over the past two years. Due to COVID, people in general have been more aware of the importance of medical grade hygiene in all types of procedures, including wrinkle smoothing injections. A lot of men and women are moving towards getting their wrinkle smoothing in a practice where these standards are more regulated and ensure a completely hygienic experience. We have also noticed that men working from home have become more conscious of the way they look in Zoom meetings. They also enjoy that they can get a wrinkle smoothing injection often timed with their dental check-up appointment for convenience. Our out of hours appointments are also convenient and help them schedule their appointments around their busy work and life schedules. 

What is the average age of first-time male cosmetic patients? 

We are seeing a lot of young men in their 30’s coming in for the first time to help prevent future wrinkles and to minimise their current fine lines. We also have a lot of patients in age brackets above this, however the growing trend is with men in their 30’s followed closely by businessmen in their 40’s. Our signature style is subtle and natural and this fits with the desired look of most male patients.

Azura Dental
644 Grange Road, Henley Beach
08 8353 8221

5 Collagen-boosting Treatments to Try

These collagen-boosting treatments promise to tighten the skin, and they’re much cheaper (and less painful!) than a facelift. The team at Balabala Laser Clinic explain.

  1. Ultherapy (face $3400; neck $1400)

Ultherapy is a non-invasive treatment that goes deeper to stimulate production of your body’s own collagen and elastin, for natural looking results without surgery or downtime.

2. Thermage FLX (face $3500; neck $1998; eyes $2600)

Thermage FLX is the most advanced skin tightening technology available, with each pulse of the machine delivering customised radiofrequency to heat the deeper, collagen-rich layers of the skin. The applied heat causes collagen to contract and encourages new collagen to start growing.

3. PicoSure Laser Skin Rejuvenation ($699)

PicoSure will stimulate your skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin to promote visibly younger skin in as little as a single treatment. Unlike other laser treatments, PicoSure offers impressive results, fewer treatments and minimal downtime.

4. Collagen Regeneration Injection (from $999/vial)

3D Poly-L-lactic acid/PLLA directly stimulates autologous collagen regeneration, changing the face in a gradual way.

5. Icon MaxG IPL ($699)

This is a popular, non-invasive treatment used to significantly improve many skin concerns. It uses specific wavelengths of light to simultaneously target pigmented and vascular lesions in the skin, while stimulating the production of collagen.

Balabala Laser Clinic
Shop 1, 65 Grenfell Street, Adelaide
08 7078 1806
Balabalalaserclinic.com

Live Entertainment with a Twist at Summer Sounds Festival

If you haven’t already heard, live music is back in South Australia with the socially distanced Summer Sounds Festival.

The event kicked off on January 8 and will run through until January 31 at Adelaide’s Bonython Park and features more than 20 shows by the likes of Bjorn Again, Ball Park Music, The Veronicas and more.

Concert-goers buy ‘pods’ instead of individual tickets – each pod fits 4-6 people so you can enjoy the show in your exclusive, private space.

The pods include chairs, drinks that have been pre-ordered and an esky to keep them cold. You can choose from VIP pods, which are positioned with a premium view of the stage and include faster drink service, Gold pods (postponed behind the VIP area), Silver (in the middle, behind Gold) and Bronze (positioned behind Bronze). Some of the pods are roped off grassed areas, while others are on raised platforms.

A unique, Covid-safe live music event not-to-be-missed. For tickets and further information visit summersoundsfestival.com

Taste The Barossa

Immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of The Barossa Valley with Taste The Barossa tours. 

@Seppeltsfield

This premium experience will take you on a historical and delicious journey through Adelaide’s wine region, tasting some of the best food and wine South Australia has to offer along the way.  The family-owned business provides small group wine tasting tours, beginning in either Adelaide or Glenelg.

The tour’s first stop is Château Yaldara where you can taste world-class Shiraz surrounded by fine architecture. Be sure to take photographs. A quick stop is then made in Tanunda, where you can explore the main street, mingle with locals or get yourself a coffee or snack, followed by wine tasting and lunch at Peter Lehmann Wines. Indulge in a platter of fresh local produce including meats, cheeses, olives, assorted vegetables and freshly baked bread; vegetarian options are also available. 

Next, the tour visits the world’s oldest Shiraz-producing vineyard, Langmeil Winery, with vineyards dating back 170 years. The final stop is Lindsay Wines, which embraces art, wine and music.

Along the way, the tour passes through countless vineyards, the Whispering Wall, Jacob’s Creek, Mengler’s Hill Lookout and the Seppeltsfield region.

The Taste the Barossa tour is the perfect combination of history, cultural, scenery, food and wine. Tours are an all-day activity and are $149 per person. Private tours and charters are also available. 

Langmeil Winery

To enquire or book a tour, call 83577 1594 or fill in an online enquiry form.

Words by Mia Vidale

Transform Your Floors

There’s no doubt that natural flooring adds instant texture and warmth to any room, but it’s not one size fits all when it comes to jute, sisal and seagrass. Here’s everything you need to know thanks to the team at Natural Floors in Stepney.

Seagrass, sisal and jute are natural fibres offering great textural quality, which is important in effective interior design. Natural flooring, in the way of rugs, runners and wall to wall installations, also offers a wonderful neutral palette. For expert advice on what type of flooring should be used where (for example, high traffic areas such as living spaces and entrances require harder-wearing flooring compared to less frequented spaces such as bedrooms) the experienced team at Natural Floors can help.

Natural Floors is an Australian owned natural flooring business with offices in Adelaide and Melbourne. The team have over 30 years’ experience in sourcing and laying stunning natural flooring solutions. Working directly with interior designers, architects and private clients, each product is completely bespoke and made to order and each rug is customised and hand-binded onsite using local materials.

Sisal
Made from Agave sisalana and harvested in Africa, Brazil, Madagascar and China, sisal flooring has a flat, extra small weave. It works well in any part of the home but is particularly good for offices where desks and chairs with caster wheels might be used. 

Wool/jute
Soft to touch, wool and jute blend flooring is perfect for bedrooms and living areas. Large and luxurious boucle weaves also add texture.

Jute
Natural jute floorings are made from vegetable fibres, mostly grown in India and Bangladesh. The natural colour selections make this flooring ideal for living areas and bedrooms. A range of weaves are available. 

Seagrass
Made from flowering plants found in marine environments, seagrass flooring is ideal for high transit areas due its wavy coating that offers excellent stain resistance. 

To see Natural Floors full range of floor rugs visit their showroom at 33-33A Henry Street, Stepney.



Australian Fashion Labels Goes into Voluntary Administration

Adelaide-based fashion empire Australian Fashion Labels, which is home to the likes of C/MEO Collective, Finders Keepers, Keepsake and The Fifth Label, is the latest Australian fashion company to go into voluntary administration.

Founded in 2007 by South Australian husband and wife team Dean and Melanie Flintoff, the company employed over 100 staff at the height of its success. In 2019, changing consumer behaviour and increased costs forced the company to close the doors of its bricks and mortar store BNKR and embark on a company restructure.

The global pandemic has further impacted the once successful South Australian business, which as a result was last night sent into voluntary administration. With a prospective investor currently in talks with the administrators, the next 48 hours will be critical to the company’s survival and the continued employment of its 57 employees.

Our Summer Picks

Warm weather fashion must-haves from one of Adelaide’s favourite shopping destinations, Unley Shopping Centre. Here’s our pick of this season’s essentials.

(Clockwise) Sally spot shirt, $79.99, Noni B; Bling Ring earrings, $29.95, Taking Shape; Pascal handbag, $79.95, Sussan; 7/8 pull on linen pant, $89.99, Noni B; Braided headband, $14.95, Sussan; Chock jean belt, $29.95, Sussan; Charlotte sneakers, $79.95, Liberty Boutique; Pretty Precious earrings, $9, Taking Shape; Kerastase Nutritive 8hr Magic Night Hair Serum (90ml), $64, XINK – The Element of Hair