A trip around the globe with 2MBS Fine Music Sydney and the Capps
Mary Jo and Lloyd Capps talk Perugia and all things music and travel
First Class Magazine’s Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan sits down with 2MBS Fine Music Sydney’s Mary Jo and Lloyd Capps to talk all things music and travel.
Mary Jo and Lloyd Capps are passionate about music and travel. They’ve travelled the world with their earliest musical trip being to New York to hear the NY Phil and the Met, Blue Note and Birdland. None of which disappointed. They heard Leonard Bernstein/Jessye Norman/Barbara Hendriks in Mahler2; the Zeffirelli production of La Boheme; Carmen McRae & Zoot Sims at Blue Note and Ron Carter at Birdland. “This was absolute bliss,” said Mary Jo whose musical credentials include being appointed the Chair of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in 2022 after serving for almost 20 years as CEO of Musica Viva Australia. She has also held senior management and consultancy roles with all the major Australian orchestras, Create NSW, Company B Belvoir Theatre, Australian Dance Theatre, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and a range of small to medium arts organisations, as well as serving on a number of business and pro bono boards.
Lloyd Capps’ The Jazz Beat
Mary Jo is passionate about 2MBS Fine Music Sydney and especially when Lloyd Capps’ The Jazz Beat is playing. Those who tune in to the sounds of Lloyd will know he plays CDs from his own collection and thus it is only the music that he has a fondness for that floats over the airwaves on a Tuesday night. Lloyd adores 2MBS Fine Music Sydney because it attracts such a gifted range of volunteers. “The volunteers have had amazing careers prior to their time at 2MBS Fine Music Sydney and come together with a shared passion for music and fascinating backgrounds,” he said.
Who would the Capps invite to dinner?
When asked which three musical performers the Capps would most relish having dinner with, Mary Jo and Lloyd took a few days to answer. “We debated this one for ages,” she declares. “We finally decided upon two pianists and a violinist who are all lovely people.” The lovely people turned out to be Yehudi Menuhin, Oscar Peterson (from MJ’s territory, Toronto Canada) and Sir Stephen Hough (their favourite living pianist).
The ultimate performance for the Capps would to watch the Takacs Quartet performing anywhere. Mary Jo said, “I doubt, with their Hungarian history, they would agree to perform in St Petersburg, if we are dealing in the real world! So maybe hearing them in the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall or the Brahms Hall in the Musikverein of Vienna. But we’ll happily go with our alternative of going to the Manaus Opera House in the Amazon to hear Wagner’s Ring Cycle.”
It’s always fascinating to get insider tips from the well-travelled. The Capps have given First Class some insider knowledge on their favourite hotel at their favourite musical destination. Trasimeno Festival in Umbria (in & around Perugia) – which flows into the Umbria Jazz Festival – is their number one choice of musical destination where they say it’s important to book early and immerse yourself in the entire festival. Mary Jo has led two Renaissance Tour Groups to Trasimeno and found a number of pleasant surprises at the festival. “There are a number of small venues which host people you may have never heard of in museums and galleries. At the Jazz Festival, some performers are very localised, but we were also treated to Diana Krall performing with Joe Lovano.” Sadly, this is the last year Angela Hewitt will be presenting the Trasimeno Festival, so if you’re not been before, it is probably too late!
The Sina Brufani, Perugia
Their favourite place to stay in Perugia is at the Brufani hotel which is set at the end of the Corso with sweeping views of Umbria’s green valleys.
The Sina Brufani opened in 1884. It’s located in the heart of the medieval city close to the Cathedral, the Fontana Maggiore fountain, the National Gallery and Corso Vannucci with its elegant shops. The hidden gem of the Sina Brufani is the stunning wellness area which has a swimming pool under medieval vaults. This has a lighted transparent foundation that reveals the ruins of an ancient Etruscan settlement dating back to over 3,000 years ago.
Dinner in Perugia at the Osteria a Priori
When you visit Perugia, Mary Jo and Lloyd highly recommend a little restaurant off the Corso called the Osteria a Priori. “It’s a wonderful surprise because in order to reach it you have to walk through a wine and olive oil shop and up a flight of stairs to this hidden delight which only holds about twenty people.” Mary Jo says, “The truffled scrambled eggs are to die for, as this is the truffle capital of Italy and there are huge celebrations when truffle season arrives.”
The restaurant is well known for its age-old Umbrian recipes including slow cooked beans (fagioloina) paired with eggs and onion and bread salad along with the gnoccconi stuffed with fresh ricotta. The menu is every changing and the option is there to pair the wines with each course.
The Verbier Festival in Switzerland
The Capps, although well-travelled, still have a bucket list. The top three musical destinations they wish to tick off are Verbier Festival in Switzerland because of the masterclasses and the musicians; Aix-en-Provence for the festival and St Petersburg. Unfortunately they’ve been thwarted three times so far and wish to explore the art, architecture and music of the city.
The Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville
In Australia, the Capps favourite musical destination is Townsville because of the Festival of Chamber Music. In the middle of winter one can bask in the warm temperatures for ten days, hang out with people who love the same things as you and listen to music that stirs the heart.
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