For the next four months, visitors to the new MPavilion 2018 will be treated to events, talks and performances by over 500 Australian and international guests and collaborators. All events are free. MPavilion is in Queen Victoria Gardens opposite the Victorian National Gallery.

The first event featured a welcome-to-country song

The first event featured a welcome-to-country song composed by Deborah Cheetham (AO), a renowned soprano and Yorta Yorta woman from Victoria’s north. Cheetham conducted the Dhungala Children’s Choir at the opening, accompanying the hauntingly beautiful voice of soprano, Sarah Prestwidge. The children sang in the Yorta Yorta language while Prestwidge sang in the Boon Wurrung language of the Westernport region.

The Dhungala Children’s Choir

The composition, called “Be Still and Hear My Song”, is the fifth that Cheetham has composed for opening ceremonies at MPavilion. Each pavilion was commissioned and funded by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

Cheetham told Dream Planet: “I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to compose the welcome-to-country song for each of the five pavilions. That has been an extraordinary honour and a great opportunity to connect Dhungala Children’s Choir with other artists. Today, you heard the beautiful soprano voice of Sarah Prestwidge. To reconnect children with [their indigenous] language is a great joy.”

Cheetham says MPavilion is an extraordinary project

Cheetham says MPavilion is an extraordinary project. “Not only is it driven by extraordinary philanthropy, which of course Melbourne is renowned for, but it’s Naomi Milgrom’s vision to not only build a pavilion – I mean how amazing is that? – but to invite the world’s preeminent artists and architects to come here and deliver free events throughout the summer.”

Naomi Milgrom Opens MPavilion 2018

“Every year, the pavilions have offered a different personality and character. But I am in love with this [year’s] design. It’s a beautiful breezeway. I can see the potential here for performances and it’s a very inviting space as they all have been in their own way, but I’m really in love with this one.”

This year’s pavilion was designed by Barcelona-based architect and educator, Carme Pinos of Estudio Carme Pinos.

MPavilion 2018 by Carme Pinos