A Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots

Produced by Revival House Project

Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra

24 August 2018


A Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots was a cross-disciplinary recital concept devised by Louise Keast and Shikara Ringdahl for Revival House Project. Keast and Ringdahl co-founded Revival House Project in 2016, a cross-disciplinary artist run initiative concerned with intersecting art song with contemporary media. Keast is the ongoing Artistic Director of Revival House Project who have performed concerts in Canberra, Melbourne and regional Victoria under her leadership. For more information about Revival House Project, visit

Compositions by Franz Schubert, Joachim Raff, Edward Elgar, Richard Wagner and Gaetano Donizetti were explored in the A Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots concert program. The recital was created in partnership with Tuggeranong Arts Centre and brought together live classical performance, costume design and live projection drawing in order to share the difficult life story of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.

Following the live performance was a two week exhibition showcasing the documentation of the project. Photography by Peter Hislop, tudor-inspired costumes by Hue McCulloch, drawings by visual artist Shags and paper floristry by Flower Songs were all displayed in the Tuggeranong Art Centre Gallery.


Cast & creatives L-R: (back) chorister Rowan Grigg, violinist Helena Popovic, vocalist & co-founder Shikara Ringdahl, vocalist, co-founder & Artistic Director Louise Keast, pianist Ella Luhtasaari, visual artist Shags, chorister Stephanie McAlister, chorister Rachael Eddowes, (front) chorister Thomas Liu, chorister Kai Scott, chorister Kenneth Goodge, chorister Keren Dalzell, chorister Amy Linsell and chorister Caitlin Magee. Costumes by fashion creative Hue McCulloch.

The enterprising Louise Keast, co-founder with fellow soprano Shikara Ringdahl of the “Revival House Project”, which focuses on bringing fine art song to Canberra, is now deep in a cross artform presentation coming up at Tuggeranong Arts Centre featuring beautiful songs, especially those by Robert Schumann, related to the fate of the hapless Scottish Queen...
In researching the performance Keast, a former history student, also found a set of 25 songs about Mary, set by Raff, and has selected eight of them none of which, she believes, has ever been performed in Australia.
— Helen Musa, Canberra CityNews
The finale of the concert, the prayer scene from Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda”, was thrillingly performed by both sopranos with the addition of a nine-voice chorus. This was the highlight of a great evening of song combined with unique visual art.
— Canberra CityNews

Photography © Peter Hislop.

This project could not have been made possible from the support by Tuggeranong Art Centre staff. Special thank you to Rauny Worm, Aidan Delaney and Cassidy Richens.