6 October 1600

Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, receives its première performance, beginning the Baroque period.

“Euridice” is the earliest surviving operas in the history of Western music. It was composed by Jacopo Peri with a libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini and first performed in 1600. This opera holds a significant place in the development of the operatic art form, marking a crucial moment in the transition from Renaissance music to the Baroque period.

Here are some key points about “Euridice”:

Historical Context: “Euridice” was composed during the late Renaissance, a time of great artistic and cultural exploration in Italy. It is often considered the first true opera because it marked a departure from earlier forms of musical drama, such as madrigals and intermedio, by featuring a continuous and expressive vocal style that combined music and drama.

Libretto: The libretto for “Euridice” was written by Ottavio Rinuccini. It is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, a story that had been a popular subject in various art forms for centuries. Rinuccini’s libretto provided a narrative structure that allowed for the expression of deep emotions through music.

Music: The music for “Euridice” was composed by Jacopo Peri. It was scored for a small ensemble of instruments, which typically included a harpsichord or organ, a lute, and various string instruments. The vocal lines were characterized by a more lyrical and expressive style than earlier forms of vocal music, with a focus on conveying the emotions of the characters.

Performance: The first performance of “Euridice” took place in Florence, Italy, in 1600, as part of the festivities for a Medici wedding. It was a groundbreaking event in the history of music, as it marked the beginning of the operatic tradition. The performance was a collaborative effort between Peri, Rinuccini, and other musicians and performers of the time.

Influence: “Euridice” had a profound influence on the development of opera as an art form. It inspired other composers, such as Claudio Monteverdi, to further explore the possibilities of opera and to develop the genre into what we now recognize as Baroque opera.

Survival: While many early operas have been lost to history, “Euridice” has survived in various manuscript copies. This has allowed contemporary musicians and scholars to study and perform it, providing valuable insights into the origins of opera.

6 October 1903

The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.

In 1903 Canberra as the national capital did not exist. The legislative and administrative capital of the Commonwealth was Melbourne and so Melbourne hosted the first sitting of Australia’s highest court. At a meeting of the Federal Executive Council on 6 October 1903, the Governor-General, Lord Tennyson, signed the commissions appointing Chief Justice Griffith and Justices Barton and O’Connor to the Court.

The following day, in the Banco Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the first sitting of the High Court took place. In a solemn ceremony watched by a courtroom filled with distinguished guests, the Justices’ commissions were read, the judicial oaths administered and the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator JG Drake, presented his commission to the newly-sworn Court.

This painting depicts the Rt Hon Justice O’Connor taking the oath of office. Standing immediately before the Bench and administering the oath is the Registrar, Mr GH Castle and to his left is the Marshal, Mr W.D. Bingle. In the bottom left-hand corner is the Court Crier. At the Bar table from the bottom of the picture are: Senator Drake; New South Wales, Attorney-General Mr BR Wise; Mr Isaac Isaacs KC MP; Sir John Quick KC MP; Mr LE Groom MP representing the Queensland Bar in the absence of the Queensland Attorney-General; and Senator Dobson representing the Tasmanian Bar. Seated to the left of Senator Drake, and not shown in the painting, were: the Attorney-General of Victoria, Mr JM Davies MP; Mr Higgins KC MP and Mr Purves KC. Due to the tyranny of distance, there was no representative from Western Australia at the ceremony. On the upper right hand side, just to the right of the clock, one can see Lord Tennyson and to his left, Lady Tennyson. To the right of the Governor-General is the Prime Minister, the Hon Alfred Deakin MP. Following the swearing-in ceremonies, each of the senior legal representatives gave congratulating their honours on their appointment.

The first to speak was Senator Drake and it was an eloquent speech. According to a newspaper report in The Age on Wednesday, 7 October 1903:

[H]e said the country was to be congratulated on the establishment of a court which embodied the judicial power of the Commonwealth and would be the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution. With the Legislature, the Executive and the High Court, the Constitution in its great ideals was now complete. Time would evolve the union of heart and mind and purpose which made for true federation. The knowledge they had of the part that had been taken by their Honours in the past in guiding the aspirations of the people of Australia in the directions of the nobler conceptions of national life, the great care skill and pairs that had been devoted by them to framing the instrument of federation, were assurances that the court would zealously safeguard the Constitution and that the interpretation of its provisions would harmonise with the growth and development of national life. The decisions of the Court would bring life and spirit into the dry bones of the Constitution and the names of the first Justices of the Court would live in history with those of the illustrious expounders of American Constitutional law.

Senator Drake was followed in turn by Messrs Wise, Davies, Groom and Senator Dobson. Following the congratulatory speeches, each of the Justices responded. The Age reported:

The Chief Justice, in replying to the speeches, said… that the Court was entrusted with powers far reaching in their effect. It would be looked to for the solution to most difficult questions, to compose strifes between the States and possibly between the Commonwealth and the States. Upon its success or failure must depend to a great extend the future well being of the Commonwealth. His brother justices and he himself had before them to excite their emulation the great traditions of the British empire and the noble traditions of the Supreme Courts of the Australian States.

Justices Barton and O’Connor added their support to the Chief Justice’s words, each referring to the weighty responsibilities they now took upon themselves.

The ceremony was completed in less then 30 minutes and the Court adjourned until the next day to hear its first case, an application for special leave to appeal in the matter of D’Emden v Pedder. D’Emden v Pedder 1 CLR 91 involved an alleged breach of the Tasmanian Act which had led to the applicant, Mr D’Emden the Deputy Postmaster-General of Tasmania and a Commonwealth employee being fined one shilling by the Court of Petty Sessions in Hobart for failing to pay stamp duty of two pence on a receipt for his monthly salary – a decision later upheld by the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Full Court. The High Court granted special leave to appeal, and the applicant succeeded. The High Court held that the Commonwealth was immune from state stamp duties, as were the states from Commonwealth imposts, under the doctrine of sovereign intergovernmental immunities, and in the absence of express Constitutional provision that government powers were fettered.

6 October 1903

The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.

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The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and the ability to interpret the Constitution of Australia thereby powerfully shaping the development of federalism in Australia.

The High Court is mandated by Constitution section 71, which vests in it the judicial power of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Court was constituted by, and its first members were appointed under, the Judiciary Act 1903. It now operates under Constitution sections 71 to 75, the Judiciary Act, and the High Court of Australia Act 1979. It is composed of seven Justices: the Chief Justice of Australia, currently Susan Kiefel, and six other Justices. They are appointed by the Governor-General of Australia, on the advice of the federal government, and under the constitution must retire at age 70.

Since 1979, The High Court has been located in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The majority of its sittings are held in the High Court building, situated in the Parliamentary Triangle, overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. With an increasing utilisation of video links, sittings are also commonly held in the state capitals.

6 October 1987

Fiji becomes a republic.

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In October 06, 1987. Fiji finally became a republic. It is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean. The Fijian Islands were given independence as a Dominion after the British rule which ended in 1970. The Republic of Fiji, has removed Elizabeth II as head of state which was proclaimed on 6 October 1987 after two military coups. Following the election of the Indian-dominated government of Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra on 13 April 1987, Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka carried out the first of two military coups on 14 May 1987. At first, Rabuka expressed loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II. However, Governor-General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, uphold Fiji’s constitution, refused to swear in the new government headed by Rabuka, and so Rabuka declared a republic on 6 October 1987. This was accepted by the British government on 15 October 1987, and Ganilau resigned on the same day.