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Peter Rose

Peter Rose

In 2001 Peter Rose became the Editor of Australian Book Review. Previously he was a publisher at Oxford University Press throughout the 1990s. He has published several books of poetry, a family memoir, Rose Boys, and two novels, the most recent being Roddy Parr (Fourth Estate, 2010). He edited the 2007 and 2008 editions of The Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.). His newest book of poems is Rag (Gazebo Books, 2023). Peter Rose’s long experience in publishing and the literary world complements the magazine’s history of central involvement in Australian letters.

Three Tall Women (John Golden Theatre, New York)

ABR Arts 19 April 2018
It’s easy to forget how young Edward Albee was when he wrote his first plays, The Zoo Story, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance. Perhaps it was his choice of subjects and types that obscured the New Yorker’s precocity. In a way, Albee was always middle-aged – like his great characters (George, Tobias, Agnes), with their dashed hopes and jaded marriages. Think of Harry a ... (read more)

Editorial on ABR's 400th issue by Peter Rose

April 2018, no. 400 23 March 2018
A cynic once remarked that an editor needs two things: good grammar and a long memory. But we all know there’s a bit more to it than that. As we prepare to send the April issue to press – the four hundredth in the magazine’s second series – it occurs to me that an editor’s main function is to be a recogniser of expertise, discernment, literary flair – and, more importantly perhaps, cou ... (read more)

'Victory for Equality' by Peter Rose

December 2017, no. 397 14 November 2017
As expected, the postal survey has produced a strong majority in favour of marriage equality. 61.6 per cent of respondents have voted Yes. A postal survey that few people wanted – a sop to bigots, reactionaries, and the prime minister’s enemies in his party – has endorsed the accuracy of numerous opinion polls. After a divisive and hugely expensive survey, the people have delivered an emphat ... (read more)

'Attention, Please' by Peter Rose

October 2017, no. 395 27 September 2017
‘Then there was only one: myself.’ John Ashbery, ‘The History of My Life’ Having comprehensively disposed of that chestnut,shoved it on a skip,I have more questions to put to you than the Socraticin our grocer.First, I want you to step out of those non sequiturs, comelythough they are.Donate those loafers to the nearest indigent – with a songin your heart.Don’t pout. Look what it doe ... (read more)

Thaïs (MSO)

ABR Arts 28 August 2017
Equally welcome was the second opportunity to hear Massenet’s opera Thaïs (1894) within a matter of weeks. Once again it was a concert version – a ‘mid-season gala’ from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. ABR Arts wrote about Opera Australia’s recent concerts in the Sydney Town Hall and about the glamorous American Sybil Sanderson for whom Massenet conceived the luminous title-role. The ... (read more)

'The same-sex marriage debate' by Peter Rose

September 2017, no. 394 16 August 2017
For decades, centuries, millennia, homosexuals (here as elsewhere) have been insulted, blackmailed, beaten, incarcerated, and murdered. Even now, homophobia and violence towards homosexuals remain principal causes of suicide and despair in our society, especially among young males. In numerous countries, homosexual acts are illegal and punishable by death or imprisonment. Remember those two young ... (read more)

Thaïs (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 24 July 2017
Few singers make riveting autobiographers, it must be said, but one who should have penned her memoirs was Sybil Sanderson (1864–1903). She seems to have been too busy, on and off the stage. Hers was the kind of short, turbulent life that Puccini might have done something with – ‘the golden girl from Sacramento’. Daughter of a chief justice of the Supreme Court of California, trained in Pa ... (read more)

La Sonnambula (Victorian Opera)

ABR Arts 08 May 2017
Vincenzo Bellini – fresh from the success of I Capuleti e Montecchi in Venice – spent the July and August of 1830 on Lake Como biding his time. He was struck by the folk songs of the female workers at the textile mills as they made their way home. These idylls were to flavour his sixth and pastoral opera, La Sonnambula, ossia I due fidanzati Svizzeri. The handsome, fashionable composer – di ... (read more)

Maxim Vengerov (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 01 March 2017
Russian-born violinist Maxim Vengerov – still in his early forties and long recovered from a shoulder injury that stopped him from playing for five years – has been a welcome visitor to Australia since 1999. That year, in Melbourne, he gave a brilliant recital and also performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under Markus Stenz. Sixteen years later he retur ... (read more)

'Tis Pity (Victorian Opera)

ABR Arts 13 February 2017
Contemporary opera doesn’t come much more innovative, vibrant or entertaining than Victorian Opera’s ‘Tis Pity: An operatic fantasia on selling the skin and the teeth, which played at the Melbourne Recital Centre from 4–8 February. Indefatigable VO Artistic Director Richard Mills has composed and arranged the music as well as writing the reliably witty and irreverent score. He also conduct ... (read more)