Notwithstanding the riches that follow in the final two acts (Wotan’s Farewell, the Ride of the Valkyries, the Todesverkündigung), Act One of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre offers perhaps the greatest hour of music in German opera. It is ideal for discrete, unstaged performances, and as we know ...... (read more)
Nietzsche was in no doubt: Wagner owed his success to his innate sensuality. The philosopher – most influential of the Wagnerites – began to have reservations about his hero in the mid-1870s, around the time of the first Bayreuth Festival (1876), though he never ...... (read more)
John Doyle’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s 1837 opera dates back to 2012 – a co-production with La Fenice and Houston. It is a rather self-important production – very dour and Presbyterian. The dark cloudage never parts. There is a radical want of props ...... (read more)
We invited some writers, film critics, and film professionals to nominate their favourite film – not The Greatest Film Ever Sold, but one that matters to them personally.... (read more)
ABR Arts’s long day’s journey into operatic night continued with three familiar productions, one of them new to the Metropolitan Opera. Jules Massenet’s fifteenth opera (April 24) is largely unknown to modern audiences, but its neglect is a mystery, for this version of Charles Perrault’s 1697 fairy tale (based on a libretto ...... (read more)
Peter Rose spoke to Beejay Silcox, recipient of Australian Book Review Fortieth Birthday Fellowship, about developments at ABR since the revival of the magazine's second series in 1978. Beejay also discusses her Fellowship essay, 'Defying ...
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 ...... (read more)
Rainbows and bad losers
The mood outside the State Library of Victoria on 15 November 2017 was exultant – once the precarious line from Canberra had been restored and the ABS’s expatiatory chief statistician, David Kalisch, finally announced that ...
Australian Book Review – like millions of Australians and thousands of organisations – is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage. We welcome the endorsement of marriage equality by the overwhelming majority of Australians in the postal survey.... (read more)