Peter Rose

There were few opportunities to hear Handel’s opera Rodelinda, regina de’ Longobardi during the two centuries that followed its première in 1725. Although the opera was a great success at first (Handel said of the 1731 London revival, ‘it took’), it soon fell into obscurity, along with most of Handel’s many operas. A ...

Already, Anu Singh’s story is grimly familiar. Now free again, just thirty-one, she has entered the popular pantheon of malefactors. Her attractive face appears in the newspapers, taut with self-justification. There is talk of a documentary. Notoriety, even a kind of celebrity – that amoral nirvana – is hers.

If Singh’s deepest motivation f ...

Erik Jensen, a young journalist who now edits the Saturday Paper, has written an unusual memoir of his four years shadowing an artist – a difficult artist, it must be said (putting it euphemistically). Any new memoirist like Jensen will be interrogated umpteen times about his motivation. Such is the fascination with biography – fascination mixed with ambivalence – he will be asked about catharsis, whether the exercise was improving, enlightening, transmogrifying. In Tardises and tents the memoirist will become adept at distilling his intentions, whether they be financial or fraternal, vengeful or venerative. In Jensen’s case, this curiosity is likely to be magnified because of his intimacy with his subject and the marked decadence of the setting. This biographer’s rationale is as intriguing as that of his beleaguered subject.

... (read more)

Georges Bizet was twenty-four when he wrote Les Pêcheurs de perles, which was first performed at the Théâtre-Lyrique in Paris, in September 1863. This was twelve years before Bizet’s masterwork, Carmen, which premièred in the year of his death. The first opera was immediately popular. Berlioz reviewed it warmly. As it happens, this was Berlioz’ ...

sheila fitzpatrickSheila Fitzpatrick, a professor at the University of Sydney specialising in the history of modern Russia, is one of the world’s most influential Soviet historians. She is the author of two memoirs, My Father’s Daughter (2010) and A Spy ...

Andrea GoldsmithAndrea Goldsmith is a Melbourne-based novelist, reviewer and essayist. Her literary essays have appeared in Heat, Meanjin, Australian Book Review, Best Australian Essays, as well as numerou ...

John CoetzeeJ.M. Coetzee was born in South Africa and educated in South Africa and the United States. ...

Don Giovanni

by
11 August 2014

Enterprisingly, Opera Australia has enticed Scottish director David McVicar to create new productions of three Mozart operas, beginning with Don Giovanni, currently playing in Sydney (Figaro and Così will follow in 2015 and 2016, respectively). We saw the fifth of thirteen performances scheduled in this long opening season, and already the prod ...

Book reviewers and the editors of periodicals that commission them are used to sour assessments of their worth, but Professor John Dale’s article on The Conversation yesterday is in a class of its own.

What a clichéd, ungenerous and discreditab ...

Melbourne’s Indian summer of opera concludes with imported productions of two melodic masterpieces: Carmen (Opera Australia) and La Traviata (Victorian Opera).

The first is a revival of Francesca Zambello’s production for Covent Garden and the Norwegian National Opera, which came to Sydney in 2008. We are familiar with the New Yorker’s as ...