Peter Rose

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 ...

Melbourne’s Lyric Opera, the smallest of its four opera companies, continues to offer interesting repertoire of a kind we would otherwise be unlikely to see. May 2 brought the opening performance of Aaron Copland’s opera The Tender Land. After the shall we say broad humour of Simon Phillips’s production of Rossini’s 1 ...

After two hapless ventures into the world of Verdi in 2013 (his bicentenary year), Opera Australia has given us an entertaining new production of Rigoletto – one that will probably stay in the company’s repertoire for as long as its lucrative predecessor.

Elijah Moshinsky’s slick production (1991), which leaned on Fellini’s La Dolce Vita

After two hapless ventures into the world of Verdi in 2013 (his bicentenary year), Opera Australia has given us an entertaining new production of Rigoletto – one that will probably stay in the company’s repertoire for as long as its lucrative predecessor.

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January 8

Read Henry James’s early tale ‘Poor Richard’. When the eponymous dissolute learns of Gertrude’s unsavoury engagement to Major Luttrel, he descends on her house, determined to end it. Finding her wan and failing, he condemns her attachment to the venal Luttrel: ‘You have suited – God knows what! – your despair, your desolation.’

Did James ever cr ...

The cult of Wagner

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20 November 2013

So here we are, talking about the so-called Cult of Wagner. No wonder some people recoil from the German composer, given such terminology. It’s not a new coinage of course, but it’s a fairly dubious one. One old acquaintance of mine, on hearing about this event, sent me an email demanding to know: ‘You are not besotted with it, are you??? Are you one of those ...

The Frozen Sea

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20 August 2013

There was a real sense of occasion at the State Library of Queensland on 15 August when Tony Burke (Minister for the Arts and for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs, and Citizenship) – representing Kevin Rudd – announced the winners of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Well there might ...

Opera Australia’s spring season in Melbourne opened with two masterpieces by Verdi in his bicentennial year. It was a decidedly rocky pairing.

La Fura dels Baus’s production of Un Ballo in Maschera was first seen in Sydney in January. La Fura is open about its intentions. Assistant director Valenti ...

Nixon in China

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16 May 2013

There was a real buzz in the foyer of Her Majesty’s last night before the Victorian Opera’s latest offering. At last Melbourne was seeing John Adams’s masterly opera Nixon in China, first performed in Houston twenty-six years ago and later seen in Adelaide, during the 1992 Festival.

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Opera Australia’s spring season, after an impressive autumn one (with the well-received Lucia, Butterfly, and Salome), opens with two masterpieces by Verdi in his bicentennial year. It is a decidedly rocky pairing.

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