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Alastair Jackson

Alastair Jackson

Alastair Jackson is a retired medical practitioner and has a long involvement with music, opera and the arts.

Alastair Jackson reviews 'The Singing Elms: The autobiography of Lauris Elms' by Lauris Elms

September 2001, no. 234 01 September 2001
Any book documenting the life and work of a famous artist invariably paints a picture of an era. This autobiography by the outstanding Australian contralto Lauris Elms is no exception. The postwar years in Australia saw the emergence of so many talented young singers that one can’t help but label that period a ‘golden age’. At a time when many of them, almost by necessity, departed for Europ ... (read more)

'Letter from London' by Alastair Jackson

ABR Arts 28 January 2020
Miss Julie ★★★★ Rosie Aldridge and Benedict Nelson in Miss Julie (photograph by Tom Howard/BBC) The name William Alwyn (1905–85) conjures up memories of that golden age of British cinema in the late 1940s and 1950s. He produced more than seventy film scores and dozens of works for orchestra and piano, as well as a healthy output of chamber music. In later years he produced a coupl ... (read more)

Alastair Jackson reviews 'The Opera Lover's Companion' by Charles Osborne

March 2005, no. 269 01 March 2005
Charles Osborne, who was born in Brisbane in 1927 and moved to London in 1953, is a prolific writer, broadcaster and opera critic. His latest offering, The Opera Lover’s Companion, sets out to guide its reader through 175 of the world’s most popular operas. Osborne correctly states that ‘the staples of the operatic diet today are the major works of five great composers – Mozart, Verdi, Wag ... (read more)

La Bohème and Die Zauberflöte (Royal Opera House)

ABR Arts 20 September 2017
September has seen the premières of two much-loved operas at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. A new production of Puccini’s La Bohème (★★★★1/2) and a revival of the David McVicar production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) (★★★★1/2). Both works featured in their leading female roles two of Australia’s most promising and prominent young sopranos. The new ... (read more)

Cunning Little Vixen (Victorian Opera)

ABR Arts 27 June 2017
Leoš Janáček was more than sixty years old when his operas finally began to attract attention. After the much delayed success of Jenůfa (1904), he went on to produce another four major works on which his operatic reputation became established. They included The Cunning Little Vixen, which premièred in the Moravian city of Brno in 1924. Like Katya Kabanova (1921) and The Makropulos Affair (192 ... (read more)

Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 15 May 2017
Such was the international success of this double bill that both works were performed together at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne in September 1893 – Pagliacci less than sixteen months after its world première in Milan. Impresario George Musgrove even secured the original Canio, tenor Fiorello Giraud, who had been chosen for the part by Ruggero Leoncavallo himself. The two works (known for ge ... (read more)

Don Carlos (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 25 May 2015
Passion and politics often go hand in hand – and never more so than in Don Carlos, arguably Verdi’s greatest opera. Based on the historically questionable play by Friedrich von Schiller, it is certainly the composer’s grandest and most ambitious work and the most demanding of his career. Because of church and state interventions as well as its original length, many revisions were required a ... (read more)