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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.

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)

L'amante anglaise by Marguerite Duras (La Mama Theatre and Fortyfivedownstairs)

ABR Arts 13 February 2017
Little wonder that fortyfivedownstairs is encoring Marguerite Duras’s brilliantly dialectical play L’amante anglaise, first presented in this production at La Mama Theatre in 2014, directed by Laurence Strangio. Duras wrote it first as a novella fifty years ago; the stage adaptation followed in 1968. Jillian Murray and Robert Meldrum each play two roles, Murray in her award-winning role a ... (read more)

Der Ring des Nibelungen

January–February 2017, no. 388 20 December 2016
Der Ring des Nibelungen, presented by Opera Australia three years after its première in Melbourne, was a great success, mostly because of the excellence of the singing. Several local singers retained their principal roles, but we had a new Siegmund, Wotan, Loge, Sieglinde, and Brünnhilde, all but the first from overseas. How refreshing to attend a Ring without a single dud individual performance ... (read more)

Götterdämmerung (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 01 December 2016
After the exaltation of the closing duet in Siegfried (memorably sung by Stefan Vinke and Lise Lindstrom), we had to wait until the second part of the Prologue to Götterdämmerung before meeting the post-coital lovers. First we had the Norns (Tania Ferris, Jacqueline Dark, Anna-Louise Cole), daughters of Erda, weavers of the rope of fate on which the world’s future will depend. Back on the roc ... (read more)

Siegfried (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 28 November 2016
We know that Siegfried – third opera in Der Ring des Nibelungen – had a curious gestation. Wagner put it aside after writing Act II, as if weary of Siegfried’s progress: this improbable hero’s search for love, fulfilment, individuation. For twelve years Wagner was diverted by love of a metaphysical kind (Tristan und Isolde, 1865) and by a rich comic social panoply, (Die Meistersinger von N ... (read more)

Die Walküre (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 24 November 2016
Die Walküre, for Arts Update, is the most successful work in Neil Armfield’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, now well underway at Arts Centre Melbourne. And this is fitting, Die Walküre being, for some us, the greatest of operas, with a first act of singular perfection, some of the most beautiful passages Wagner ever wrote, and five compelling individual principal roles. Musically, it ... (read more)

Das Rheingold (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 23 November 2016
Der Ring des Nibelungen returns to Melbourne three years after its première here. Those three cycles sold out quickly; these ones haven’t, understandably, but the State Theatre seemed pretty full on opening night. Some alterations have been made, but the production is largely intact. Several local singers retain their principal roles, but we have a new Siegmund, Wotan, Loge, Sieglinde, and Brü ... (read more)

Tristan und Isolde (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 21 November 2016
Rarely has Arts Update sensed such anticipation in a city as it did before Saturday evening’s performance of highlights from Tristan und Isolde in Hobart. Throughout the day – much of it spent at MONA, admiring the new exhibition, On the Origin of Art – we kept meeting operaphiles from the mainland who were keen to find out how the TSO had managed to lure Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton to Ho ... (read more)

La Bohème and Don Giovanni (Metropolitan Opera)

ABR Arts 13 October 2016
Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème (★★★1/2) has been delighting audiences (and enriching the company) since its première in 1981. Many of the world’s greatest singers have appeared in it:- since the first cast, which included Teresa Stratas, José Carreras, Renata Scotto, and James Morris (still with the company today). Even now, Met audiences applaud when the curt ... (read more)