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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.

Peter Rose reviews 'My Life As Me: A memoir' by Barry Humphries

December 2002-January 2003, no. 247 01 December 2002
When Barry Humphries published his first volume of autobiography, many readers were left wanting ‘More, please’ – avid as gladdie-waving victims during one of his shows; voracious as the greedy polymath himself. After all, he had opened that comic triumph with a credible confession: ‘I always wanted more. I never had enough milk or money or socks or sex or holidays or first editions or sol ... (read more)

Rigoletto and Così Fan Tutte (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 16 May 2019
Dr Johnson famously defined opera as ‘an exotic and irrational entertainment’, and so it proved on the opening night of Opera Australia’s autumn season – at least until the curtain went up. Lights down, photography admonition underway, conductor due any moment, we became aware of a strange incident in the gloom, as a solitary figure – elderly, well-dressed, seated behind the conductor, c ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'On David Malouf: Writers on Writers' by Nam Le

May 2019, no. 411 30 April 2019
For more than a decade the world has waited, patiently or disbelievingly, for a second book from Nam Le, author of The Boat (2008), a collection of seven tales that won the young Australian author acclaim throughout the world. Finally, it has arrived. A book-length essay running to about 15,000 words, it may not be what the ravenous world had in mind, but it is seriously interesting – interestin ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis: A Literary Life' by Jacqueline Kent

August 2001, no. 233 01 August 2001
In September 2018, NewSouth published a new edition of A Certain Style. On a chilly evening in 1980, a stylish woman in her early seventies, wheezing slightly from a lifetime’s cigarettes, climbed a staircase just beneath the Harbour Bridge, entered a room full of book editors – young women mostly, university-educated, making their way in a newly feminised industry – and proceeded, in her c ... (read more)

Die Walküre, Act One (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 27 August 2018
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 from last week’s sensational WASO Tristan und Isolde in Perth, the pleasures of concert performanc ... (read more)

Tristan und Isolde (West Australian Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 20 August 2018
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 changed his mind about Wagner’s pre-eminence (‘Other musicians don’t count compared to Wagner’). It was Wagner’s decadence ... (read more)

Lucia di Lammermoor and Aida (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 30 July 2018
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: one long table, two chairs, and a row of otiose sticks which are deployed with something like religious gravity. Every gesture, every ... (read more)

Cendrillon, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Tosca (Metropolitan Opera)

ABR Arts 02 May 2018
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 by Henri Caïn) contains much enchanting music and ... (read more)

Così fan tutte (Metropolitan Opera)

ABR Arts 26 April 2018
‘When you’re young, you believe everything,’ Jonas Kaufmann muses in Thomas Voigt’s biographical study, In Conversation with Jonas Kaufmann (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2017). The German tenor, a frequent Ferrando at the start of his career, went on: ‘And now imagine: two couples who live next door to each other go off on holiday together and share everything. And at some stage the point ... (read more)

Three Tall Women (John Golden Theatre, New York)

ABR Arts 19 April 2018
It’s easy to forget how young Edward Albee was when he wrote his first plays, The Zoo Story, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance. Perhaps it was his choice of subjects and types that obscured the New Yorker’s precocity. In a way, Albee was always middle-aged – like his great characters (George, Tobias, Agnes), with their dashed hopes and jaded marriages. Think of Harry a ... (read more)