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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.

'Idomeneo: A secular Passion from Mozart' by Peter Rose

ABR Arts 07 July 2023
Inspired by everything he had learned and seen at the Mannheim Court in 1777–78, Mozart, aged twenty-four, was primed when he received a commission to write an opera for the 1781 Munich carnival. His years in Mannheim had been formative, exposed as he was to Elector Carl Theodor’s court, which rivalled that of Frederick II, king of Prussia, in discrimination and cultivation. The vehicle was t ... (read more)

'Siegfried (★★★ ½) and Götterdämmerung (★★★★★): A triumphant end to the Bendigo Ring' by Peter Rose

ABR Arts 05 April 2023
Of all the major operas, Siegfried had the most curious gestation. After completing Act II in 1857, Wagner put it aside for twelve years, ‘as if weary of Siegfried’s progress: this improbable hero’s search for love, fulfilment, individuation’, as I suggested in my review of Opera Australia’s production in 2016. During those years – in a matchless digression – Wagner wrote Tristan und ... (read more)

'Das Rheingold (★★★ ½) and Die Walküre (★★★★★): Wagner’s Ring begins in Bendigo' by Peter Rose

ABR Arts 27 March 2023
One hundred and seventy years after thousands of desperadoes and gold-cravers trekked to a place called Sandhurst, Wagnerites set off to Bendigo on Friday afternoon (in rather more orderly fashion it must be said, along the potholed Calder Freeway) for the opening night of Melbourne Opera’s first full production of Der Ring des Nibelungen  A complete Ring cycle, presented over a week, is a ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'Come Back in September: A literary education on West Sixty-Seventh Street, Manhattan' by Darryl Pinckney

April 2023, no. 452 27 March 2023
‘If only one knew what to remember or pretend to remember.’ Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights   I first went to New York City in January 1975. It was wonderfully dilapidated. There was a blizzard of sorts, but I had the light jacket I had bought in Athens. If it was cold, I didn’t notice. The morning I arrived, there was a particularly gory pack murder on the subway. I read abou ... (read more)

'Zenith of Life: A ringing start to MSO’s 2023 season' by Peter Rose

ABR Arts 28 February 2023
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has a new sponsor – Ryman Healthcare. Perhaps inevitably, the gala concert that opened MSO’s 2023 season on Friday evening was titled ‘Zenith of Life’. Goodness knows we all need more healthcare – not to mention sponsors. The concert began with a new work by Australian composer Mary Finsterer, who is MSO’s 2023 Composer in Residence. (For ABR Arts, Mic ... (read more)

'Michael Fabiano in Concert: The American tenor makes his Melbourne début' by Peter Rose

ABR Arts 13 February 2023
The acoustics in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre are rightly celebrated. The hall offers shrewd and attentive musicians a rare kind of sonic ambience. We heard two further demonstrations of this last week, when the English pianist Paul Lewis returned to MRC with two more of his Schubert recitals (six sonatas in all) – superlative playing of the greatest finesse. Lewis, ... (read more)

'Coronation Chicken', a new poem by Peter Rose

December 2022, no. 449 25 November 2022
‘It is tragic how few people ever “possess their souls” before they die … Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.’                                 Oscar Wilde, De Profundis   Spare me the black ties Spare me t ... (read more)

Editorial - The narrow road to influence

December 2022, no. 449 25 November 2022
Fifteen years ago, the new Rudd government announced the creation of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (PMLAs), to be administered by the Minister for the Arts. There were two prizes at the outset – fiction and non-fiction – each worth $100,000 – tax free to boot. Given the precarious incomes of most Australian writers, the prizes could not have been more welcome. Later, after some lobb ... (read more)

'The Requiem: Verdi’s humane, agnostic Requiem' by Peter Rose

ABR Arts 31 October 2022
When Alessandro Manzoni died on 22 May 1873, it was an event of major significance in Italy. The poet, novelist, and philosopher – an early proponent of Italian unification – was a hero of the Risorgimento. His novel I promessi sposi (1827), with its appeal to Italian patriotism, was (and remains) one of the most famous Italian novels. Giuseppe Verdi revered Manzoni and mourned him deeply. ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'Childhood' by Shannon Burns

October 2022, no. 447 27 September 2022
That the boy depicted in Shannon Burns’s nightmarish memoir survived to write it at the age of forty reflects no credit on society or on those around him. His persistence seems remarkable, given the world he entered. The boy is always referred to thus. Page after page, we learn the extent of his grievous upbringing. His parents – mismatched and poorly educated – stay together for the firs ... (read more)