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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.

Rigoletto (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 14 April 2014
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, was just one of many radical updatings of Verdi’ ... (read more)

Editor's Diary 2013

Online Exclusives 14 February 2014
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 create an uncomplicatedly ... (read more)

The Cult of Wagner

ABR Arts 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 who travel all over the world to ... (read more)

The Frozen Sea

ABR Arts 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 be, when $600,000 of public funds are at stake (the six winners receive $80,000; the shortlisted a ... (read more)

A masked Verdi

June 2013, no. 352 26 May 2013
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 Valentina Carrasco told Time Out Melbourne that ‘it’s not a love story and we want to show that’. ... (read more)

Nixon in China

ABR Arts 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. ... (read more)

Editor’s Diary 2012

Online Exclusives 09 March 2013
January 5 Dmetri Kakmi has landed himself in hot water with his Age article on the disgraced cricket writer, Peter Roebuck, who committed suicide late last year because of his penchant for spanking African boys. The Pharisees are livid because Dmetri suggested that ‘The act of caning for sexual purposes is a two-way psycho-drama.’ Much more shocking, I thought, was Dmetri’s claim that Montg ... (read more)

The Rape of Lucrece

From the Editor’s Desk 05 February 2013
There is at least one bravura performance in Melbourne right now, and it warranted a much larger house than we saw last week (February 1), when Southbank Theatre was only half full. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of William Shakespeare’s long poem The Rape of Lucrece was first seen in Australia during the recent Sydney Festival, but it was premièred almost two years ago, at the Sw ... (read more)

Opera Australia's Melbourne season

From the Editor’s Desk 21 November 2012
 Opera Australia returns to Melbourne for a short season of three operas – one German, two Italian, all notable for their gory finales. The season opened on 14 November with Moffatt Oxenbould’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which has been entertaining us since 1998. Done well, Puccini’s ‘orientalist’ masterwork is riveting. The orchestration alone is worth the price o ... (read more)