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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.

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)

Tristan und Isolde (Metropolitan Opera)

ABR Arts 12 October 2016
‘Throughout the whole duration of the Festival, food forms the chief interest of the public; the artistic representations take a secondary place. Cutlets, baked potatoes, omelettes – all are discussed much more eagerly than Wagner’s music.’ It was hard not to think of Tchaikovsky’s words, written during the first Bayreuth Festival (1876), at the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera ... (read more)

La Bohème and The Pearlfishers (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 09 May 2016
Melbourne's long Indian summer coincided with Opera Australia's 2016 autumn season. It began with a revival of La Bohème (★★★) and the new production of The Pearlfishers (★★★★1/2) (first seen in Sydney earlier this year). The much-anticipated Luisa Miller with Nicole Car (which I reviewed in February 2016) will follow next week. Giacomo Puccini does not seem to have been ... (read more)

Lucia di Lammermoor (Victorian Opera) and Turandot (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 14 April 2016
The speed with which Gaetano Donizetti wrote his operas almost defies belief, especially in our more leisurely age of composition. Don Pasquale (1843), as we know, was written in eleven days. When Donizetti, newly contracted to Teatro San Carlo, fetched up in Naples in May 1835, he had already written fifty operas. He was thirty-seven years old. Recent triumphs included Anna Bolena (1830), L'elisi ... (read more)