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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 'Yellow Notebook: Diaries, Volume I, 1978–1987' by Helen Garner

December 2019, no. 417 22 November 2019
‘Several new perceptions of the unfortunate creature that I am have dawned upon me consolingly.’ Franz Kafka, 7 January 1911   Anyone who keeps a diary day in, day out for decades knows why Helen Garner, a few years ago, destroyed her early ones, deeming them boring and self-obsessed. Incineration has a long, proud history: think of Henry James, late in life, at his incinerator in ... (read more)

Madama Butterfly (State Opera South Australia)

ABR Arts 18 November 2019
With certain artists – the luminaries, the abiders – it’s tempting to assign a kind of inevitability to their oeuvres. The musicals of Cole Porter, the satires of Jane Austen, the exiguous poems of T.S. Eliot have a kind of perfection that make them seem nonchalant. But here we run the risk of overlooking the sheer chanciness of most artistic careers – not to mention the false starts and t ... (read more)

Nina Stemme Returns (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 06 November 2019
Three years ago, almost to the day, the great Swedish soprano Nina Stemme made her Australian début – in Hobart, a little unexpectedly. Joining her was Stuart Skelton, with whom she had just performed in Mariusz Treliński’s production of Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera – a sombre, martial, digital creation that divided critics and audiences alike (‘overdetermined darkness an ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'Ransom' by David Malouf

May 2009, no. 311 01 May 2009
In David Malouf’s second and perhaps most celebrated novel, An Imaginary Life (1978), of which this new novella is so reminiscent, the Roman poet Ovid is exiled to a primitive village named Tomis. Ovid, ‘called Naso because of the nose’, has been banished due to his unspoken affronts. In Tomis, Ovid, doomed and apart, senses that he must acquire in simplicity a new kind of wisdom: Must it ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'The Henson Case' by David Marr

November 2008, no. 306 01 November 2008
Panic, David Marr has stated since the publication of this book, is what he writes about: why people panic, what they panic about, and how they express it. Clearly, with his investigative skills and his access to different worlds, Marr was the ideal person to examine the so-called Henson affair. The story itself is by now depressingly familiar, but few if any saw it coming. Bill Henson, a Melbour ... (read more)

Andrea Chénier (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 19 August 2019
A few weeks after that memorable Peter Grimes from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney and Melbourne audiences were treated to another concert version of an opera, this time a very different and much less cerebral work: Umberto Giordano’s sole enduring success, Andrea Chénier (if we discount the tilting Fedora, occasionally mounted for a famous soprano à la Callas or Freni). Giordano’s fo ... (read more)

Nicole Car, Étienne Dupuis and Jayson Gillham (Melbourne Recital Centre)

ABR Arts 12 August 2019
Melburnians haven’t heard Nicole Car since 2014, when she was a luminous Tatiana in Kasper Holten’s production of Eugene Onegin. Much has happened to the Melbourne-born  lyric soprano since then, primarily in Sydney at first with several big Mozart and Verdi roles (Pamina, Fiordiligi, Violetta, Luisa Miller), but now, increasingly, overseas. At thirty-three, Car has already sung major rol ... (read more)

Peter Grimes (Sydney Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 30 July 2019
Difficult it is to imagine the full impact Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes had on the opening-night audience at Sadler’s Wells Theatre on 7 June 1945, just a few weeks after the conclusion of World War II. Little wonder that the audience, possibly expecting something cheerier from the prodigal wunderkind, sat there in silence for minutes after that subtlest of endings. Joan Cross, direct ... (read more)

Anna Bolena (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 08 July 2019
Opera Australia – in its present expansionary phase – has hitched its wagon to a digital star in the form of a series of seven-metre-high LED screens. The future moves about on a busy automation system, thus creating a series of new dramatic spaces. Interviewed in the July 2019 issue of Opera magazine, Lyndon Terracini – now in his tenth year as artistic director – extolled the new technol ... (read more)

Get Adam and Eve out of Paradise

Book Talk 06 June 2019
Few people escape from publishing. Most people, once they get a foot in the door, stay put. Mary-Kay Wilmers has been working in the industry for more than fifty years. She began at Faber & Faber when the company was still dominated by ‘GLP’ (the ‘Greatest Living Poet’ himself, T.S. Eliot, much mentioned in Toby Faber’s epistolary history of Faber). Wilmers, co-founder of the London ... (read more)