Arts – Commentary

January 5

We have lost our Hermia, so Sally-Anne Russell comes round to sing for me. She has fished out Benjamin Britten’s Charm of Lullabies and her score of The Rape of Lucretia. We work on both, but particularly on the aria in which poor Lucretia threads together gorgeous lilies into a funeral wreath, her response to what the boastful, ghastly Tarquinius has done to her. Sally-Anne has not sung the opera for twenty-five years, but it sounds as though she’s fresh from recording it, so inside the role is she, so beautiful and rich her voice. I phone Neil Armfield. We have found our Hermia.

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As Victoria emerges from its long lockdown, cinemas, among the last businesses to reopen under the roadmap to recovery, are finally open to the public again. But how will they operate in a Covid-normal world? Have we learnt to live without them?

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Letter from London

by
28 January 2020

The name William Alwyn (1905–85) conjures up memories of that golden age of British cinema in the late 1940s and 1950s. He produced more than seventy film scores and dozens of works for orchestra and piano, as well as a healthy output of chamber music. In later years he produced a couple of operas, only one of which attracted attention.

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The trouble with musical longevity as it affects conductors, especially ones we see often, is they are always the age we expect them to be as against the age they once were. From the vantage point of the present, therefore, it is tempting to regard Sir Andrew Davis as having always been the person he is now; a sort of reverse-Peter Pan whose youth we are incapable of imagining.

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ABR shares many Australians’ concerns about the health and viability of the ABC. The threats are myriad and sustained. Funding cuts, political interference, and frequent taunts from News Corp have weakened the organisation. Recently, the Liberal Party’s Federal Council voted to privatise the organisation. This would surely spell the beginning of the end for the national broadcaster. We take things for granted in the Lucky Country, but can we really be sure that the ABC will be around in 2028 to celebrate its centenary – searching, unfettered, well resourced? More and more people think not and have begun to lobby government. ABR supports them wholeheartedly. Meanwhile, one hundred writers, artists, commentators, and public figures have signed our Open Letter in support of the ABC. ... (read more)

The Marvel film Black Panther has currently earned more than US$1.3 billion dollars at the box office worldwide since its release on 13 February 2018, which places it high among the most financially successful films of all time. Such an achievement isn’t necessarily indicative of quality – the Fast and the Furious and Minions ...

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Following a concerted media and legal campaign, the Namatjira Legacy Trust has succeeded in securing the ownership of the copyright of Albert Namatjira following a recent resolution of claims made by the Trust against the long-time copyright owner Legend Press ...

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There was a time not that long ago when the arts pages of quality daily newspapers were regarded as essential reading as much for those inside the arts industry as outside it. Just as these newspapers were themselves papers of record, their arts pages existed primarily to record and sustain ...

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You see them driving from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs, the majestic ghost white river gums depicted so faithfully in the paintings of Albert Namatjira. You would think you were looking at a Namatjira painting. And then there is the vista of the craggy hills of the West McDonnell ...

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Letter from Paris

by
16 February 2017

The idea of visiting Paris in January to see six exhibitions and two repeats in five days may seem excessive to some people, but Paris’s museum offerings this northern winter were so impressive it was impossible to resist. At Frank Gehry’s lofty Fondation Louis Vuitton, hordes lined up ...

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