ABR Arts

The Return of Ulysses (Pinchgut Opera) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Friday, 14 June 2019

Some of the fascinating, indeed, frustrating aspects of the operas of Claudio Monteverdi include the lack of certainty in regard to both the authenticity of the various musical sources that have survived, and to exactly how these operas were performed, factors that influence performance choices made today ...

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2019 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Wednesday, 12 June 2019

In 1959, Miles Davis entered Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York, with his sextet, and recorded what many consider to be the greatest jazz album of all time: Kind of Blue. It was an inspired idea to program a performance of this music, in celebration of the album’s sixtieth anniversary, at the twenty-second Melbourne International Jazz Festival ...

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Monet: Impression Sunrise (National Gallery of Australia)

Keren Rosa Hammerschlag
Wednesday, 12 June 2019

What makes this Monet exhibition different from any other Monet exhibition? This was the question at the forefront of my mind as I approached the National Gallery of Art’s exhibition Monet: Impressionism Sunrise. As one would expect, it is an exhibition about painting – colour, brushstroke, the rendering of light and dark by artists who ...

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The Update - June 4, 2019

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 04 June 2019

In this fortnight's Update: Opera Australia announces digital Ring Cycle; Paul Kildea named new Artistic Director of Musica Viva; ABR's new column, Epiphany; Fogarty Literary Award winner announced; Griffith Review names winners of The Novella Project; the ABR FAN poll; and giveaways!

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Burrbgaja Yalirra (Marrugeku) ★★★★

Amelia Zhou
Monday, 03 June 2019

‘When I see a flower, it reminds me of who I am,’ says poet and performer Edwin Lee Mulligan, staring at the audience. ‘Others can stop my dignity but can’t stop my bloom.’ So begins Ngarlimbah, the first performance in a triple bill of solo works by Marrugeku, an Indigenous dance company based in Sydney and Broome ...

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‘Terrible rage.’ It starts as a question; rhetorical, perhaps. ‘Terrible rage.’ It grows into a statement of fact, an undeniable proof. ‘Terrible rage. Terrible rage. Terrible rage.’ Eventually – in a slow but frightening crescendo, followed by an equally slow but heart-wrenchingly pathetic decrescendo ...

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Rocketman ★★

Patrick Boyle
Tuesday, 28 May 2019

With the release of Rocketman, Dexter Fletcher’s free-wheeling, surrealist musical saluting Sir Elton Hercules John, it’s clear the rock-and-roll biopic Hollywood’s new idée fixe. The film follows the release of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), the award-winning celebration of Freddie Mercury ...

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Il Viaggio a Reims (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Elizabeth Kertesz
Monday, 27 May 2019

On 24 May 2019, an excited Melbourne audience witnessed a night of spectacular entertainment and magnificent music in the Australian première of Rossini’s 1825 opera Il Viaggio a Reims, exuberantly reimagined by Damiano Michieletto. Il Viaggio is an opera with multiple backstories. It was Rossini’s first commission ...

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Tessa Ensler is a criminal lawyer in her thirties. Alone on a minimalist stage, in a black suit and a crisp white shirt, she begins by narrating in the present tense a court drama about an unspecified crime. Narcissistically, she considers herself the star rather than the defendant whom she represents ...

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Moby-Dick ★★★★ and Billy Budd ★★★★

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 23 May 2019

Given his towering position in the pantheon of American authors, it is surprising that the bicentenary year of the birth of Herman Melville, born on 1 August 1819 in New York, is passing with such little fanfare. However, this reviewer recently managed to catch performances of opera versions of his two most famous creations ...

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