ABR Arts

Stuart Skelton (Melbourne Recital Centre) ★★★

Michael Shmith
Monday, 06 August 2018
Stuart Skelton, a fine performer and strong, sensitive singer, is by nature and profession a Heldentenor. He is indeed heroic, not only in voice but in how he carries himself on stage. His Wagnerian heroes – Parsifal, Tristan, Lohengrin and Siegmund in Die Walküre – emerge as ... ... (read more)

Strange Times for Artistic Practice

Peter Tregear
Friday, 03 August 2018

We live in strange days. Matters once unlikely to raise a flicker of public criticism can now quickly became raging bushfires of self-righteous anger. Such is the accelerant power of social media. Our public discourse is, however, rarely the better for it. Subtlety and nuance are all too frequently sacrificed on the altar of a supposed moral clarity that, among othe ...

Barrie Kosky’s production of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the famous Wagner Festival in Bayreuth (Germany) is one of the supreme artistic peaks of my long operatic-life. It had its première last year, in the first of five consecutive annual seasons; this year ... ... (read more)

Kites of Tianjin (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Wednesday, 01 August 2018
The Kites of Tianjin was the fifth and final set of performances by composer and multi-instrumentalist Adam Simmons in his series The Usefulness of Art, inaugurated back in March 2017 with Concerto for Piano and Toy Band. It has proven to be an ambitious cycle ... ... (read more)

The Update - July 31, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 31 July 2018

In this fortnight's Update: The Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 2019 season, the first female director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, the full MWF program is released, the new Carlton Readings store, the Melbourne Art Fair, Australian films at the Venice International Film Awards, Ranald Macdonald on the ABC, and some giveaways ...

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John Doyle’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s 1837 opera dates back to 2012 – a co-production with La Fenice and Houston. It is a rather self-important production – very dour and Presbyterian. The dark cloudage never parts. There is a radical want of props ...

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The Wife (Icon Film Distribution) ★★★★

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 30 July 2018

Björn Runge’s The Wife features several claustrophobic and tense scenes that take place in the back of a limousine driving Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) and her novelist husband Joe (Jonathan Pryce) through the snowy streets of Stockholm, where Joe is accepting the Nobel Prize in ...

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Creditors (State Theatre Company) ★★★

Ben Brooker
Thursday, 26 July 2018

August Strindberg thought Creditors, which premièred in its original Swedish in Copenhagen in 1889, his ‘most mature work’. Sitting alongside the more often performed The Father (1890) and Miss Julie (1889) in the playwright’s middle, ultra-naturalistic period, the play is an attempt to ...

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John Russell (1858–1930) is an artist who has largely fallen through the cracks of art history. Neither Australian enough to be incorporated into the history of Australian art, nor French enough to be recognised as a major player in histories of French art, Russell has been consistently overlooked – until now.

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Julius Caesar (Bell Shakespeare Company) ★★★

Peter Craven
Monday, 23 July 2018

Julius Caesar, first performed in 1599, dates from the period when Shakespeare was leading up to Hamlet, and its central figure Brutus, the conscientious assassin, is a bit of a rough draft for the introspective side of the Prince of Denmark, whereas Richard II, four years earlier ...

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