ABR Arts

Ned Kelly (Lost & Found Opera) ★★★

Humphrey Bower
Monday, 25 February 2019

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sadly, this might serve as a motto both for Ned Kelly himself and for Lost and Found Opera’s recent production of Luke Styles and Peter Goldsworthy’s interesting new opera. Personally, I’ve always found the national obsession with Kelly somewhat cringe-worthy ...

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Stan & Ollie ★★★

Richard Leathem
Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Comedy is a fickle business and a biopic on almost any successful comic act would surely include a section on the inevitable falling out of favour with public tastes. Laurel & Hardy were no exception, and Stan & Ollie, a BBC Films co-production, ostensibly focuses on the latter part of the duo’s career, when the film roles had dried up and a theatre tour of ...

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Heavenly (Queensland Symphony Orchestra) ★★★★★

Gillian Wills
Tuesday, 19 February 2019

In last year’s opening Maestro concert, the young Scandinavian conductor Daniel Blendulf made his début with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Alondra de la Parra, the orchestra’s chief conductor, was to have directed this year’s introductory concert, but as she was invited to replace the indisposed Franz Welser-Möst in Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) in Berlin ...

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Death of a Salesman (Queensland Theatre) ★★★★1/2

Bronwyn Lea
Monday, 18 February 2019

Miller’s intention in writing the play, he recalls in his autobiography, Timebends (1987), was not to put ‘a timebomb under capitalism’ – as one outraged woman accused on opening night – but rather to expose a ‘pseudo life that thought to touch the clouds by ...

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Karl V (Bayerische Staatsoper) ★★★★

Peter Tregear
Friday, 15 February 2019

The corpulent form of Henry VIII understandably dominates our own historical imagining of the turbulent first half of the sixteenth century. From the perspective of continental Europe, however, other figures loom just as large. Indeed, even the English Reformation has the actions of another monarch at its epicentre ...

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The Update - February 12, 2019

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 12 February 2019

In this fortnight's Update: ABR in Adelaide and Perth; Dominic Kelly on Melbourne University Press; the 2019 Stella Prize longlist announced; a tribute to distinguished poet Judith Rodriguez; the thirtieth Alliance Française French Film Festival; and giveaways to Capernaum and If Beale Street Could Talk ...

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Mary Stuart ★★★

Ian Dickson
Monday, 11 February 2019

The contest between Elizabeth Tudor and her cousin Mary Stuart, providing two such meaty roles, has proved irresistible fodder over the years for actresses on both stage and screen. On film, Katherine Hepburn and Florence Eldridge, Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson, and Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie ...

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At Eternity's Gate ★★★★

Jack Callil
Monday, 11 February 2019

A man sits on a chair in a field, hands clasped together. He runs into the open grass before collapsing onto the ground. Grasping a handful of earth, he holds it high above his head and lets it fall over his face. He sits up, draws a palm across his mouth, and looks at the sunset. He grins ...

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If Beale Street Could Talk ★★★★

Patricia Maunder
Friday, 08 February 2019

There is an inordinate weight of expectation on Barry Jenkins’s third feature, If Beale Street Could Talk. His previous film, Moonlight, won three Oscars in 2017, including Best Picture (after La La Land’s mistaken-award chaos), and was nominated in five other categories. Furthermore, this is the first English-language film ...

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The Flying Dutchman (Melbourne Opera) ★★★1/2

Barney Zwartz
Monday, 04 February 2019

It is easy to overlook – this side of The Ring and Tristan und Isolde – quite how radical Wagner’s first distinctly Wagnerian opera, The Flying Dutchman, really was. Written in Paris, where grand opera was utterly dominant, the opera broke with the form, style, and subject matter of grand opera and introduced Wagner’s own concepts ...

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