ABR Arts

On the Origin of Art (MONA)

Christopher Menz
Monday, 28 November 2016

MONA is not afraid to stage exhibitions that tackle big ideas and ask difficult questions. The latest offering, On the Origin of Art, does just that. As David Walsh, MONA’s owner says, ‘Let’s see if those who have insights into evolution can tease out something about the nature of art.’ ...

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Porgy and Bess (Sydney Symphony Orchestra) ★★★★1/2

Michael Halliwell
Monday, 28 November 2016

If any work can be dubbed as ‘The Great American Opera’, it is Gershwin’s genre-transgressing masterpiece, Porgy and Bess. It was based on white Southern writer DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy (1925), as well as on his highly successful stage adaptation of the novel which had been a hit in ...

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Siegfried (Opera Australia) ★★★★1/2

Peter Rose
Monday, 28 November 2016

We know that Siegfried – third opera in Der Ring des Nibelungen – had a curious gestation. Wagner put it aside after writing Act II, as if weary of Siegfried’s progress: this improbable hero’s search for love, fulfilment, individuation. For twelve years Wagner was diverted by love of a ...

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Die Walküre (Opera Australia) ★★★★1/2

Peter Rose
Thursday, 24 November 2016

Die Walküre, for Arts Update, is the most successful work in Neil Armfield’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, now well underway at Arts Centre Melbourne. And this is fitting, Die Walküre being, for some us, the greatest of operas, with a first act of singular perfection, some of the ...

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Das Rheingold (Opera Australia) ★★★

Peter Rose
Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Der Ring des Nibelungen returns to Melbourne three years after its première here. Those three cycles sold out quickly; these ones haven’t, understandably, but the State Theatre seemed pretty full on opening night. Some alterations have been made, but the production is largely intact ...

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Freeze Frame Opera Launch ★★★★

Rosalind Appleby
Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Opera is dead, scaremongers have been saying for years. Yet Perth is witnessing an operatic renaissance, and recently a company was launched, the third new one in six years. The emergence of these organic, grassroots organisations is all the more remarkable given the devastation inflicted on ...

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Uncle Vanya (Red Stitch Theatre) ★★★

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 21 November 2016

When is it useful for an Australian production of Chekhov to use Russian accents? What does it do to the music of Chekhov, the rhythm and flow of his brisk conversations and long grandiose speeches? And what is the symbolism of such a decision? ...

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Rarely has Arts Update sensed such anticipation in a city as it did before Saturday evening’s performance of highlights from Tristan und Isolde in Hobart. Throughout the day – much of it spent at MONA, admiring the new exhibition, On the Origin of Art – we kept meeting operaphiles from ...

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The Update - November 15, 2016

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Wagner's Ring, Mona Brand Award, Sydney Writers’ Festival’s new Artistic Director, Piers Lane, and a film giveaway from Sony PIctures

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A Survey of Classical Music Boxed Sets (Universal Music)

Michael Shmith
Monday, 14 November 2016

Part of the enduring attraction of CDs, is that the format is still the nonpareil of repertoire and artistry for dedicated collectors. The boxed set, which is of course not a new idea (think of Karajan’s 1960s set of Beethoven symphonies for Deutsche Grammophon), is ideally suited to CD, not just for ...

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