ABR Arts

Artaserse (Pinchgut Opera) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Friday, 30 November 2018

Géraud Corbiau’s rather schlocky biopic, Farinelli (1994) covers an important phase in the career of this most celebrated singer of the early eighteenth century. The establishment of the Opera of the Nobility in the 1730s, with Niccolò Porpora as the main composer, was a direct challenge to Handel’s ...

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Daniel Barenboim, then primarily a pianist, last visited Sydney in 1970. He and his wife, Jacqueline du Pré, performed the complete piano and cello sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven at the Sydney Town Hall. They also visited the site of the Sydney Opera house, which opened three years later ...

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Floating in the dawn skies above the Yarra Valley on November 22, Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale had her first outing in Victoria. It allowed early risers in the vicinity a brief glimpse of the gas-filled aerial sculpture, a work of art that is rarely seen and that, due to its pendulous appendages and $350,00 price-tag ...

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Lean on Pete ★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 26 November 2018

Charley (Charlie Plummer), the vulnerable teenage protagonist of Lean On Pete, is always on the move. We first see him jogging at dawn, past suburban streets and out towards to the local racecourse. The morning light is benevolent; the camera keeps a smooth distance: all is promise and potential in Charley’s life, or should be...

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Peterloo ★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

What I’ve come to expect of a new Mike Leigh film is, above all, the unexpected. His first feature, Bleak Moments (1971), of which there were quite a few in that contemporary study of urban, lower-middle class life, made him a potent force in British film. Think of Naked (1993) and Secrets & Lies (1996) ...

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Giselle (Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company) ★★★★★

Lee Christofis
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

What a luxury it is to have seen the ballet company of La Scala, Milan, on its first visit to Australia. An ensemble of sixty-six dancers, it has become, under the artistic direction of Frédéric Olivieri, a prized instrument of Italian culture. Established in 1788, it engaged with a new wave of contemporary choreographers ...

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The Update - November 20, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

In this fortnight's Update: Giveaways to the Sydney Opera House and the Musuem of Contemporary Art gallery, Alison Lester wins the $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Literature, SSO’s Music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, MCA's David Goldblatt exhibition, Daniel Barenboim returns to Australia to conduct the Staatskapelle Berlin, Three $100,000 Fellowships for Australian women artists, and The Clock comes to Australia ...

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Twelfth Night (Melbourne Theatre Company) ★★★★

Tim Byrne
Monday, 19 November 2018

Twelfth Night was probably composed in 1601, and certainly no later than 1602. Hamlet has a more doubtful provenance, possibly written before 1601 but also certainly no later than 1602. It is not inconceivable that Shakespeare worked on them simultaneously, or back to back ...

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Hedda (Queensland Theatre Company) ★★★★

Maggie Haining
Monday, 19 November 2018

One of the quandaries facing contemporary adaptations of classics is the risk of the story being lost in a translation, which can isolate the work from the original culture and text. Melissa Bubnic’s reimagining of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (which had itsd première in Denmark in 18769) runs no such risk ...

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The Dance of Death (Belvoir St Theatre) ★★★★

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 15 November 2018

After staggering out of a performance of The Dance of Death, August Strindberg’s turbulent portrayal of a marriage, one fervently hopes Tolstoy was right and that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. No other theatrical couple – not Edward Albee’s George and Martha, not Eugene O’Neill’s James and ...

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