ABR Arts

Looking For Grace ★★★

Eloise Ross
Thursday, 21 January 2016

As with many fine Australian films, Looking For Grace opens with arid, spectacular landscape. Aerial shots of remote two-lane highways highlight expanses of blonde dirt, granite, and shrubbery across the Western Australian wheat belt, where the film was shot on location. These colours are ...

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The Pearlfishers ★★★1/2

Michael Halliwell
Monday, 18 January 2016

'One-hit' operas litter the repertoire. One thinks of the aria 'Ebben? Ne andrò lontana', which every soprano worth her salt has sung in concert and many have recorded. The aria was the thread running through the cult move, Diva (1981), sung in a concert scene in the film by the soprano ...

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Winterreise (Sydney Festival) ★★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Friday, 08 January 2016

The protagonist of Thomas Mann's great novel, The Magic Mountain (1924), Hans Castorp, goes into battle, and almost certainly his death, at the end of the book singing 'Der Lindenbaum' from Schubert's song cycle, Winterreise: The song meant a great deal to him, a whole world ... His fate ...

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Carol ★★★1/2

Andrea Goldsmith
Friday, 08 January 2016

It is a Hollywood staple: C meets T; they fall in love; obstacles stand in their way (a husband, a boyfriend, but most particularly the attitudes of the 1950s); obstacles are mostly overcome, and C and T march happily into the future together. In Todd Haynes's film, Cate Blanchett plays Carol, a ...

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Youth

Brian McFarlane
Thursday, 24 December 2015

'Meditative' is not perhaps the epithet that comes to mind in relation to most films, but it is entirely apt when applied to Paolo Sorrentini's new film, Youth, which will no doubt be fallen upon avidly by the many admirers of his previous film, The Great Beauty (2013). Several minutes before the opening title ...

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The Greats (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

Christopher Menz
Monday, 21 December 2015

In an age of blockbusters and ever bigger and grander exhibitions, The Greats: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland puts a compelling case for 'less is more'. This model exhibition demonstrates how satisfying a relatively small exhibition can be when the right works are chosen and installed handsomely ...

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Judas Maccabæus (St. George’s Cathedral Consort)

William Yeoman
Monday, 14 December 2015

Airings of Handel's Judas Maccabaeus are now so rare it is easy to forget that it was, in the composer's day and along with Messiah and perhaps Samson, among his most frequently performed oratorios. Nobody present at this electrifying account by a stellar quartet of soloists, the St George's Cathedral Consort ...

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Maxim Vengerov (Musica Viva)

Christopher Menz
Wednesday, 09 December 2015

In a program spanning two hundred years of violin playing – from Bach to Ravel via Beethoven, Ernst, Paganini, and Ysaÿe, with encores by Brahms and Massenet – Maxim Vengerov enthralled his Melbourne audience with incomparable musicianship and an often dazzling technique. Demonstrating his command of the ...

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Tom Roberts (National Gallery of Australia)

Christopher Menz
Tuesday, 08 December 2015

The National Gallery of Australia's summer exhibition, opened by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 2 December, is devoted to one of Australia's finest and most popular artists, Tom Roberts. This major retrospective, under the curatorship of the NGA's Anne Gray, brings together all the major paintings, many of them ...

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L'Amant jaloux (Pinchgut Opera)

Michael Halliwell
Friday, 04 December 2015

The 'anxiety of influence' is just as pertinent to music as it is to all the arts. Scholars have claimed that Mozart was strongly influenced in the composition of Le nozze di Figaro (1786), by André Grétry's (1741–1813) L'Amant jaloux (The Jealous Lover, or False Appearances) (1778). The musical and dramatic genius of ...

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