ABR Arts Music

The jukebox musical is a fairly recent phenomenon on theatre stages, but has proven to be a popular, and lucrative, method of stringing together a group of popular songs loosely held together by a sometimes attenuated narrative. Mamma Mia! – the collection of ABBA hits that has been running in London since 1999 – is one of the most ...

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It seemed apt that Adam Simmons chose to perform his large-scale suite The Usefulness of Art in a space generally devoted to art and theatre, rather than in one of Melbourne’s jazz clubs. Incorporating visual design by Christine Crawshaw and Diokno Pasilan – wooden chairs hung from ...

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Thaïs (MSO) ★★★★

Peter Rose
Monday, 28 August 2017

Equally welcome was the second opportunity to hear Massenet’s opera Thaïs (1894) within a matter of weeks. Once again it was a concert version – a ‘mid-season gala’ from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. ABR Arts wrote about Opera Australia’s recent concerts in the Sydney Town Hall ...

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Since 2011 many senior Australian musicians from international orchestras have gathered each year to form the Australian World Orchestra. This year’s project included a national tour of a chamber ensemble of eight (AWO Chamber 8), with masterclasses and lessons to young ...

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Schubert’s most famous ‘unfinished’ work, the Eighth Symphony, is unconventional in a number of ways, its B minor key and the opening movement’s 3/4 pulse not least of them. Mahler’s grand Lied is a match in strangeness – setting, as it does, a miscellany of ancient ...

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It is not every day that Sydney audiences witness the première of a composition by a major twentieth-century composer, yet this is what happened on 30 June in the Opera House: one of Igor Stravinsky’s earliest works, the Funeral Song, op.5, received its first performance on ...

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As one of the jewels in this year’s program by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, rarely performed in Australia, has finally returned to the Sydney Opera House. This is not the first time that the SSO has ventured into opera ...

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It has been almost forty years since Robyn Archer first performed A Star is Torn, her one-woman cabaret honouring the too-short lives of female singers from Bessie Smith to Janis Joplin. Playing for a year on the West End, and spawning both an album (in 1980) and a book ...

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2017 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Monday, 19 June 2017

Marking its twentieth anniversary, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) had much to celebrate in 2017. I can vividly recall the first Festival in 1998, a weekend-long event attended by what seemed like a handful of us, moving in unison between city venues ...

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Angela Hewitt (Musica Viva) ★★★★★

Christopher Menz
Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Canadian-born pianist Angela Hewitt is well known to Australian audiences through her regular visits and her memorable performances and recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s keyboard repertoire. Her legendary performances of Bach, encompassing superb playing and ...

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