ABR Arts Opera

Norma 

Rob Holdsworth
Thursday, 19 September 2019

Norma, Bellini’s 1831 two-act tragedy, includes one of opera’s grand soprano roles. Requiring great vocal and acting ability, the role is up there with Lady Macbeth, Brünnhilde, and Turandot. An outstanding Norma arrives infrequently. Rosa Ponsel ...

The Ghost Sonata 

Michael Halliwell
Monday, 16 September 2019

A few years before he wrote his play The Ghost Sonata (1907), August Strindberg bitterly observed: ‘Life is so horribly ugly, we human beings so abysmally evil, that if a writer were to depict all that he had seen and heard no one could bear to read it ... Breeding and education seem only to mask the beast in us, and virtue is a disguise ...

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Andrea Chénier 

Peter Rose
Monday, 19 August 2019

A few weeks after that memorable Peter Grimes from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney and Melbourne ...

Melburnians haven’t heard Nicole Car since 2014, when she was a luminous Tatiana in Kasper Holten’s production of Eugene Onegin. Much has happened to the Melbourne-born  lyric soprano since then, primarily in Sydney at first with several big Mozart and Verdi roles (Pamina, Fiordiligi, Violetta, Luisa Miller) ...

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Peter Grimes

Peter Rose
Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Difficult it is to imagine the full impact Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes had on the opening-night audience at Sadler’s Wells Theatre on 7 June 1945, just a few weeks after the conclusion of World War II. Little wonder that the audience, possibly expecting something cheerier from the prodigal wunderkind ...

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Oscar and Lucinda (Sydney Chamber Opera) ★★★★☆

Michael Halliwell
Monday, 29 July 2019

Two new Australian operas within the space of a fortnight is by any measure unusual. They are also operas at both ends of the spectrum in terms of scale. Elena Katz-Chernin’s Whiteley utilised the full resources of the major opera company, Opera Australia, including a large chorus, while Elliot Gyger’s Oscar and Lucinda ...

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Whiteley (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Unlike the many films about the lives of artists, operas in which visual artists feature are few, though two of the most popular in the repertoire, Puccini’s Tosca and La Bohème, both have painters as central characters. The lives of artists are often messy affairs and resist convenient shaping into narrative arcs, with the actual creative process difficult to dramatise effectively ...

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Anna Bolena (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Peter Rose
Monday, 08 July 2019

Opera Australia – in its present expansionary phase – has hitched its wagon to a digital star in the form of a series of seven-metre-high LED screens. The future moves about on a busy automation system, thus creating a series of new dramatic spaces. Interviewed in the July 2019 issue of Opera magazine, Lyndon Terracini ...

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The Return of Ulysses (Pinchgut Opera) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Friday, 14 June 2019

Some of the fascinating, indeed, frustrating aspects of the operas of Claudio Monteverdi include the lack of certainty in regard to both the authenticity of the various musical sources that have survived, and to exactly how these operas were performed, factors that influence performance choices made today ...

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Il Viaggio a Reims (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Elizabeth Kertesz
Monday, 27 May 2019

On 24 May 2019, an excited Melbourne audience witnessed a night of spectacular entertainment and magnificent music in the Australian première of Rossini’s 1825 opera Il Viaggio a Reims, exuberantly reimagined by Damiano Michieletto. Il Viaggio is an opera with multiple backstories. It was Rossini’s first commission ...

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