ABR Arts Opera

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Michael Shmith
Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Let it be said – indeed proclaimed – that Opera Australia’s new production of Wagner’s paean to life and art and love is musically as close to a triumph as it could have been. If, by the end, you feel the outside world is a better place than the one you temporarily abandoned six hours earlier, then Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg has surely wrought ...

Otello (Melbourne Opera) ★★★★

Elizabeth Kertesz
Friday, 19 October 2018

More than two centuries after its first performance, Gioacchino Rossini’s Otello (1816) has finally been staged for Australian audiences thanks to the inspired selection of director Bruce Beresford and the enterprise of Melbourne Opera. But beware, if you come to the theatre expecting a ...

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Metamorphosis (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Thursday, 27 September 2018

'When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.’ It issurely one of the most celebrated, and arresting, opening lines in all literature – very ‘Kafkaesque’, in fact! It was just a matter of time before The Metamorphosis ...

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Peter Grimes (Brisbane Festival) ★★★★1/2

Gillian Wills
Monday, 24 September 2018

Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes – first performed in 1945 (Sadler’s Wells, London) – is an opera about an oddball misanthropic fisherman. On opening night, the audience were primed to engage with Britten’s anti-hero, never suspecting that a real-life hero would soon be needed ...

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Evita (Opera Australia) ★★★

Peter Tregear
Wednesday, 19 September 2018

I confess that I do not share the knee-jerk negative view of Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals that many of my colleagues profess. His best works, especially those conceived with librettist Tim Rice, stake a legitimate claim on our attention, if only for their consummate skill in identifying ...

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Dry River Run (Queensland Conservatorium) ★★★1/2

Michael Halliwell
Tuesday, 04 September 2018

Australian operas set in the outback are not uncommon, though urban backgrounds are far more prevalent in contemporary works. Contemporary fiction and cinema, by contrast, often have outback and regional Australia as their setting. Several operas engage with the most enduring myths ...

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Notwithstanding the riches that follow in the final two acts (Wotan’s Farewell, the Ride of the Valkyries, the Todesverkündigung), Act One of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre offers perhaps the greatest hour of music in German opera. It is ideal for discrete, unstaged performances, and as we know ...

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Nietzsche was in no doubt: Wagner owed his success to his innate sensuality. The philosopher – most influential of the Wagnerites – began to have reservations about his hero in the mid-1870s, around the time of the first Bayreuth Festival (1876), though he never ...

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Der Rosenkavalier (Melbourne Opera) ★★1/2

Barney Zwartz
Friday, 10 August 2018

Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss consciously set out to emulate Mozart in Der Rosenkavalier, and succeeded, creating not only the last great Romantic opera but the most perfect Viennese confection, and Strauss’s most-loved opera. It was an immediate hit ...

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Stuart Skelton (Melbourne Recital Centre) ★★★

Michael Shmith
Monday, 06 August 2018
Stuart Skelton, a fine performer and strong, sensitive singer, is by nature and profession a Heldentenor. He is indeed heroic, not only in voice but in how he carries himself on stage. His Wagnerian heroes – Parsifal, Tristan, Lohengrin and Siegmund in Die Walküre – emerge as ... ... (read more)
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