ABR Arts Opera

Tosca (Opera Australia)

Peter Rose
Monday, 17 November 2014

Opera Australia’s spring season in Melbourne opened with John Bell’s production of Tosca, which had its première in Sydney, in June 2013. The company is now adding strong readings of masterworks to its repertoire: this Tosca preceded David McVicar’s brilliant production of

The Magic Flute (Opera Australia)

Robert Gibson
Monday, 22 September 2014

English Mozart scholar Edward J. Dent once dismissed the libretto of The Magic Flute as ‘one of the most absurd specimens of that form of literature in which absurdity is regarded as a matter of course’. Michael Gow’s generally marvellous translation and adaptation of Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto for Mozart’ ...

The Pearl Fishers (Melbourne Opera)

Peter Rose
Monday, 22 September 2014

Georges Bizet was twenty-four when he wrote Les Pêcheurs de perles, which was first performed at the Théâtre-Lyrique in Paris, in September 1863. This was twelve years before Bizet’s masterwork, Carmen, which premièred in the year of his death. The first opera was immediately popular. Berlioz reviewed it warmly. As it happens, this was Berlioz’ ...

Jonas Kaufmann in Concert

Peter Rose
Monday, 18 August 2014

Six words would suffice to describe Jonas Kaufmann’s Melbourne début. He came, he sang, he conquered.

This was Kaufmann’s second appearance in Australia, after a gala in Sydney (repeated on August 17). It’s not often that an impresario or Opera Australia manages to lure a great tenor to this country. The inimitable Carlo Bergonzi visited in 1979 and g ...

Santa Fe Opera House 2014 Festival Season

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Santa Fe opera house has a location as dramatic as Sydney’s. Perched on the top of a hill overlooking the town, it looks across the valley to the Sangre de Cristo mountains. What started out in 1957 as an open-air theatre has over the years grown a roof which covers the stage and auditorium, but the sides of the auditorium and back of the stage are still open ...

Don Giovanni

Peter Rose
Monday, 11 August 2014

Enterprisingly, Opera Australia has enticed Scottish director David McVicar to create new productions of three Mozart operas, beginning with Don Giovanni, currently playing in Sydney (Figaro and Così will follow in 2015 and 2016, respectively). We saw the fifth of thirteen performances scheduled in this long opening season, and already the prod ...

Melbourne’s Indian summer of opera concludes with imported productions of two melodic masterpieces: Carmen (Opera Australia) and La Traviata (Victorian Opera).

The first is a revival of Francesca Zambello’s production for Covent Garden and the Norwegian National Opera, which came to Sydney in 2008. We are familiar with the New Yorker’s as ...

The Tender Land (Lyric Opera)

Peter Rose
Monday, 05 May 2014

Melbourne’s Lyric Opera, the smallest of its four opera companies, continues to offer interesting repertoire of a kind we would otherwise be unlikely to see. May 2 brought the opening performance of Aaron Copland’s opera The Tender Land. After the shall we say broad humour of Simon Phillips’s production of Rossini’s 1 ...

Rigoletto (Opera Australia)

Peter Rose
Monday, 14 April 2014

After two hapless ventures into the world of Verdi in 2013 (his bicentenary year), Opera Australia has given us an entertaining new production of Rigoletto – one that will probably stay in the company’s repertoire for as long as its lucrative predecessor.

Elijah Moshinsky’s slick production (1991), which leaned on Fellini’s La Dolce Vita

The cult of Wagner

Peter Rose
Wednesday, 20 November 2013

So here we are, talking about the so-called Cult of Wagner. No wonder some people recoil from the German composer, given such terminology. It’s not a new coinage of course, but it’s a fairly dubious one. One old acquaintance of mine, on hearing about this event, sent me an email demanding to know: ‘You are not besotted with it, are you??? Are you one of those ...

Page 11 of 12