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Opera

Jonas Kaufmann in Concert

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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 ...

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

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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 ...

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 ...

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

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, was just one of many radical updatings of Verdi’s 1851 masterpiece, which had its première in Venice. Director Roger Hodgman bucks this trend and restores the opera to sixteenth-century Mantua.

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The cult of Wagner

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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 ...

English National Opera audiences are notable for their complete lack of bling. On opening nights they ostentatiously dress down, in opposition to their social butterfly Covent Garden counterparts, as if to state that they are there for the opera alone. The London opening of The Perfect American, Philip Glass’s opera based on ...

Opera Australia’s spring season, after an impressive autumn one (with the well-received Lucia, Butterfly, and Salome), opens with two masterpieces by Verdi in his bicentennial year. It is a decidedly rocky pairing.

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