ABR Arts Opera

Otello (Royal Opera House) ★★★

John Allison
Monday, 26 June 2017

When the world’s most famous tenor tackles one of the most famously challenging of all tenor roles, the scene ought to be set for an evening of tension and drama. Only some of that tension and drama, however, actually came from the stage of the Royal Opera House ...

... (read more)

Hamlet (Glyndebourne Opera Festival) ★★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Three ‘new’ operatic versions of Hamlet in two years: the time is certainly not ‘out of joint’ for Shakespeare. Italian composer and conductor Franco Faccio’s Amleto was successfully premièred in Genoa in 1865, but then had a disastrous performance at La Scala in Milan in 1871 ...

... (read more)

Co-Opera’s Eugene Onegin and Various People’s Orpheus Underground, both of which played in Adelaide in early May, provided a study in contrasts. Tchaikovsky’s great opera (first performed in 1879) has toured to the eastern states and country South Australia, an ambitious undertaking ...

... (read more)

Such was the international success of this double bill that both works were performed together at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne in September 1893 – Pagliacci less than sixteen months after its world première in Milan. Impresario George Musgrove even secured the original Canio ...

... (read more)

La Sonnambula (Victorian Opera) ★★★★

Peter Rose
Monday, 08 May 2017

Vincenzo Bellini – fresh from the success of I Capuleti e Montecchi in Venice – spent the July and August of 1830 on Lake Como biding his time. He was struck by the folk songs of the female workers at the textile mills as they made their way home. These idylls were to flavour his ...

... (read more)

Saul (Adelaide Festival) ★★★★★

Michael Morley
Monday, 06 March 2017

If one accepts the aptness of the old adage ‘one picture is worth a thousand words’, the range of pictorial delights offered by Barrie Kosky’s production of Handel’s oratorio Saul (1739) would test my editor’s word limit – generous though they always are ...

... (read more)

La Bohème (Opera Australia) ★★★1/2

Michael Halliwell
Monday, 27 February 2017

The real test of an opera singer is how they sound in an opera theatre. The bane of ‘legitimate’ opera singers’ lives are singers on television talent shows, many of whom describe themselves as ‘opera singers’. They sing the occasional opera aria, frequently transposed into a more comfortable ...

... (read more)

'Tis Pity (Victorian Opera) ★★★★

Peter Rose
Monday, 13 February 2017

Contemporary opera doesn’t come much more innovative, vibrant or entertaining than Victorian Opera’s ‘Tis Pity: An operatic fantasia on selling the skin and the teeth, which played at the Melbourne Recital Centre from 4–8 February. Indefatigable VO Artistic Director Richard Mills has ...

... (read more)

King Roger (Opera Australia) ★★★★1/2

David Larkin
Monday, 23 January 2017

Within the Australian context, any allusion to King Roger would be taken by most to be an admiring soubriquet for the Swiss tennis maestro who, as it happens, won through to the quarter finals of the Australian Open while this review was being written. But while Melbourne is in thrall to the ...

... (read more)

Theodora (Pinchgut Opera) ★★★★

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 01 December 2016

‘The Jews will not come to it because it is a Christian story and the ladies will not come because it is a virtuous one.’ George Frideric Handel’s much-quoted explanation for the lack of success of Theodora, his penultimate oratorio, may or may not be accurate, but there is no doubt about its ...

... (read more)
Page 4 of 10