ABR Arts Opera

Falstaff (Opera Australia)

Peter Rose
Monday, 08 December 2014

With the third of its spring offerings, Opera Australia again demonstrated the overall strength of the ensemble and the consistently fine playing of which Orchestra Victoria is capable.

 This Falstaff is a revival of Simon Phillips’s production, first performed in 1995 (Adelaide) and starrily led by Bryn Terfel in 1999 (Sydney), his first Falst ...

Don Pasquale (Opera Australia)

Peter Rose
Monday, 24 November 2014

Epicœne, or The Silent Woman is one of Ben Jonson’s most witty and least familiar satires. First performed in 1609 and published in 1616, it is set in contemporary London. Morose, a well-named old bachelor, is intent on finding a bride who will give him an heir so that he can disinherit his nephew, Sir Dauphine Eugenie. Morose, a famous misanthrope, detest ...

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 ...

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