ABR Arts Opera

Cloudstreet (State Opera of South Australia) ★★★★1/2

Michael Halliwell
Monday, 16 May 2016

If any contemporary Australian novel can be said to be canonical, or perhaps even 'the great Australian novel', then it must be Tim Winton's Cloudstreet. Published in 1991, it soon acquired a devoted following and elevated Winton into the top rank of Australian writers ...

... (read more)

Melbourne's long Indian summer coincided with Opera Australia's 2016 autumn season. It began with a revival of La Bohème and the new production of The Pearlfishers (first seen in Sydney earlier this year). The much-anticipated Luisa Miller with Nicole Car will follow next week ...

... (read more)

The speed with which Gaetano Donizetti wrote his operas almost defies belief, especially in our more leisurely age of composition. Don Pasquale (1843), as we know, was written in eleven days. When Donizetti, newly contracted to Teatro San Carlo, fetched ...

Voyage to the Moon (Musica Viva/Victorian Opera) ★★★1/2

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 25 February 2016

In this era of the jukebox musical, it is not surprising that the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century equivalent, the pasticcio opera, should be undergoing a revival. A couple of seasons ago, New York's Metropolitan Opera created a version, The Enchanted Island, which received a mainly ...

... (read more)

Luisa Miller (Opera Australia) ★★★★1/2

Peter Rose
Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The gestation of some of Giuseppe Verdi's operas was more tumultuous than his often twisted plots. Luisa Miller – which is now being seen in Sydney prior to a shorter season in Melbourne – was as fraught as any of them? Salvatore Cammarano owed the Teatro San Carlo in Naples a libretto ...

... (read more)

The Pearlfishers ★★★1/2

Michael Halliwell
Monday, 18 January 2016

'One-hit' operas litter the repertoire. One thinks of the aria 'Ebben? Ne andrò lontana', which every soprano worth her salt has sung in concert and many have recorded. The aria was the thread running through the cult move, Diva (1981), sung in a concert scene in the film by the soprano ...

... (read more)

L'Amant jaloux (Pinchgut Opera)

Michael Halliwell
Friday, 04 December 2015

The 'anxiety of influence' is just as pertinent to music as it is to all the arts. Scholars have claimed that Mozart was strongly influenced in the composition of Le nozze di Figaro (1786), by André Grétry's (1741–1813) L'Amant jaloux (The Jealous Lover, or False Appearances) (1778). The musical and dramatic genius of ...

... (read more)

Opera Australia's short spring season in Melbourne began with the first revival of David McVicars's highly resuscitable production of Le nozze di Figaro fours stars, first seen in Sydney in August this year. It follows the British director's Don Giovanni

Australia is being overrun by a rabbit phenomenon, but not of the annoying, four-legged variety. It’s The Rabbits: the opera, the musical, the song cycle, or what? Does it matter?

Premièred to highly positive reviews at the Perth Festival in February this year, it has now reached the Melbourne Festival. Some have seen in the success of this wo ...

Faust and Verdi's Requiem (State Opera of South Australia)

Ben Brooker
Monday, 14 September 2015

Good and evil, damnation and salvation, love and death, virtue and folly: State Opera of South Australia’s pairing of Gounod’s five-act grand opera Faust (fours stars) with Verdi’s momentous opera cum oratorio Requiem
(