ABR Arts Opera

Fly Away Peter (Sydney Chamber Opera)

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 07 May 2015

Of all the many projects commemorating the centenary of World War I and the Anzacs’ contribution to it, the creation of an opera from David Malouf’s magnificent novella Fly Away Peter (1981) would seem to be one of the most demanding.

The story follows the young, bird-obsessed Jim Saddler f ...

Madama Butterfly (Opera Australia)

Peter Rose
Tuesday, 05 May 2015

Opera Australia’s autumn season in Melbourne with two revivals – one very familiar; the other in its second season, and its first on the bigger Melbourne stage. Each, responsibly, is on a Monday, not always guaranteed to draw a large audience, but the capacious State Theatre was well attended for the first offering, Madama Butterfly.

Moffa ...

Aida (three stars) is one of the great contradictory operas: grandiose in effect yet intimate in emotional content. How such an imperial chamber piece would translate onto a harbour in front of thousands of people and sundry camels remained to be seen. It was an a ...

Faust (Opera Australia)

Peter Rose
Monday, 23 February 2015

Scottish director David McVicar’s importance to Opera Australia – after his acclaimed Don Giovanni in 2014 – grows with this new production of his Covent Garden Faust, which is currently being seen in Sydney. The production dates back to 2004 ...

The Flying Dutchman (Victorian Opera)

Peter Rose
Monday, 16 February 2015

For many of us – those of us not in the Farnham faction – this was our first visit to the Palais Theatre in three decades. (It has mostly been used as a rock venue since the Australian Opera decamped.) So there was much anticipation before the opening night of Victorian Opera’s The Flying Dutchman, perhaps the most ambitious production in the company’ ...

Der Freischütz (Melbourne Opera)

Rob Holdsworth
Tuesday, 03 February 2015

In these straitened economic times, it is rare for opera companies to stray far from the standard, well-known repertoire. But there are only so many Toscas, Traviatas, and Butterflys one needs to see in a lifetime. So it is pleasing that Melbourne Opera was prepared to stage an opera once so famous it was parodied by Gilbert and Sullivan ...

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’ ...

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