On 24 May 2019, an excited Melbourne audience witnessed a night of spectacular entertainment and magnificent music in the Australian première of Rossini’s 1825 opera Il Viaggio a Reims, exuberantly reimagined by Damiano Michieletto. Il Viaggio is an opera with multiple backstories. It was Rossini’s first commission ...... (read more)
Some sixty-two years after its Broadway première, Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins’s musical and geographical updating of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet continues to pack a powerful dramatic punch. While not without its weaknesses, such as the reliance on now-dated street slang and ethnic stereotypes ...... (read more)
Alex Ross, at the start of his acclaimed survey of twentieth-century music, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the twentieth century, describes in vivid detail the luminaries gathered for one of the first performances of Richard Strauss’s Salome in Graz on 16 May 1906, five months after the Dresden première ...... (read more)
It is often observed that we live in an age of ‘directors’ opera’, where the name of the director precedes the name of the opera, never mind the composer. Yet there remain relatively few directors who have become indelibly associated with a particular visual style. South African William Kentridge is one ...... (read more)
Let it be said – indeed proclaimed – that Opera Australia’s new production of Wagner’s paean to life and art and love is musically as close to a triumph as it could have been. If, by the end, you feel the outside world is a better place than the one you temporarily abandoned six hours earlier, then Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg has surely wrought ...
Peter Rose interviews American Soprano Amber Wagner for the ABR Podcast following the first cycle of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, which is being presented in Melbourne by Opera Australia. Amber Wagner plays the role of Sieglinde in the second opera Die Walküre.
One can't get away from Carmen. The happy combination of unforgettable tunes, the exotic ambience, and a psychologically plausible plot (by no means a sine qua non in the genre) have ensured that Georges Bizet's masterpiece is among the top three most performed operas worldwide nowadays. Even by these standards, however, Sydney's recent Carmen fixa ...
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 ...