Peter Rose

The forbearance of those writers who entered the Australian Book Review and Reader’s Feast Short Story Competition has been as exemplary as their commitment to short fiction. I am pleased to be announce the shortlist:

Ian McFarlane: ‘A Balance of Probabilities’

Katarina Mahnic: ‘Flying Recipe’

B.E. Minifie: ‘There Has to be a Resemblance’

Carrie Tiffany: ‘Dr Darnell’s Cure’

Susan Yardley: ‘The End Is Where We Start From’

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ART

Contemporary Aboriginal Art: A guide to the rebirth of an ancient culture

by Susan McCulloch

Allen & Unwin, 248 pp, $39.95 pb

1 86508 305 4

Contemporary Aboriginal Art (first published in 1999) contains a wealth of information for those interested in the history, practice, and culture of Aboriginal art. By its very nature, Aboriginal art is constantly changing and evolving, and, in this revised edition, Susan McCulloch details new developments in already well-established communities, and the emergence of some entirely new movements. McCulloch, visual arts writer for The Australian, has travelled extensively to the Kimberley, Central Australia, Arnhem Land and Far North Queensland, and her book provides first-hand accounts of Aboriginal artists and the works they are creating.

Beautifully illustrated, Contemporary Aboriginal Art also contains a comprehensive directory of art centres and galleries, a buyer’s guide, and a listing of recommended readings.

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Based on Antonio Garcia Gutierrez’s El Trovador, a romantic melodrama set against the backdrop of a fifteenth-century Spanish civil war, Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore has been described as the ‘apotheosis of the bel canto opera, with its demands for vocal beauty, agility and range’. Yet in what is also his darkest and most death-haunted work, Verdi invests the brightness and vocal embellishments of bel canto with greater dramatic tension ...

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Il Trovatore 

by
20 July 2022

Whenever you hear a good performance of any one of at least half a dozen operas by Giuseppe Verdi, it’s tempting to think: this surely he can never have surpassed. Il Trovatore, from his fecund middle phase, is one such opera. But then one recalls La Traviata and Don Carlo and Otello – on the list goes – and simply marvels at the variety and richness of his oeuvre.

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Conceived during a holiday in the spa-town of Marienbad, Lohengrin stands at the crossroads of Richard Wagner’s operatic oeuvre: it was the last work composed before his political exile (as a result of his participation in the Dresden Uprising) while offering a glimpse of the leitmotivic technique that would become the signature of his late style.

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2 am. Prompter than usual. Nocturnal emails, / a commonplace book to aphorise – fillipia! / I write to someone in Oxford, then Wagga, / pondering the etiquette of commissioning / in the middle of the night.

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Lohengrin 

by
16 May 2022

Not long before the 1845 première of Tannhäuser, Richard Wagner was holidaying at the spa of Marienbad. He had with him a copy of the anonymous German epic Lohengrin, and he was possessed. Ever the sensualist, he described the impact in luxurious terms:

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La Traviata 

by
09 May 2022

Opera Australia’s Melbourne season began on 4 May with a revival of Elijah Moshinsky’s 1994 production of La Traviata, often seen here before. The season ends on 28 May, with eight more performances. It’s a short work, with four scenes each about thirty minutes long, ideal for those new to opera or keen for melodic relief from election discord.

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In this special episode of The ABR Podcast, Peter Rose reads the second and concluding instalment of his 2021 diary, taking us from July to December. These entries continue his chronicle of life under rolling lockdowns – not only for himself, but also for his mother, Elsie, who had moved into aged care earlier that year because of her declining health. Against the arrhythmic schedule of closures and prohibitions, faint tracings of the pre-pandemical world appear: birthday celebrations, an English batting collapse, email trouble, a high five. Written under a cloud of personal and collective uncertainty, these diaries record a son’s observance of his mother’s last days. Elsie Rose died at the age of ninety-five on 15 March 2022.

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For his sins, Peter Rose has always kept a diary. Over the years, ABR has occasionally published extracts, which have tended to consist of annual highlights laced with gossip and humour. The 2021 instalment is rather different in tone. The lockdowns occasioned by the pandemic also coincided with a marked deterioration in the health of his mother, who moved into aged care in March last year. 

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