Peter Rose

Peter Rose

Peter Rose is the Editor and CEO of Australian Book Review. His books include a family memoir, Rose Boys (2001), which won the National Biography Award in 2003. He has published two novels and six poetry collections, most recently The Subject of Feeling (UWA Publishing, 2015).

Jonas Kaufmann in Concert

ABR Arts 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 gave a masterclass in tenor singing to a ... (read more)

Opera Australia's new Don Giovanni

ABR Arts 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 production was in superb shape – one of the finest Moza ... (read more)

In defence of book reviewers in Australia

ABR Arts 11 July 2014
Book reviewers and the editors of periodicals that commission them are used to sour assessments of their worth, but Professor John Dale’s article on The Conversation yesterday is in a class of its own. What a clichéd, ungenerous and discreditable overview of book reviewing in this country, with its sentimental and predictable coda about mythic Manhattan standards. Professors should do their h ... (read more)

Carmen (Opera Australia) and La Traviata (Victoria Opera)

ABR Arts 19 May 2014
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 assured, coherent productions in this country, especial ... (read more)

The Tender Land (Lyric Opera)

ABR Arts 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 1814 opera buffa Il Turco in Italia the previous night (Opera Australia at ... (read more)

A new production of Rigoletto

May 2014, no. 361 14 April 2014
After two hapless ventures into the world of Verdi in 2013 (his bicentenary year), Opera Australia has given us an entertaining new production of Rigoletto – one that will probably stay in the company’s repertoire for as long as its lucrative predecessor. ... (read more)

Rigoletto (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 14 April 2014
After two hapless ventures into the world of Verdi in 2013 (his bicentenary year), Opera Australia has given us an entertaining new production of Rigoletto – one that will probably stay in the company’s repertoire for as long as its lucrative predecessor. Elijah Moshinsky’s slick production (1991), which leaned on Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, was just one of many radical updatings of Verdi’ ... (read more)

Editor's Diary 2013

Online Exclusives 14 February 2014
January 8 Read Henry James’s early tale ‘Poor Richard’. When the eponymous dissolute learns of Gertrude’s unsavoury engagement to Major Luttrel, he descends on her house, determined to end it. Finding her wan and failing, he condemns her attachment to the venal Luttrel: ‘You have suited – God knows what! – your despair, your desolation.’ Did James ever create an uncomplicatedly ... (read more)

The Cult of Wagner

ABR Arts 20 November 2013
So here we are, talking about the so-called Cult of Wagner. No wonder some people recoil from the German composer, given such terminology. It’s not a new coinage of course, but it’s a fairly dubious one. One old acquaintance of mine, on hearing about this event, sent me an email demanding to know: ‘You are not besotted with it, are you??? Are you one of those who travel all over the world to ... (read more)

The Frozen Sea

ABR Arts 20 August 2013
There was a real sense of occasion at the State Library of Queensland on 15 August when Tony Burke (Minister for the Arts and for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs, and Citizenship) – representing Kevin Rudd – announced the winners of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Well there might be, when $600,000 of public funds are at stake (the six winners receive $80,000; the shortlisted a ... (read more)