‘In my Eden a person who dislikes Bellini has the good manners not to get born,’ wrote W.H. Auden in his poem ‘Vespers’ (1954). Like much of Auden’s table-talk, this may seem rather extreme, but those who attended last Thursday’s concert version of Vincenzo Bellini’s I Puritani may have gone away with similarly exclusive thoughts.
Though ... More
In ABR's second 'Poem of the Week' ABR Editor Peter Rose introduces and reads his poem 'The Subject of Feeling'.More
Our European summer holiday began in Munich – surprisingly cold and drizzly – perfect weather for long sessions in the Alte Pinakothek. This is one of the more forbidding of the great galleries, with its battered façade showing all the evidence of extensive bombing during World War II and a utilitarian rebuilding by Hans Döllg ... More
Book reviewing and its provocateurs: 'What single development would most improve the Australian critical culture?'
Last month in Melbourne, a group of book reviewers and literary editors took part in a conference organised by Monash University’s Centre for the Book. There were more than thirty short papers, or ‘provocations’, as they were styled. Our Editor lamented the low or non-payment of some reviewers (especially youn ... More
Much has been written about the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (PMLAs), now in their seventh year. Advances was at the National Gallery of Victoria on 8 December when the winners were named. An opulent affair, it was televised by Sky News and SBS à la the Man Booker Prize. The Great Hall – deemed rather small by one distinguished literary editor from Sydney ... More
Vipers and whistleblowers
Much has been written about the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (PMLAs), now in their seventh year. Advances was at the National Gallery of Victoria on 8 December when the winners were named. An opulent affair, it was televised by Sky News and SBS à la the Man Booker Prize. The Great Hall – deemed rather small by one distinguished literar ... More
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 ... More
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 ... More
There were few opportunities to hear Handel’s opera Rodelinda, regina de’ Longobardi during the two centuries that followed its première in 1725. Although the opera was a great success at first (Handel said of the 1731 London revival, ‘it took’), it soon fell into obscurity, along with most of Handel’s many operas. A ... More