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 ... More
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 ... More
Opera Australia’s spring season in Melbourne opened with two masterpieces by Verdi in his bicentennial year. It was a decidedly rocky pairing.
La Fura dels Baus’s production of Un Ballo in Maschera was first seen in Sydney in January. La Fura is open about its intentions. Assistant director Valenti ... More
There was a real buzz in the foyer of Her Majesty’s last night before the Victorian Opera’s latest offering. At last Melbourne was seeing John Adams’s masterly opera Nixon in China, first performed in Houston twenty-six years ago and later seen in Adelaide, during the 1992 Festival.
Alice Goodman wrote the libretto: an inspired distillation of R ... More
Opera Australia’s spring season, after an impressive autumn one (with the well-received Lucia, Butterfly, and Salome), opens with two masterpieces by Verdi in his bicentennial year. It is a decidedly rocky pairing.
La Fura dels Baus’s production of Un Ballo in Maschera was first seen in Sydney in January. La Fura is open about its intentions. Assi ... More
It was David Marr who commented that the key character in Gore Vidal’s first memoir, Palimpsest (1995), was not Jimmie Trimble, the boy whom Vidal loved when they were at school and who died, aged eighteen, at the battle for Iwo Jima; nor Vidal’s blind and adored maternal grandfather, Senator Thomas Pryor Gore, whom young Gore would lead onto the floor ... More
Royals, it seems, have their tenacious uses, often fictive. Contemporaries such as Alan Bennett and Edward St Aubyn have deployed them. One hundred years ago, Ford Madox Ford wrote his singular trilogy (1906–08) about Katharine Howard, The Fifth Queen of Henry VIII. Now the esteemed novelist and memoirist Hilary Mantel returns to the Tudor world, again wi ... More
by Peter Rose
Such high standards the American magazines maintain, with their enviable resources. Fine valedictory article in the New Yorker by Joyce Carol Oates on the death of her husband of four decades. Slightly uneasy, though, to realise that Oates, in her forensic way, was gathering data for such an art ... More