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).

'Attention, Please' by Peter Rose

October 2017, no. 395 27 September 2017
‘Then there was only one: myself.’ John Ashbery, ‘The History of My Life’ Having comprehensively disposed of that chestnut,shoved it on a skip,I have more questions to put to you than the Socraticin our grocer.First, I want you to step out of those non sequiturs, comelythough they are.Donate those loafers to the nearest indigent – with a songin your heart.Don’t pout. Look what it doe ... (read more)

Thaïs (MSO)

ABR Arts 28 August 2017
Thaïs (MSO)
Equally welcome was the second opportunity to hear Massenet’s opera Thaïs (1894) within a matter of weeks. Once again it was a concert version – a ‘mid-season gala’ from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. ABR Arts wrote about Opera Australia’s recent concerts in the Sydney Town Hall and about the glamorous American Sybil Sanderson for whom Massenet conceived the luminous title-role. The ... (read more)

'The same-sex marriage debate' by Peter Rose

September 2017, no. 394 16 August 2017
For decades, centuries, millennia, homosexuals (here as elsewhere) have been insulted, blackmailed, beaten, incarcerated, and murdered. Even now, homophobia and violence towards homosexuals remain principal causes of suicide and despair in our society, especially among young males. In numerous countries, homosexual acts are illegal and punishable by death or imprisonment. Remember those two young ... (read more)

Thaïs (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 24 July 2017
Thaïs (Opera Australia)
Few singers make riveting autobiographers, it must be said, but one who should have penned her memoirs was Sybil Sanderson (1864–1903). She seems to have been too busy, on and off the stage. Hers was the kind of short, turbulent life that Puccini might have done something with – ‘the golden girl from Sacramento’. Daughter of a chief justice of the Supreme Court of California, trained in Pa ... (read more)

La Sonnambula (Victorian Opera)

ABR Arts 08 May 2017
La Sonnambula (Victorian Opera)
Vincenzo Bellini – fresh from the success of I Capuleti e Montecchi in Venice – spent the July and August of 1830 on Lake Como biding his time. He was struck by the folk songs of the female workers at the textile mills as they made their way home. These idylls were to flavour his sixth and pastoral opera, La Sonnambula, ossia I due fidanzati Svizzeri. The handsome, fashionable composer – di ... (read more)

Maxim Vengerov (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 01 March 2017
Maxim Vengerov (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)
Russian-born violinist Maxim Vengerov – still in his early forties and long recovered from a shoulder injury that stopped him from playing for five years – has been a welcome visitor to Australia since 1999. That year, in Melbourne, he gave a brilliant recital and also performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under Markus Stenz. Sixteen years later he retur ... (read more)

'Tis Pity (Victorian Opera)

ABR Arts 13 February 2017
'Tis Pity (Victorian Opera)
Contemporary opera doesn’t come much more innovative, vibrant or entertaining than Victorian Opera’s ‘Tis Pity: An operatic fantasia on selling the skin and the teeth, which played at the Melbourne Recital Centre from 4–8 February. Indefatigable VO Artistic Director Richard Mills has composed and arranged the music as well as writing the reliably witty and irreverent score. He also conduct ... (read more)

L'amante anglaise by Marguerite Duras (La Mama Theatre and Fortyfivedownstairs)

ABR Arts 13 February 2017
L'amante anglaise by Marguerite Duras (La Mama Theatre and Fortyfivedownstairs)
Little wonder that fortyfivedownstairs is encoring Marguerite Duras’s brilliantly dialectical play L’amante anglaise, first presented in this production at La Mama Theatre in 2014, directed by Laurence Strangio. Duras wrote it first as a novella fifty years ago; the stage adaptation followed in 1968. Jillian Murray and Robert Meldrum each play two roles, Murray in her award-winning role a ... (read more)

Der Ring des Nibelungen

January–February 2017, no. 388 20 December 2016
Der Ring des Nibelungen, presented by Opera Australia three years after its première in Melbourne, was a great success, mostly because of the excellence of the singing. Several local singers retained their principal roles, but we had a new Siegmund, Wotan, Loge, Sieglinde, and Brünnhilde, all but the first from overseas. How refreshing to attend a Ring without a single dud individual performance ... (read more)

Götterdämmerung (Opera Australia)

ABR Arts 01 December 2016
Götterdämmerung (Opera Australia)
After the exaltation of the closing duet in Siegfried (memorably sung by Stefan Vinke and Lise Lindstrom), we had to wait until the second part of the Prologue to Götterdämmerung before meeting the post-coital lovers. First we had the Norns (Tania Ferris, Jacqueline Dark, Anna-Louise Cole), daughters of Erda, weavers of the rope of fate on which the world’s future will depend. Back on the roc ... (read more)