AUTHOR: Heather Leviston

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

15th November, 2018

Since it was premièred in 1868, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg has accumulated a greater weight of negative baggage than any other major opera. Notorious as a vehicle for Nazi propaganda, its essential core of humanity and plea for tolerance is often obscured. For all its strengths, Kasper Holten’s direction in this co-production between Opera Australia,…Read More

Lorelei

9th November, 2018

Victorian Opera has struck Rhine gold with Lorelei. Classed as “operatic cabaret” VO’s latest commissioned work, created by composer Julian Langdon in collaboration with Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff, is a witty and unexpectedly thoughtful reimagining of the Lorelei legend made famous by Heinrich Heine’s 1824 poem. There are also connections with the Greek myth…Read More

Otello

19th October, 2018

Thanks to Melbourne Opera’s initiative in mounting operas that have never been seen or have been rarely performed in Australia, we now have an opportunity to see the Australian premiere of the “other” Otello. Instead of the familiar masterpiece by a 74-year-old Verdi, we have a very different version from a prolific 24-year-old Rossini, who…Read More

PELLEAS AND MELISANDE

13th October, 2018

Simon Rattle calls Pelleas and Melisande “one of the most addictive pieces there is… almost more drug than opera”. Being the centenary of Debussy’s death, 2018 provides an opportunity for Pelleas addicts to indulge and Melbournians don’t have to leave town to do so, thanks to Victorian Opera under its Artistic Director, Richard Mills. Last…Read More

MSO: Buddha Passion

11th October, 2018

Cheers, a standing ovation and a constellation of smartphone cameras greeted Tan Dun, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and a stellar array of soloists at the conclusion of the Australian premiere of his opera/oratorio Buddha Passion. This was a night to celebrate more than Tan Dun’s significant musical achievement; in addition to the many…Read More

Emma Matthews: THE SPACE BETWEEN

25th September, 2018

As the recipient of an unprecedented seven Helpmann and nine Greenroom awards, amongst other accolades, you would think that Emma Matthews’ career trajectory would be a juggernaut of unremitting triumph. Watching her perform what pretty well amounts to an almost 80-minute aria of dazzling coloratura bravura invested with kaleidoscopic emotional intensity seemed to affirm that…Read More

HUSH 18: COLLECTIVE WISDOM

19th September, 2018

There was an excited buzz in the crowded foyer of the Melbourne Recital Centre as people lined up to buy the latest CD issued by the Hush Foundation. This 18thedition, written in response to the Hush Foundation’s aim of providing support for those experiencing tense healthcare situations, features original works by 12 Australian composers played…Read More

Dialogues des Carmélites

6th September, 2018

Abbotsford Convent could not have been a more appropriate setting for a performance of Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. Based on a true story, this devastatingly powerful opera tells of 16 Carmelite nuns of Compiègne, who refused to renounce their faith and were guillotined in 1794 during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror Presented by…Read More

Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria

23rd August, 2018

The twelfth edition of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic (RMP) Aria on August 19,2018,  was another reminder of how such an event can contribute to the nurturing of young vocal talent. A few weeks earlier the same venue, Deakin Edge, hosted the slightly longer running German-Australian Opera Grant (GAOG). These two prestigious competitions provide prize money, performance…Read More

Victorian Opera: William Tell

16th July, 2018

Design or coincidence? Whatever the reason, Victorian Opera’s fine production of Willliam Tell could not have found a more appropriate night to open than July 14: Bastille Day. Rossini’s final opera has not been mounted in Australia since 1876 and it is a great pity that the repeated cries of “Liberté!”, which bring the opera…Read More