AUTHOR: Heather Leviston

ANAM: Bohemia

14th March, 2018

From the balcony of the South Melbourne Town Hall, eleven trumpeters, two euphonium players and a timpanist heralded the Australian National Academy of Music’s 2018 season with a stirring account of Janáček’s powerful Sokol Fanfare. It was the beginning of a concert marked by the inviting melodies of Bohemia and a remarkable degree of coordination…Read More

Review: Tristan and Isolde

7th February, 2018

Tackling increasingly difficult Wagner operas with notable success, Melbourne Opera braved the so-called “Tristan Curse” and, although not unscathed, produced a memorable performance of opera’s most iconic love story. Just as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra had to replace an ailing Stuart Skelton for their concert performances of Tristan and Isolde in 2013, so illness plagued…Read More

Lyric Opera: The Coronation of Poppea

19th July, 2017

For their second and final offering for 2017, Lyric Opera has once again drawn upon and nurtured the skills of Australian singers, musicians and creative artists. Rather than choosing an unjustly neglected relatively modern work, as has been the case recently, conductor Pat Miller and his team have prepared a version of Claudio Monteverdi’s 1643…Read More

Academy plans a busy year

8th March, 2017

With a projected 180 concerts and events encompassing all Australian states, it will be a busy year for the Australian National Academy of Music. As an institution of international standing, ANAM is also forging links with the world’s most prestigious music organisations; gifted violinist Harry Bennetts is currently an Academy player on an exchange with…Read More

It’s a wrap: The Melbourne Ring

21st December, 2016

With selections from Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen still shuffling away in my mind’s ear, I wondered whether my life really had changed when, two days after the final performance, the first song played on Andrew Ford’s Sunday program sounded like Brünnhilde’s Leitmotif. Could it possibly have been “borrowed”? Highly unlikely. It should have come…Read More

Review: Anna Bolena

4th November, 2016

For the second of their “Tudor Trilogy” of Donizetti operas Melbourne Opera has chalked up a major success with Anna Bolena. Such are the demands placed on the principal singers, it is small wonder it has taken so long to be performed by a professional Australian company. In particular, much rests on the quality of…Read More

Shakespeare in Love

26th September, 2016

Reminding us that “music be the food of love”, Songmakers Australia made a fascinating selection of excerpts from nine of Shakespeare’s plays, plus Sonnet 130, as interpreted by nine composers ranging chronologically from Berlioz to Alison Bauld. The chosen items sometimes centred more on madness and death, but all could be at least loosely connected…Read More

Our Man In Havana

20th September, 2016

Having a standing-room-only audience contributed to the tropical vibe of Lyric Opera’s latest mounting of rarely performed operatic gems by notable Australian composers. Hailed at its triumphant première as “the greatest first-opera since Peter Grimes”, the ensuing neglect of Malcolm Williamson’s Our Man in Havana reflected the personal misfortunes of its composer. With a libretto…Read More


19th August, 2016

Once again Melbourne Opera has proved that it is a company up for a challenge. After successful concert performances of Rienzi, another of Wagner’s operas neglected by local companies in recent times beckoned. A fully staged production of the1861 Paris version of Tannhäuser is a much more daunting task, but members of the creative team…Read More

CD Review: The Classic 100 Voice 2016

8th August, 2016

If you are looking for some of the best performances of classical vocal music by Australian singers, then this product of ABC Classic FM’s latest popularity poll The Classic 100 – Voice 2016 is for you. Even though only two items were composed this century and only twenty in the last 100 years, this set of…Read More