AUTHOR: Peter Hurley

Lyric Opera: Les Mamelles de Tirésias

14th April, 2018

Melbourne continues to show its appreciation for opera in intimate settings. On opening night, it was a full house in The Loft at Chapel Off Chapel. This performance space seats 150, so this is an ‘Off-Broadway’ style production. Occupying the traditional position of overture – that is, audience -settler – it began with a slightly…Read More

Resonant Bodies Festival

24th May, 2017

The Resonant Bodies Festival is a fascinating approach to new music. Part of an ongoing project first launched in New York in 2013, these events are only loosely curated – each program takes its form and content from the composers and composer performers themselves. The performance on May 5th 2017 was our first Resonant Bodies…Read More

Victorian Opera’s Sleeping Beauty

16th March, 2017

Respighi’s music is mostly familiar through such works as Ancient Airs and Dances, The Birds, The Fountains of Rome – all works of great descriptive charm illuminated by exemplary orchestrations. I had heard a few of his solo songs, and been struck by his mastery of vocal writing too, so it was with considerable excitement…Read More

The Last Five Years

5th December, 2016

  The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown is the story of a marriage told from both partners’ perspective, in the form of a chamber musical. We know from the beginning how the story ends, because at the start she’s in tears – it’s the end of the relationship. Cathy – played by Verity…Read More

Songs for a New World

9th June, 2016

Billed as a song cycle, rather than a musical, Songs for a New World is actually more than the sum of its parts, at least in this production at Chapel off Chapel by Blue Saint. In terms of form, this piece perhaps comes closest to Revue; each song is a scene in itself, and so…Read More

Opera Australia: The Pearlfishers

18th May, 2016

How do we receive an opera that contains a tune so famous that it in itself has acquired layers of cultural meaning beyond this original context? A musical and cultural artifact that has meaning to a population with no idea of the opera it came from? The Pearlfishers contains a male duet that has become…Read More

Gripped by Violet passion

15th March, 2016

Violet is funny, sad, charming, gritty, dramatic, confronting, nostalgic, simple, and sophisticated in its understandings of human nature all at once. I also believe it to be a significant piece that should attract a devoted following – both in the quality of its writing and the quality of this current production by Blue Saint at…Read More

Ghost: the Musical

18th February, 2016

Am I the only person in the world who didn’t see the film Ghost? I thought it would be an interesting piece to see with absolutely no preparation, because the film is so well known, fresh eyes and ears might be hard to find. The book for this musical was written by Bruce Joel Rubin,…Read More

The Grumpiest Boy in the World

7th October, 2015

  There was a serious buzz in the theatre as I was seated – people were using phrases like “so exciting to see this kind of innovation in our opera company!” “Have you heard Joseph Twist’s music yet? You are in for a treat!” I also noticed how very many children of all ages were…Read More

In good Company

22nd September, 2015

Now showing at 45 Downstairs, from its first opening in 1970 this musical shocked and delighted the Broadway audience, partly with the “non linear narrative”, but perhaps more because of its candour in showing aspects of modern relationships with all their flaws. Today it has lost none of its connection, because of the insightfulness behind…Read More