AUTHOR: Peter Hurley

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Melbourne Opera: The Flying Dutchman

8th February, 2019

The qualities of this performance were strongly anticipated in the chatter around Melbourne in the weeks leading up to the opening. This anticipation was also evident from the excitement in the foyer for a good hour beforehand. As the Dutchman’s reputation preceded him, so did reputation of this production. Conductor Anthony Negus’ Tristan und Isolde…Read More

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

8th November, 2018

What a delight this show is from start to finish! From the skills of all the performers, the beautifully judged pace and timing, the visual and physical theatre aspects, wonderful singing, the plot twists – the Production Company’s latest offering engages on every level. The Playhouse gave a very suitable intimate Off Broadway feel to…Read More

OA: Metamorphosis

1st November, 2018

Alienation is the theme of Metamorphosis – Opera Australia’s production achieves this on every level. Brian Howard’s musical composition and its performance, the drama, staging, direction all become one in serving the bleakness of Kafka’s famous text. To provide a brief summary: Gregor Samso awakens after an uneasy sleep to discover he’s been transformed into…Read More


19th October, 2018

Nine is a musical Based on Fellini’s semi-autobiographical movie 8 ½ (1963) Though a musical, it does not shy away from examining some psychological depth along the way. Film director Guido Contini – played here by Anthony Scundi – has found that late in his career, his processes have stalled somewhat, and he is unable…Read More

Lagrime di San Pietro

12th October, 2018

Every year the Melbourne International Arts Festival showcases some works which attract exceptional interest and such was Lagrime di San Pietro – Tears of St. Peter –by  Orlando di Lasso. It was performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale in  Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre on October 5, 2018, and Petdr Hurley was there for Classic…Read More

Madame Butterfly

19th July, 2018

Madame Butterfly had its Opening Night at the Drum Theatre in Dandenong Friday July 13th, and is now touring regional centres – Opera Australia’s website lists 27 theatres –  from NSW through to Tasmania over the next few months. The Opera Australia website also notes that this touring production of Madame Butterfly, directed by John…Read More

Opera Australia: Don Quichotte

10th May, 2018

The original Don Quixote by Cervantes has inspired a number of adaptations that in turn have contributed to variety of written, dramatic and musical interpretations of the central character. Opera Australia has brought us the San Diego Opera’s production of Don Quichotte, through revival director John Sheedy. Here we see Jules Massenet’s view of the character…Read More

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