Die Walküre at the Met

July 3, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |

[Film of production directed by Gary Halvorson, screened in Adelaide June/July 2019] Wagner’s most human work in the Ring cycle, the hub of the wheel, a pivotal moment when the increasingly out-of-kilter world of gods gives way to the chaos of man. We have described The Valkyries in more detail elsewhere, so we turn without further ado to this excellent film of the performance at the Met in NYC in March 2019, based on the original 2011 production. ‘The Machine’ is back: a spidery bundle of rectangular rods, like giant railway sleepers, that spin and flutter to address the comparatively…

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Petula Clark

May 20, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Norwood Town Hall, 17 May 2019 We just had to catch one of the earliest British pop divas and it was well worth it. Especially as Petula (aged about 13) had had a small but key role in the classic film I Know Where I’m Going! “Downtown,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” (see below) “A Sign of the Times,” and “I Know a Place” and several other worthy tunes had the crowd swaying and (annoyingly in some cases) humming along. TVC calculated that we might have been among the younger fans in the crowd, but it looked like a full…

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Amazing India

April 9, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Music and Dance provided by alumni of Kalalaya School of Performing Arts, 6 April 2019, Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Theatre The Varnished Culture has great admiration for Indian accomplishment (mixed with a fair bit of ignorance, but profound for all that). But we were not quite prepared* for the Amazing India experience, pretty much a Hindustani eisteddfod featuring all levels of students and tutors of the local Kalalaya School of Performing Arts.  From old-style classical dance forms such as Bharatnatyam and cadenced Kathak, to modern, salacious Bollywood numbers, an enthusiastic (at times, overly enthusiastic) audience were treated to 140 minutes of some 20…

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Skandalkonzert – Music with Punch

March 31, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, MUSIC |

March 31, 1931: A concert at the Vienna Concert Society by the ‘atonalists,’ Schoenberg, Berg, inter alios, ended part-way through when fights broke out. It was a bit like the scene in No Surrender when a punk band comes out to entertain old age pensioners at a New Years Eve dance hall. Concert organizer Erhard Buschbeck punched a man out: a witness described it as “the most harmonious sound at the entire concert.” The show closed during Alban Berg’s “Five Orchestral Songs on Picture-Postcard Texts by Peter Altenberg.”  Mahler’s contribution to the programme, the best of the bunch by far,…

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Daisy Jones and The Six (by Taylor Jenkins Reid)

Cobalt Blue Eyes? Call the Doctor.

Daisy Jones and the Six is a fictional 1970s Fleetwood Mac style-ensemble fronted by a bewitching, raspy voiced woman (the eponymous Daisy) and a handsome, brooding guitarist-singer. The number is made up by a less ravishing woman on keyboards and a couple of other people not worth bothering about. Don’t bother reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel either, just wait a while and you can watch it. The front cover declares deliriously that Renaissance Woman Reese Witherspoon “devoured” this book in a day, and you can bet that she’s put it on her shelf marked Miniseries? Netflix? Role for Ava?  We…

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