Girl’s Night Out

Simone Young and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Guests, Adelaide Town Hall, 9 August 2019 ***1/2 One can be ambivalent, even resentful about Richard Strauss, with his ‘stress-without-storm’ tone poems, dalliances with flaxen-haired girleens, Daddy-jokes, and general frivolity, even (and perhaps especially) concerning Nazis. Yet who could resist an evening of his pieces by the ASO conducted by Simone Young, featuring 4 great female singers, the romantic feminine being the essence of his oeuvre? The programme of works says it all: included were interludes from Intermezzo, Capriccio and Salome; snippets from Ariadne auf Naxos, duets from Arabella, and a selection from…

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Save the Glory of Art

January 29, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, PETER'S WRITING, Uncategorized |

I’ll never leave, or if I do, I shall always return to you, For it’s you, it’s you, always you, Save the Glory of Art. Feel no jealousy; Raphael won’t draw from me Emotion I might save for you – It stays tucked in my heart. And while’s I’m talking true, We can stop or start, Right the wrong in part; Save the Glory of Art. I’ll never leave, or where I go You shall be the first to know, What’s on the wall is just for show Save the Glory of Art.

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Swinging Safari

(Directed by Stephan Elliott) (2018) We at TVC stand up for the 1970s but this coming-of-age-weren’t-mum-and-dad-shockers film sums up the shakiness of such a gesture.  Lurching from the 1960s Eden to the next decade’s Gethsemane, this Australian comedy tries to be an amusing take on the generational poison encapsulated in Philip Larkin’s This Be The Verse.  Instead, it serves up a meaningless pastiche of Don’s Party, Puberty Blues, Porky’s and The Ice Storm. Whilst the parents (Guy Pierce, Kylie Minogue, Asher Keddie, Julian McMahon and Jeremy Sims among them) seem to be living it up, most of the comedy is so broad as…

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“Beady-Eyed Sneer”

January 9, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, Uncategorized |

Lee Van Cleef (9 January 1925 – 16 December, 1989) In The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (1978), the authors, citing Return of Sabata (1972), quote Van Cleef as stating: “being born with a beady-eyed sneer was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.”           His was not a filmography to commend itself to posterity.  However, we respectfully suggest the following to the canon: In bit parts: High Noon (1952), Gunfight at OK Corral (1957), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962): As a spaghetti anti-hero / villain: For a Few Dollars More (1965),…

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Palais Garnier

January 5, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, OPERA, Uncategorized |

This superb example of Beaux Arts neoclassical Opera House was inaugurated on this day, 5 January, in 1875. Charles Garnier’s design is splendid, even more so when one appreciates that it was despised and detested by that box-building fraud Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (aka Le Corbusier).           The Varnished Culture has only seen one production there, but it was well worth it: Kata Kabanova. Such a bleak and shabby piece may have seemed incongruous but your correspondent, amid Parisian dowagers rattling their jewelry, was untroubled by the surrounding sumptuousness.           The decorative figures adorning the main façade include bronze…

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