Bel Canto, davvero!

February 27, 2024 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, Opera, WAGNER |

Alberich monsters Mime (by Arthur Rackham)

Richard Wagner Society of South Australia – Wake for Wagner (18 for 13) February 2024 President Geoffrey Seidel welcomed, and Barbara Fergusson interviewed, tenor Andrew Goodwin. Andrew grew up in the inner west Sydney suburb of Summer Hill and after certain vicissitudes, got the opportunity, arranged by Mira Yevtich, to study at the St Petersburg State Conservatory. Since then, he has appeared in numerous roles* and performed with all the major Australian symphony orchestras, but thus far at least, in few Wagner operas (when this was pointed out, he hilariously channeled “The Fast Show” and said: “I’ll get my coat.”)…

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Maestro

January 3, 2024 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, FILM, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Bradley Cooper – Netflix, 2023) Maestro is not a biopic of Leonard Bernstein, a popular and influential conductor, composer and musicologist. We do follow his career, but high and low points are marked by whirls of scenic grabs and musical snatches. The film’s focus is on Bernstein’s long and bumpy marriage to Felicia Montealegre, going from breathless first-flush intimacy, to star couple, to cold understanding, to a final tenderness. Whilst this renders the film a little thin, putting it mildly, it succeeds upon its chosen horizon. This is due to great turns by Bradley Cooper and, in particular,…

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The Ring in Brisbane

December 16, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |

(Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Second Cycle: 8, 10, 12, 14 December 2023) Like Wagner’s monumental work, the first ever staging of The Ring in Brisbane grew in the telling. It was commissioned in 2017, and advertised in early 2019, with bookings in a ‘shuffle format’ scheduled from 13 June of that year, for performances in November/December 2020. Then a Sino/American research project let a bat loose from Hell, and gross inconvenience, and death, ensued. The Ring was set aside, although not as long as Wagner did while he fretted, and tinkered, and researched. With a revised cast, it was…

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Barrie Kosky’s Das Rheingold

November 5, 2023 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | FILM, MUSIC, OPERA, Opera, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |

(Palace Nova, October 2023) Reviewed by Philippa Thomas Barrie Kosky’s Das Rheingold worked superbly in the live screened London Royal Opera performance seen by some lucky Adelaide Wagner lovers at our Palace Nova Prospect cinema this month. The screening included a short explanatory interview with Kosky and conductor Antonio Pappano, where Kosky explained that his own planned Ring cycle deals with “recognisable human beings with all their flaws” within a context of “the unexplained“. His stress is on the origins from Greek tragedy rather than Norse mythology. Many opera critics have reviewed this production positively – both Pappano’s conducting and…

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Edge of Reality

June 15, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Created by Paul Grabowsky, Adelaide Festival Centre, 14 June 2023) Elvis Presley and Cabaret? But of course! If you Can Dream, avoid that Kentucky Rain, have a Little Less Conversation, perhaps have you Always on Our Mind, and do it My Way, it could work. And this night, it kinda-did, care of Paul Grabowsky’s absolutely clever re-working of the arrangements of the King’s greatest hits (and some lesser mortals), with a terrific jazz/rock/fusion band (piano, guitar, cello, clarinet, trumpet, fiddle, drums, glockenspiel?) and starring celebrated Australian vocalists Joe Camilleri and Deborah Conway, Edge of Reality is a unique tribute to…

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