February 7, 2019

Bleach* Festival announces its 2019 program

Louise Bezzina will mark her final festival as Artistic Director with a monumental performance of Verdi’s Requiem, a drive-in dance work, a ship that doubles as a musical instrument – and 180 fitness balls on the beach.

February 6, 2019

The Making of a Magic Flute

Barrie Kosky’s animated production of Mozart’s Singspiel has been stunning audiences globally. Suzanne Andrade and Paul Barritt from innovative British theatre company 1927 tell us how a “hyperactive little Australian” convinced them to stage their first opera.

February 5, 2019
CD and Other Review

Bernstein: A Quiet Place (Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Nagano)

Written during the most exasperating period of his compositional career, Leonard Bernstein’s opera A Quiet Place reflected all of his then current excesses – be they conducting commitments, prescription medications, Ballantine Scotch and his inability to say ‘no’. This more recent rewrite for chamber-sized forces (less than 20 musicians are employed here compared to the 70-piece ensemble that Lenny originally sought) achieves much. Gone is the earlier ‘flashback’ using his early-50s one acter Trouble in Tahiti, though many musical references remain, and this works for the better along with other judicious prunings by composer Garth Sunderland. The opera in this new incarnation is now cut down to just over 90-minutes in duration. With A Quiet Place, we have graduated from the everyday marital issues seen in Trouble in Tahiti to a time following the death of wife Dinah in a car accident when the entire family (now including two adult children and a son-in-law, François) are all in crisis dealing not only with death, but issues of sexual orientation – for not only is the son, Junior, gay, he has had an affair with his sister’s husband somewhere in the past. Perhaps the plot lies closer to soap opera? Yet…

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