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Art for silvertails? Opera called to account

A review of four government-funded opera companies around Australia should revitalise this adventurous and resilient art form and find new ways to engage more artists and audiences.

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Razer’s Class Warfare: the debate around speech is larger than Brandis’ arse

Do you hate freedom or do you hate brown people? These were the choices on offer — but it’s a false dichotomy, and you can reject both terms.

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Tips and rumours

Tasmania, the black sheep of Australia? … staff dissent at Opera Australia … Qld Labor lives on …

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The Ring looked more like cheap bling

Tacky stage design of the Ring disappointed audiences and would have benefited from a single artist’s vision, writes critic and historian Ian Britain.

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Ring Cycle: if you can watch 16 hours of opera, read on

Wagner’s 16 hour-long Ring Cycle is not for the casual opera fan, but die-hards are in for a treat.

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Media briefs: Kim sues SMHGuardian gun walks …

Former News Corp Australia CEO Kim Williams plans to launch defamation proceedings today against Fairfax Media over an article claiming he stormed out of a Sydney Opera House Trust board meeting … and other media tidbits.

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Theatre review: Carmen — Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney

It’s as good as Carmen can be, indoors or out. Opera Australia’s Sydney Harbour spectacle might not be pure, but it’s a visual feast and the performers are world-class, writes Lloyd Bradford Syke.

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Tips and rumours

The SMH knows no boundaries … empty chair at Opera Australia … Abbott’s terra nullius

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Tips and rumours

Changes at helm of Opera Australia, Brisbane film festival … do the Freemasons run the joint? … Tony Abbott’s nickname …

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Theatre review: Salome — Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney

Gale Edwards breathes new life into a classic biblical tale for Opera Australia. It’s confronting theatre rich with context, wit and gaudy panache, says Lloyd Bradford Syke.

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Two-speed performing arts sector drags down attendance

New data released by the Australia Council confirms stagnating audiences for the nation’s largest performing arts organisations. But companies say it’s not as bad as it looks.

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Performing arts audiences stagnating: Crikey analysis

A major new analysis of public source attendance data for Australian performing arts companies published today by Crikey reveals stagnating audiences across the sector.

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How the opera set put Yarrabah in tune with its past

Last night 1000 locals from the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah sat in the shade of a humongous mango tree to watch an opera. Crikey travelled to Far North Queensland to witness what it meant to locals.

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THE POWER INDEX | LINKS|

Lyndon Terracini: the man with the cheque book at cashed up Opera Australia

Lyndon Terracini is embarking on a revolution to make a night out at the opera fashionable again, starting with his $12.5 million outdoor extravaganza La traviata, writes Tom Cowie.

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Nothing changes in opera — and nobody seems to care

The reason opera is a “heritage” artform is that its audiences don’t want to see new operas. Time to abandon the fiction that it deserves more public funding than anything else.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Macbeth — State Theatre, Melbourne

Opera Australia’s new production of Shakespeare’s murderous morality tale of political and personal betrayal is an opera so unrelentingly dark you have to squint to make it out, writes Jason Whittaker.

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La Boheme: a commercial and artistic success

Opera companies live and die by the classics — La Bohème is in the top few most performed operas in the world — and new productions come at considerable financial and artistic risk. Luckily the Opera Australia latest is a great one.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Partenope — Opera Theatre, Sydney

Handel’s Partenope hardly rates as one of the most famous operas of all time, but it’s definitely one of the most fun. And Opera Australia has given it a whole new lease of life, says Lloyd Bradford Syke.

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See opera up close, for less

You lose something watching opera in a cinema. But for a fraction of the cost you can watch the world’s best opera performances — while eating popcorn.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

2010 on stage: the best (and worst) from Melbourne

From Shakespeare to Mamet; centuries-old operas to brand-new local works. And in a year that saw independent producers and smaller shows shine, a brassy all-American musical was probably the best of the best. Jason Whittaker names his top picks from the Melbourne stage in 2010.

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Opera float: national company looks for new harbour-side fans

It will be opera watered down, quite literally. Imagine 3000-odd people watching a Verdi masterpiece floating on the most photographed harbour in the world.

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Marcus Westbury | ART & DESIGN|

Where does Australia’s arts funding go?

Last year Opera Australia received more funding than all the 781 other arts boards and projects combined. Marcus Westbury breaks down the Australia Council arts funding fiasco.

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See a cowboy opera, or some traditional Mozart

There’s something a little bit old and something a little bit new in Opera Australia’s latest suite of winter wonders in Sydney (and later this year in Melbourne). A little something for everyone, writes Lloyd Bradford Syke.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Theatre review: A Little Night Music — a little bliss

Isn’t it rich? Isn’t it bliss? Artistically, aesthetically, musically, dramatically, lyrically, sonically, visually and otherwise, it’s a resounding ‘yes!’ Lloyd Bradford Syke reviews Opera Australia’s A Little Night Music.

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Population planning: how opera producers will cash in

You don’t expect questions of immigration and population growth to be discussed in rarefied opera circles. At Opera Australia it’s all part of a delicate balancing act in reimagining an archaic art form for an ever-changing audience.

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