So many Best Books of 2013 lists circulating around; so here's my version. The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton. I loved this book and believe it thoroughly deserved its Booker Prize win. Initially put off by the size, I eventually bought it on my iPad Kindle - disguising the task ahead. But it turned out to be no task at all. I loved every word and … [Read more...] about Best Books of 2013
Archives for 2013
I've now seen three Ring Cycles. All in Australia. Two in Adelaide. First, the Theatre du Chatelet production in 1998. With it's striking, minimalist programme, befitting it's controversially minimalist production. Second, the Elke Neidhardt directed Ring cycle, presented two years later than predicted, in 2004. This was the first all new … [Read more...] about Rings of Power – which one rules them all?
So it's done. All over. Wonderful experience. A great thing to be immersed in Wagner's music drama the way he envisaged it. Four performances in the week. In our case each one preceded by a talk by Professor Heath Lees explaining what we had in store. All wonderful. The great strengths of this Ring, generally agreed in the foyer talk, were the … [Read more...] about The Melbourne Ring – final verdict
Well it is finally all over - leaving us both bereft and full of hope. No more lectures and no more performances. But as Professor Lees said in his last talk (for this cycle anyway - he has four more to do - a truly Wagnerian effort) we can seek out other Ring cycles the world over and sit through it again and again, energy and finances permitting. … [Read more...] about Watching the World End – the Melbourne Ring finale
Seigfried is arguably the most difficult of the four Ring operas to stage successfully. Professor Lees told us it was the hardest for Wagner to write and he famously took a twelve year break from doing so. It's also the hardest to watch at the start as you don't like either of the characters in the first scene - the sniveling Mime and the boorish … [Read more...] about Truly Heroic – Seigfried in Melbourne
Having been a little underwhelmed by Das Rheingold, I really loved Die Walkure - the second opera in the Melbourne Ring cycle. It may well be, as Heath Lees suggested in our morning lecture, that this is the best opera in the cycle and possibly the best opera of all time! In any event it was a wonderful show. From our place in the lofty heights, we … [Read more...] about Pitch Perfect