Ludwig and Pyotr step up again: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

An SSO Masters Series concert with two sure-fire blockbuster works would usually leave room for something quirky from artistic director, David Robertson’s black book of offbeat music he likes to share, but it didn’t happen last night. We got the Beethoven violin concerto and Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony neatly divided by interval. Both these works are favoured with plenty of playtime around Australian orchestras because they are so popular. Read more

Bright Swallow by Vivian Bi: a book review by Geoffrey Zygier

March 28, 2019 by  

Among the major threats to our planet’s wellbeing is tribalism. Read more

An exciting piano package from Alessio Bax: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 26, 2019 by  

Italian pianist, Alessio Bax, ticked all the right pre-concert boxes for his Sydney Recital Hall performance last night. Read more

Five Feet Apart – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

March 21, 2019 by  

It’s hard being a teenager and even more so for one has a serious illness.  There have been a few American films in recent years on this theme – Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, which was sweet and funny and The Fault in Our Stars, also charming and both just a little schmaltzy.

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Salome: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

March 12, 2019 by  

Once banned. Still shocking. But Salome is bloody and fantastic. Read more

Sometimes Always Never – a film review by Roz Tarszisz

March 6, 2019 by  

It’s always good to learn something new, however obscure, and it’s not giving anything away to say that the film’s title refers to which buttons a man should do up on a three-piece suit – starting from the top.

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Werther: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

March 1, 2019 by  

Suicide is painless when Massenet pulls the strings. Read more

Peter Pan Goes Wrong: a theatre review by Hila Tsor

February 22, 2019 by  

The title of the play ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ is quite self-explanatory, revealing the main premise of the play. ‘Gone Wrong’ theatre productions are not uncommon but are always full of mischief and mayhem, this being no exception. Read more

A riddle in the middle: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

February 14, 2019 by  

The first concert in the SSO Masters Series for 2019 (now sponsored by upmarket travel company Abercrombie & Kent) presented significant works by Janacek and Bartok, book-ending the Australian premiere of a piece by Steve Reich that had been co-commissioned by several orchestras, including the SSO. Read more

Eavesdropping on heaven: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

February 6, 2019 by  

When a concert series combining the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir was announced, I had to be there – and so did a lot of other music lovers, judging by its sell-out. Read more

On the Basis of Sex – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

February 5, 2019 by  

One could be forgiven for thinking that the use of sex in a title meant a movie was about sex.

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Wozzeck: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

February 3, 2019 by  

After the glorious melodies of LA BOHEME and TURANDOT Opera Australia’s latest production is Alban Berg’s atonal opera, considered today a modern opera but written almost 100 years ago in 1925. Read more

L-E-V: an experience in dance

January 28, 2019 by  

L-E-V Dance Company, renowned as an innovative leader in the thriving Israeli contemporary dance scene, will appear at Sydney’s Opera House between Jan-31 and Feb-03. Read more

Turandot: re-working lifts opera to new heights

January 20, 2019 by  

Giacomo Puccini is rightly acclaimed for so many brilliant operas, and for many of the arias and duets in his less successful works. Read more

Green Book – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

January 20, 2019 by  

There’s invariably a good soundtrack to an American road trip movie and this one – inspired by a true story – is no exception.

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The Kid Who Would Be King – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

January 15, 2019 by  

As a child, I loved T.H. White’s The Once and Future King even though I was confused by the concept of Merlin the Wizard travelling backwards through time and getting younger as he went forward. Read more

New stars create another success for the world’s favourite opera

January 6, 2019 by  

There will always be carping critics complaining about Opera Australia repeating once more the world’s most played 0pera, Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece “La Boheme”…writes Victor Grynberg. Read more

Sydney Festival: One Infinity

December 31, 2018 by  

One Infinity is a hypnotic, cross-cultural music and dance collaboration, in which the audience is also performers. Read more

CAPHARNAÜM: a movie review by Hila Tsor

December 12, 2018 by  

CAPHARNAÜM was a genuine masterpiece, a story that will stick with you months later.  Read more

The New RCA Siddur [Ashkenazi tradition]: a siddur review by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen

November 23, 2018 by  

Traditionally J-Wire does not review obvious religious publications such as prayer books and bibles. Read more

Sobibor: a movie review by Toni Susskind

November 22, 2018 by  

A highlight of the 2018 Jewish International Film Festival, Sobibor was a box office hit in Russia, taking in over $2 million in ticket sales. Read more

Instant Families: a movie review by Toni Susskind

November 22, 2018 by  

When I first heard about Instant Families staring Mark Wahlberg as Pete and Australian Rose Byrne as Ellie, I thought, here we go again, another formulaic Rom-Com about a gorgeous couple adopting three very cute children. I was pleasantly surprised to see how wrong I was. Read more

Tognetti and the ACO+  blew us away: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 19, 2018 by  

As if the announcement that local hero Richard Tognetti was going to perform Beethoven’s violin concerto was not enough to stir the interest of Sydney music lovers, the announcement that he’d beef up the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s 19 regular players with another 30 borrowed from various other orchestras, set their pulses racing. And to top it off, when Tongetti revealed that his hybrid team would throw in Beethoven’s 5th Symphony they came scampering to the box offices. Read more

Widows – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

November 16, 2018 by  

There are certain conventions we can expect from a heist movie. The assembling of disparate characters, the difficulties of setting up the robbery, the preparations and a twist at the end. A touch of humour to leaven the tension goes down well too.

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Beethoven didn’t have it all his own way: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 8, 2018 by  

As well as playing some fine music, the SSO played a noteworthy tactical game this week and next by staging three different concerts with somewhat challenging musical cakes, but each laced with the delicious icing of Beethoven’s 7thSymphony. Moreover, Beethoven appeared in the second half of each concert to prevent the unconvinced from scuttling away after interval. Read more

Spitfire: a movie review by Elana Bowman

November 7, 2018 by  

Spitfire the documentary is simply beautiful. Read more

Madiba the Musical: a theatre review by Elana Bowman

November 2, 2018 by  

Madiba the Musical celebrates the life of the former South African president’s struggle towards freedom; is interwoven with stories and songs of the Black Africans during the apartheid era. Read more

Beautiful Boy – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

October 25, 2018 by  

That this film is based on a true story inspired by two memoirs only serves to make it all the more compelling. Read more

Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul – a book review by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen

October 24, 2018 by  

Having read and used Naomi Levy’s writings before I was fascinated to find out the connection between Einstein and Rabbi Levy. Read more

Shir Madness: Song of Songs

October 21, 2018 by  

Song of Songs is the Shir Madness Finale, after a full day of music, it is a ritual to put together a line-up of top performers who perform their chosen song written, performed or recorded by a Jewish person. Read more

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