Behind the South African Festival

May 10, 2020 by  

Claire Jankelson and Di Singer are the directors of the South African Film Festival. Claire answers questions for J-Wire. Read more

Lie back and listen to Ludwig: a didn’t-happen music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

March 16, 2020 by  

Instead of arriving at the Sydney Town Hall next Wednesday night to hear the SSO, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, organ, and four soloists perform Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, I’ll probably be waiting for an Uber-eat paper bag to arrive at home. Read more

The Yellow Bird Sings: a book review by Geoffrey Zygier

March 10, 2020 by  

I seem to have become our esteemed editor’s go-to guy when he needs someone to crit books about the Holocaust. Read more

Impressions from, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Debussy – and the Sydney Town Hall: a music review from Fraser Beath McEwing

February 27, 2020 by  

The first concert in the SSO Masters Series for 2020 ushered in the beginning of a two-year stint in ye auld and venerated Sydney Town Hall while the Opera House concert hall is up for a rebore. Read more

Faust: McVicar’s devilish take on classic opera…an opera review by Victor Grynberg

February 13, 2020 by  

One of France’s greatest ever composers, Charles Gounod had an immediate hit on his hands when his opera Faust finally premiered in Paris in 1859. Read more

A Universe of Sufficient Size: a book review by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen

January 30, 2020 by  

At the first Limmud-Oz I gave a presentation on Holocaust Novels: Fact from Fiction. It posed the possibility that some holocaust novels appear so real and some true stories seem to be pieces of fiction. Read more

Don Giovanni: singers shine in Mozart masterpiece

January 27, 2020 by  

Don Giovanni is the tale brought to Mozart by his librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte when he was looking for a story to follow his great success with The Marriage Of Figaro writes Victor Grynberg. Read more

Just Mercy: a movie review by James Bernardinelli

Just Mercy is the kind of high-minded tale about social injustice that often opens around this time of the year. Read more

Bombshells: a movie review by James Bernardinelli

January 19, 2020 by  

As a dramatic re-creation of the events leading up to the July 2016 ouster of Fox News honcho Roger Ailes, Bombshell is effective cinema. Read more

Present Tense by Natalie Conyer: a book review by Geoffrey Zygier

January 15, 2020 by  

In Bereishit, the first reading of the Torah, Eve picks a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, despite the Almighty’s specific prohibition. Read more

John Bell’s Havana colours bring extra delight To Carmen: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

January 14, 2020 by  

George Bizet died tragically at only 37 years of age, after 33 mixed-reviewed performances of his Spanish-themed opera Carmen. Read more

Mengele: Unmasking the Angel of Death – a book review by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen

January 12, 2020 by  

In receiving this book, it brought back to me two issues. Read more

1917: a movie review by James Bernardinelli

When it comes to 20th-century wars, World War I, the so-called “Great War” or “War to End All Wars,” is poorly represented in motion pictures. Read more

La Boheme: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

January 5, 2020 by  

A summertime favourite at the Opera House almost every year, La Boheme received that rare Sydney accolade, an almost total standing ovation after this year’s opening night. Read more

Jojo Rabbit: a film review by James Berardinelli

December 25, 2019 by  

It’s not hard to understand how something like Jojo Rabbit might divide audiences. Comedies about Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Third Reich can be difficult to sell, even if there’s an underlying seriousness to the subject matter. Read more

A briefish Mahler fest: Music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

December 5, 2019 by  

If you love Mahler, this was a concert for you. Read more

Peerless playing from Paul Lewis: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 19, 2019 by  

British pianist, Paul Lewis, filled his Sydney Recital Hall program with just two works last night: Schubert’s Sonata in G D894 and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. No bonbons to be seen. Read more

Kaddish.com: book review by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen

November 8, 2019 by  

The publisher introduces the novel by “Larry is the secular son in a family of Orthodox Brooklyn Jews. Read more

The Other Story: screening at the Jewish International Film Festival

October 30, 2019 by  

The Other Story is an Israeli movie from director and co-writer Avi Nesher. It is a fascinating movie that juxtaposes relationships in the religious orthodox community, against secular relationships in modern-day Israel. Read more

The beauty of sadness: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

October 24, 2019 by  

While concert programs are usually eclectic, so that everybody gets at least something they like, last night’s SSO offering in the Masters Series was unashamedly emotional from start to finish. And I, for one, loved it, not just for the program but the quality of the performance. Read more

Never Again-Austen Tayshus

October 8, 2019 by  

Like so many I saw a number of Austen Tayshus shows in the 80’s in Pubs and clubs where you would leave drenched in sweat and feeling like you had just done nine rounds of cage wrestling with Andre the Giant and a Grizzly bear. The latest offering by Austen Tayshus at the Bondi Pavillion still leaves you battered and bruised but dying for more. Read more

Working Woman: a movie review by Toni Susskind

September 25, 2019 by  

Written by Michal Aviad, Working Women is a powerful movie that highlights gender exploitation, by turning the spotlight on sexual harassment in the office. Read more

Something completely different: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

September 3, 2019 by  

Although Geoffrey Lancaster is a world-renowned performer on the fortepiano, it was risky to devote one of the four piano series recitals to a period instrument. Read more

Music from beneath the Bolshevik boot: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 29, 2019 by  

Last night’s Masters Series concert was not for faint-hearted orchestral players, conductors or an audience that wanted orderly, familiar music. Read more

Lux: a book review by Aviva Kipen

August 22, 2019 by  

For millennia unembroidered biblical and post-biblical stories were elaborated and embellished in the oral tradition that was finally committed to writing following the destruction of the Second Temple. Read more

Bright young stars shine In West Side Story: a review by Victor Grynberg

August 22, 2019 by  

If PORGY and BESS is the pre-eminent American Folk Opera, then certainly WEST SIDE STORY is the outstanding American Musical. Read more

Birth of the Cool

August 16, 2019 by  

MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL – a documentary featuring the life and career of musical giant and cultural icon Miles Davis, a true visionary, innovator and originator who defied categorization and embodied the word, will be screened in a short season. Read more

Kirill Gerstein’s journey through genres: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

August 6, 2019 by  

Visiting 40-year-old Russian-American pianist, Kirill Gerstein, is at the top of his game. Read more

Whiteley: a stunning triumph for Opera Australia

July 17, 2019 by  

Victor Grynberg reviews the premiere of a new Australian opera recounting the life of the iconic artist Brett Whiteley… Read more

“The Collaborator” by Diane Armstrong: a book review by Geoffrey Zygier

July 11, 2019 by  

In The Collaborator, her first book in almost a decade, noted Australian writer Diane Armstrong weaves together two interconnected tales. One is her interpretation of a true story, a reworking of an extremely controversial and still unresolved episode from the Holocaust. Read more

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