The Merry Widow: an operetta review by Victor Grynberg

January 6, 2021 by  

So there we were in the Joan Sutherland Theatre of the Sydney Opera House, about to see our first Opera Australia production since their magnificent production of the early Verdi masterpiece “Attila” had its season dramatically curtailed by the arrival of COVID fears 10 months ago. Read more

What are you doing on Tuesday evening?

December 14, 2020 by  

Tune in at 7.30pm tomorrow night for a free digital concert performed by AWO colleagues and two stellar visual artists. Read more

Happy birthday Ludwig : a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

November 19, 2020 by  

Working within coronavirus limitations, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is framing its early resuscitation around smaller audiences and multiple performances. This made for a roomy gathering at the Sydney Recital Hall last night. Read more

Opera Australia to return to the Sydney Opera House in January

November 5, 2020 by  

Opera Australia will return to the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage for the first time since the coronavirus shut down its 2020 season in March, today announcing a three-month COVID-safe season that includes two productions never before performed by the Company. Read more

Fraser Beath McEwing reports: What the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has in store for 2021

October 27, 2020 by  

Tossing aside the pandemic and the problem faced by wind players blowing through face masks, the SSO has announced the programs for its 2021 season. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Da-da-da-darr plus rarities: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

July 4, 2019 by  

Beethoven’s fifth symphony, a Verdi overture and a Prokofiev violin concerto made a perfectly balanced program for the Masters Series SSO concert last night. And that was before the bonus attractions of a female Chinese conductor and a celebrated Russian/Israeli violinist. Read more

La Traviata on the harbour

July 3, 2019 by  

Opera Australia has announced that Verdi’s much loved work La Traviata will return to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stage in 2020. Read more

Move over Franz, Lang Lang is in the building: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

You know it’s a Sydney Opera House gala celebrity event when the concerto is played last. Read more

Madama Butterfly reaches new heights: an opera review by Victor Grynberg

June 30, 2019 by  

When Opera Australia premiered their new era digital sets last year with the production of AIDA not everybody was as enthusiastic as this critic. Read more

Australian World Orchestra back together

June 28, 2019 by  

Following last year’s sensational response to the concerts led by Maestro Riccardo Muti, the AUSTRALIAN WORLD ORCHESTRA (AWO) is returning with an eclectic and bravura program for this July, and to present the newly formed AWO SIX, an elite ensemble of AWO all-stars. Read more

An evening with The Scott Van Gemert’s Big Band: a music review by Ron Jontof-Hutter

June 7, 2019 by  

I attended a concert given at Melbourne’s Paris Cat Jazz Club given by Scott van Gemert and his 17-piece jazz big band this week. Read more

Claytons Brahms and genuine Chopin: a music review by Fraser Beath McEwing

Two composers who borrowed from Brahms flanked the real-deal Chopin in the SSO’s Masters Series concert last night at the Sydney Opera House. Read more

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in concert: a music/film review by Hila Tsor

April 25, 2019 by  

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a Harry Potter nerd. At the beginning of the year I reread all the books and got sucked into a world of wonder, friendship and adventure again. Read more

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

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

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