Saul at the Adelaide Festival: the early scenes feel like hallucinatory dreamscapes unanchored in space.
With its themes of family dysfunction, love, death, madness and the supernatural, this Old Testament story is ready-made for opera.
Meow Meow stars in Victorian Opera’s ‘Tis Pity.
Pia Johnson/Victorian Opera
Victoria Opera's 'Tis Pity brings a litany of harlots to the stage, but doesn't give its female lead many characters to play with. Indeed it risks capitulating to the very 'male hypocrisy' it seeks to address.
A mosaic of King Roger II: we should celebrate his 12th-century example of inter-cultural collaboration.
Matthias Süßen/Wikimedia commons
A new production of the opera King Roger will open this week. At a time when Europe was charged with fear of the 'Muslim threat', this 12th century king collaborated with an Islamic scholar on an extraordinary project.
Valda Wilson as Theodora: a triumph.
© Robert Catto/Pinchgut Opera
This brilliant production of Handel's Theodora, written in 1750, has great contemporary resonance.
Circus and opera crash together in Cirque de la Symphonie.
Barriers between artforms are tumbling down in three recent productions that mix circus and opera. The shows range from sombre to silly, but all hit magnificent high notes.
New Mozart production set in 1930s Eritrea made headlines when ticket holders in Edinburgh were offered refunds – before the event.
Design for upgrades to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Courtesy Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is getting an A $200 million upgrade. It's a chance to rectify some glaring faults, but in our risk-averse times, the outcome will be decided by committees.
Meryl Streep as amateur soprano singer Florence Foster Jenkins…should we celebrate ambition over talent?
Films about incompetent, inspirational flops are popular at present. These strange heroes embody the mantra of our self-help culture: never give up and embrace willpower over talent.
Sex Workers' Opera
Verbatim theatre is being adopted more and more to give a voice to marginalised communities in the hope of instigating social change.
Attempts to explain opera’s affective power have a long history.
Photo: Keith Saunders. (L-R) Voyage to the Moon's Phoebe Briggs, Jeremy Kleeman, Emma Matthews, Sally-Anne Russell.
It seems obvious to say that opera "moves" people. But the question of "how" it moves people is far less straightforward. Cue a new research project pegged to Voyage to the Moon.
The voices that can be used in a show like this are not those one would hear in Madama Butterfly.
Patrick (Peter Cousens), Ellen (Melissa Madden Grey), The Divorce. ABC TV.
The kinds of voices that can be used in a show like ABC's The Divorce are certainly not typical of those one would hear in Madama Butterfly. But – and let's be honest for a second – does it matter?
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s last collaboration The Seven Deadly Sins, first performed in 1933, in circumstances not dissimilar than those we face today. Pictured: Meow Meow.
Victorian Opera this week stages The Seven Deadly Sins, the final collaboration between Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. First staged in 1933, it is a masterpiece by two of the most revolutionary artists of Weimar Germany.
Rabbits transgresses the increasingly porous boundary traditional opera and contemporary musical theatre to great effect.
The Rabbits has adapted Shaun Tan's evocative paintings and John Marsden's spare storytelling into a rich and compelling "opera".
A new discussion paper examines the many challenges faced by Australia’s four flagship opera companies.
Amid dwindling audiences and rising production costs, Australian opera is facing its first national review. So what are the solutions put forward so far?
At its best, opera can, indeed, be a powerful form of allegorical theatre.
EPA/Gian Ehrenzeller (Image from Verdi's I due Foscari)
A gang-rape scene in a new London staging of Rossini's Guillaume Tell was greeted with audience booing, and has sparked ongoing controversy. Are opera directors at risk of miscomprehending the medium?
Spare us the blood and guts.
Performers and audiences alike are undermined by graphic depictions of violence, like Michieletto's Guillaume Tell.
Take a bow.
The violence of the Royal Opera House's production of William Tell should shock us - but that doesn't mean it's wrong.
Graeme Macfarlane (Goro) and Hiromi Omura (Cio-Cio-San) in Opera Australia’s Madama Butterfly (2015).
Opera Australia has once again posted a major operating loss and is weathering criticism for its very safe repertoire. Both these points merit consideration in the federal government's National Opera Review.
Dramatic in its effect, Fly away Peter is a requiem to the fallen and damaged of the first world war. Photo: Zan Wimberley.
Sydney Chamber Opera
One of the few Australian novels dealing with the first world war, David Malouf's Fly Away Peter, has been adapted for the opera stage – and the Sydney Chamber Opera's production is a great success.
An opera based on David Malouf’s Fly Away Peter opens in Sydney this weekend.
Sydney Chamber Opera's production of David Malouf's 1982 novel Fly Away Peter opens this weekend. It's not the first opera adaptation of Australian literature – and there are reasons to hope it's not the last.