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Michael Ball and Alfie Boe: why we’ll never tire of singing Les Mis

Live, Music, Musicals, News & Commentary, Stage |

In 2007, tenor Alfie Boe and musical theatre star Michael Ball appeared together in an English National Opera production of the classic musical Kismet, now famous for being particularly awful. It might well have been a low point in both of their careers — the London Evening Standard declared “A terrible fate should befall this Kismet” — but it

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Is Melbourne Festival’s queer pop music marathon too expensive to be radical?

Live, Music, News & Commentary, Stage |

Melbourne Festival this week revealed its 2017 program, with one of the most significant works of live performance of the decade at its centre. Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is a 24-hour journey through popular music and the history of America, from 1776 through to today, performed by the legendary New York cabaret artist. The Pulitzer

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Helpmann Awards: local vs foreign artists, and the other big talking points


Last night’s Helpmann Awards were thoroughly endured by all in attendance. The ceremony, which recognises live performance in almost every form (from ballet, to contemporary music, to stand-up comedy, to opera, to musical theatre), is typically a marathon event. Thankfully, the ceremony ran pretty much to time (three hours, straight through), and there were some

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Helpmann Award Winners 2017: full list


Barrie Kosky’s production of Saul, which had its Australian premiere at Adelaide Festival, has dominated this year’s Helpmann Awards, picking up six awards, including Best Direction of an Opera and Best Opera. The winners of the awards were revealed tonight at a ceremony at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. Leah Purcell’s much-awarded stage adaptation of The Drover’s Wife was a

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The new Trump of the Arts? Comments of the week

Lyndon Terracini
News & Commentary, Opera, Stage |

Our exclusive story on Thursday, ‘Victorian Minister blasts Opera Australia whose audience will die in their seats’ in which the Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, lambasted Opera Australia, has prompted passionate responses from opera lovers. Some readers seemed to take Foley’s criticism of OA’s perceived lack of innovation, well, almost personally. ‘Joanna’, who appears to have a working

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Daily Review mightily appreciates the kindness of strangers


Daily Review launched a reader support campaign last November in the hope that this temporary measure would get us through some tough times as advertisers increasingly put their funds into Google, Facebook and their own marketing websites. But alas, asking readers for support is the new normal. In the last six months things have got tough for huge media organisations like Fairfax

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Exclusive: Victorian minister blasts Opera Australia whose audience will ‘die in their seats’

Screen xShot 2017-07-20 at 6.53.19 pm copy
News & Commentary, Opera, Stage |

Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, has called on Opera Australia to “honour the deals they have with Victoria” and to urgently do something about its repertoire and ageing audience. “They have progressively constricted their appearances in Victoria and have gone from (producing) original, commissioned work to increasingly (staging) the big musical blockbusters. They need to be here more

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Jan van de Stool’s insider goss: hosting the Helpmann Awards


The Helpmann Awards ceremony is the Australian live performance industry’s night of nights, and a typically star-studded event. But one star shone unexpectedly brightly last year: Jan van de Stool, a beloved Dutch musical therapist, and close personal acquaintance and mentor of cabaret and musical theatre star Queenie van de Zandt. Jan has extensive experience

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