Sweeney Todd review (Darling Harbour Theatre, Sydney)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd, the chorus sings. And that’s no small feat. Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece is an Everest musical for any company. It calls for a big orchestra. Big voices. Big emotions, from playful vaudeville to macabre tragedy. Complex staging. Subtle shifts in mood and musicality. There are variations, of course. Bryn Terfel

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Salome review (Sydney Opera House)

Salome
Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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What are we to make of Salome—Richard Strauss’ one-act opera after Oscar Wilde’s one-act play—in an age of religious emergency, female empowerment and sexual awakening? What are we to make of a woman as both gruesome sexual fantasy and ghoulish sexual aggressor? A woman of the male gaze rendered so powerful? A heroine so shockingly

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Werther opera review (Sydney Opera House)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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As opera love triangles go, this one is pretty staid: boy and girl are engaged, girl falls for another boy before the wedding, who gets a little clingy. If scandal is what you want you’d be better off staying at home with Married At First Sight. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s book, from which this opera

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Best theatre of 2018: Jason Whittaker’s Sydney picks

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Musicals, News & Commentary, Opera, Stage, Theatre |

From opera to musical theatre and drama classic and contemporary, I’m genre agnostic when it comes to picking the best theatrical experiences of 2018. The standout Sydney stage shows spoke to the moment in distinctive ways, from #metoo to race relations, mental health, environmentalism … and the pitfalls of bricking yourself into a pyramid. In

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Queensland Theatre’s year of inclusion; (Opera Australia, not so much)

QTC
News & Commentary, Opera, Stage, Theatre |

The launch season has begun this month for the country’s performing arts companies as they reveal their 2019 programs. The first theatre company out of the gate is Queensland Theatre in Brisbane, helmed by artistic director Sam Strong, formerly an associate AD at Melbourne Theatre Company. His 2019 season (marking the company’s 49th year) raises the bar for

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