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Reviews 2013

Opera Australia Melbourne Ring Cycle 2013 - Melbourne State Theatre - Cycle 2 - November 27, 29, December 2, 4

Armfield’s Poor – Not Cheap – Theatre Ring Cycle

– Terence Watson

The concept of “poor theatre” as applied to the Melbourne Ring Cycle, has for many attendees been synonymous with “cheap theatre,” especially since many people found the range of costumes from the formal to the bathing costumes of the “Sea of Humanity” reminiscent of a visit to an Op Shop, and the minimal use of spectacular stage effects a way of saving Opera Australia money. However, as Armfield’s references to “poor theatre” and “simplicity of means” should alert us to a more serious intention.

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Opera Australia Melbourne Ring Cycle 2013 - Melbourne State Theatre - Cycle 2 - November 27, 29, December 2, 4

- Richard Mason

It is worth stating the enormous achievement of Opera Australia in finally performing the Ring, after many years of waiting and an embarrassing false start 30 years ago. As the replacement list shows, there were a number of hurdles to overcome on the way. Doubtless, many of the audience were Ring neophytes and, hopefully, Ring converts. The State Theatre proved a fine venue, with a clear singing acoustic and a lush orchestral sound.

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Opera Australia Melbourne Ring Cycle 2013 - Melbourne State Theatre - Cycle 2 - November 27, 29, December 2, 4

The Follies of Gods in Decline

- Katie French

In Das Rheingold and Die Walkure in Neil Armfield's Melbourne Ring, he juxtaposes two worlds. There is the entertaining world of follies, of magic, of dazzling fantasies and wizardry. Then there is the stark and empty world full of achingly human frailties, vulnerabilities and pain. He reveals that, far too frequently, it is the careless world of razzle dazzle and misuse of magic powers which inflicts unintended (and sometimes even unintended) painful consequences on the vulnerable and the innocent.

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Lisa Gasteen – Preparing for Major Wagner Roles. Talk on 11 August 2013

– Leona Geeves

On August 11, Professor Lisa Gasteen spoke candidly to some 96 members of the Wagner Society at the Goethe Institute about her opera career (she was the first and only Australian to win the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition), her present concert career - she was appearing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra singing Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder under her mentor and friend Simone Young. Lisa also spoke about her latest "baby" as Professor of Opera at Queensland Conservatorium. She runs an annual Lisa Gasteen Summer School with such luminary mentors as Maestro Giovanni Reggioli, and Siegfried Jerusalem. Some of the singers she is fostering there have sung for or been helped in their studies by, the Sydney Wagner Society. Her comments and demonstrations about various conductors she has worked with were very funny. Many Members continued her discussion over afternoon tea. (Click on Read More below for the full article)

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Swords & Winterstorms: 25 August 2013, Mosman Art Gallery

David Corcoran began singing in 2002, and then moved to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, with coaching at Covent Garden and the English National Opera. He won the McDonald’s Aria Competition and the Opera Foundation Australia (OFA) Italian Award, giving him performances in The Elixir of Love in Europe. David’s Opera Australia performances include Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Peter Grimes, La fanciulla del West, Madama Butterfly, Of Mice and Men, For the Love of a Nightingale, Turandot, Die tote Stadt, Salome, and the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Bliss. David was supported in German lessons by the Wagner Society in NSW. He is understudying Siegmund in the Melbourne Ring to perform that role in Act 1 of Die Walkure with Harbour City Opera, also assisted by The Wagner Society. (Click on Read More below for the full article)

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