Culture Buff

Valda Wilson as Theodora

10 December 2016

9:00 AM

10 December 2016

9:00 AM

Mostly I’m more interested in what is to come than in what’s already been, but I have let my mind wander over some aspects of the closing year. The big finish to the year is Opera Australia’s Melbourne Ring Cycle. A revival of the production first presented three years ago, this Ring has been much admired again. Operatically, my taste runs to the smaller (and shorter) so the production this month of Handel’s Theodora by the wonderful Pinchgut Opera was a good way to finish the year.

Another good way to round out the year is always the Brandenburg Orchestra’s Christmas concert Noël! Noël!. I know that smart people rather scorn this program, but as far as I’m concerned it’s not possible to be too sentimental about Christmas particularly as Paul Dyer puts it together so beautifully. However, I would like some Australian carols to be included again.


It has not been an exceptional year for theatre. My choice for best play/best production was King Charles III but it was fully imported from the West End. Not a vote of confidence in local productions in a year when the Sydney Theatre Company managed to lose an exceptional new Artistic Director, Jonathan Church. These are difficult times for theatre, because there is drama of outstanding quality available every night on television, now mostly better than the cinema and ‘in the comfort of your own home’. But there’s always next year.

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