×

Donald McDonald rss

DKSB_6269

Culture Buff

30 August 2014

Oh dear, the Helpmann Awards have come round again. The winners were announced in Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, a most appropriate setting. The Live Performance industry body is to be commended… Read more

culture-buff

Culture buff

23 August 2014

I was hung once, in the Archibald, that is. Paul Newton, having been commissioned to paint me by the ABC, entered the resulting portrait in the Archibald Prize of 2008.… Read more

the-last-confession-toronto

Culture buff

16 August 2014

Popes come and popes go but generally not after only 33 days; which is what happened to Albino Luciani, elected Pope John Paul 1 in August ‘78. Once on the… Read more

‘No-Tin (Wind), a Chippewa Chief’ (1832) by Henry Inman (detail)

Leave plenty to the imagination

1 February 2014

It seems they’re all the go at the moment; major historical survey shows, that is. There was Australia at the Royal Academy, London (too late, you’ve missed it; it closed… Read more

Gonzaga_cameo_portrait_of_P

Conqueror on College Street

12 January 2013

It turns out that the least remarkable thing about Alexander the Great was his sexuality. Having been admired to the point of veneration for more than 2,000 years, Alexander’s star… Read more

Could the BBC fiasco happen here?

24 November 2012

On 11 and 12 November, the ABC aired the docudrama Devil’s Dust about the James Hardie asbestos case. As drama it was very high-quality with uniformly excellent performances, direction and… Read more

Traveller’s Diary

3 November 2012

Sailing up the River Neva towards St Petersburg (or Petrograd, or Leningrad) must have filled visitors with expectation and apprehension for more than 300 years. Created out of swamp land… Read more

Diary

3 December 2011

Cate Blanchett is starring in Gross und Klein (Big and Small) at the Sydney Theatre. Written in 1978 by Botho Strauss, one might wonder why this exercise in German Cold… Read more

What’s ailing Aunty

13 August 2011

It has been said by its leadership that the times suit the ABC. That may be true, but it is relevant to ask whether the ABC suits the times. The… Read more

Foreign notes

23 July 2011

The cruise was to begin at Piraeus, the port for Athens. We had arrived there two days earlier to deal with my Virgo anxieties that we might miss the departure… Read more

An emperor among galleries

1 January 2011

It is extraordinary that objects, the like of which one hasn’t seen for 27 years, should seem so familiar. This is surely a testament to the impact the terracotta warriors… Read more

The chamber orchestra phenomenon

27 November 2010

The surge of chamber orchestra popularity began to gather in the late 1960s. The first big wave reached our shores in 1972 when the Academy of St Martin in the… Read more

Stalin’s favourite play, and other challenges

29 October 2010

Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton use a perplexing sentence in their introduction to the 2011 season of the Sydney Theatre Company: ‘As we enter the second decade of the 21st… Read more

Funny how time slips away

16 October 2010

Opera Australia has a long history with Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss’s meditation on the passage of the years He called it a ‘comedy for music in three acts’. Richard Strauss’s Der… Read more

Mimi in Underwear, or opera for all

17 September 2010

Opera Australia’s 2011 season promises to be a treat Writing recently in the Australian, Rosemary Sorensen deplored the publicity shot Opera Australia is using to promote its 2011 production of… Read more