From the editor
MAESTRO Richard Bonynge conducting Handel’s Rodelinda in concert at the City Recital Hall in Sydney was the highlight of my week and, judging by the standing ovation at the end of the opera, for many other music lovers as well. Joan Sutherland sang the title role many times and this performance, with the Sydney Lyric Orchestra, was a fundraiser for the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Opera Foundation. Tenor John Longmuir, winner of the foundation’s inaugural bel canto scholarship, shone as Grimoaldo. But I suspect it was the beautiful voice of young Australian soprano Valda Wilson in the role of Rodelinda that propelled patrons to their feet.
On the subject of highlights, the Anish Kapoor show opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art on December 20 must be counted a mustsee event. I was lucky enough to catch a Kapoor exhibition at London’s Royal Academy a couple of years ago, and found the celebrated sculptor’s work incredibly exciting, refreshing and laughout-loud funny. He is one of the best known living sculptors, and with a fortune of more than $100m possibly one of the richest. But in this week’s cover story he talks about his struggle with the ‘‘meaning’’ problem as art is in danger of turning into ‘‘another consumer good, an empty vessel’’. Bryan Appleyard’s interview with Kapoor offers a window on to his feverish creativity and thinking.
‘‘Riveting’’ is an overused word, but it can be applied without qualification to Helen Trinca’s interview with Elizabeth Harrower. The Australian author published four novels of rare promise — the last in 1966 — and a handful of short stories. Why did she stop writing? In this compelling profile, Trinca searches for the answer.