When Jonas Kaufmann performed the grand finale two years ago at Last Night of the Proms, things threatened to get out of hand. As the German tenor was belting out Rule Britannia, an El Nino-grade storm of female undergarments began to rain down on London’s Royal Albert Hall stage. With a tiny black G-string in one hand and a pair of white knickers in the other, the man many call the world’s greatest tenor took his curtain call beaming like a naughty schoolboy. It’s unlikely those scenes will be replicated (though one never knows) when the singer appears next week in Opera Australia’s concert performances of Wagner’s knights-andgrail epic Parsifal. Amid a global crisis for opera companies, the 48-year-old Kaufmann is himself something of a holy grail: talented, charismatic, handsome. Yet recently he has become known for his run of bad luck. Citing illness, last year he withdrew from the Met’s Manon Lescaut; he recently canned performances across Europe; and in March he pulled out of the Met’s high-profile upcoming production of Tosca. OA artistic director Lyndon Terracini may want to have the Strepsils on standby when the tenor performs opposite Kwangchul Youn and Michelle DeYoung in the concert series conducted by Pinchas Steinberg on Wednesday, Saturday and Monday week. When I was a whippersnapper, my dad built a treehouse in the back yard. On reflection, it was less a treehouse and more a military-grade fort, a freestanding monolith rendered in lengths of discarded decking and that classic strain of treated pine that eventually would turn green with leached arsenic. It was two storeys high, and a place of great wonder and greater splinters. For my own children, my treehousebuilding skills extend to having stuck a broken ladder in a lilly pilly. I console myself with the fact each night at least one of my wee bairns will be nose deep in the branch-borne world of Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. The 13-Storey Treehouse and its seemingly endless iterations (the series is up to 91 storeys) is a staple of kids’ bookshelves around the globe. Today, literary editor Stephen Romei sits down with Griffiths and Denton, the world’s most unassuming publishing superstars (pages 8 and 9). It’s a rollicking read. Don’t miss it. Congratulations to Review Hot 10 alumnus Trent O’Donnell, whose hit Stan comedy No Activity has been picked up by CBS in the US. Comedy superstar Will Ferrell will remake the program for an eight-episode series to screen next year. O’Donnell’s star just keeps rising.