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Where is the great Australian opera? New Australian work seems destined to be staged once or twice, then rarely revived. Since 1973, the Australia Council has commissioned well over 160 operas or musical theatre pieces, says Lyndon Terracini, artistic director of Opera Australia. “Not one of them has entered the repertoire.”

It is five years since Opera Australia last produced an Australian story of its own, Brett Dean’s $2m Bliss, based on Peter Carey’s novel and sponsored by Brisbane gallerist Philip Bacon and a 50-donor syndicate.


Red leather pants. Redheaded Tim Minchin says he was born to wear them. His legs got their big break in season six of the American TV dramedy Californication, starring David Duchovny as an oversexed, alcoholic author. Minchin plays rock’n’roll maniac Atticus Fetch, and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones his bodyguard. Minchin reckons he and Jones are two musicians pretending to be actors. In Minchin’s case, that’s understating the expanding shapes of his talent.

In the wilds of a Los Angeles house party in one episode, five bare-breasted model types lie languidly around a bed, one blonde blowing dope smoke into the ginger rock god’s mouth.




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State of the Arts 2014 Australian film Jane Turner / Jumpy Luke Mullins