The Age – August 17 2012
By Barney Zwartz
**** (4 Stars)
VICTORIAN Opera, which has made itself a flag bearer for adventurous and rare operas, has excelled itself with the double bill of Master Peter’s Puppet Show and What Next? at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Usually dramatic impact is sacrificed for the superb acoustics at this venue, but this is much the best presentation I have seen there, as director Nancy Black and designer Adam Gardnir have intelligently overcome the staging handicaps.
The Australian – 17 August 2012
By Peter Burch
WITH this year’s double bill of one-act works by two significant 20th-century composers, Victorian Opera has introduced its audience to Australian premieres of contemporary operas by Spaniard Manuel de Falla and American Elliott Carter.
The 1923 opera by de Falla, Master Peter’s Puppet Show, is based on an incident in Don Quixote, drawing verbatim on much of Cervantes’s text. There are only three characters in the piece: a boy narrator, Master Peter and Don Quixote, assisted by a team of terrific shadow manipulators whose puppets act out the story.
artsHub – August 17 2012
By Heather Leviston
Victorian Opera’s latest offering – a double bill featuring Manuel de Falla’s 1923 work, Master Peter’s Puppet Show, and Elliott Carter’s What Next? from 1998 – is another successful tribute to Richard Gill’s programming philosophy of presenting rarely performed operatic works of significant merit. The pairing of these two operas is more than a matter of chance, since Carter’s explicit intention was to have his work performed after the short de Falla piece.
Herald Sun – August 17 2012
By Kate Herbert
DON’T expect classical opera from this double bill of short works from Victorian Opera.
Master Peter’s Puppet Show, a quirky 20-minute opera written by Manuel de Falla in 1923, merges an eclectic score for chamber orchestra with three voices and shadow puppetry to tell the story of a Spanish, heroic romance.