""If I were to choose an auspicious image for the new millennium, I would choose that one: the sudden agile leap of the poet-philosopher who raises himself above the weight of the world, showing that with all his gravity he has the secret of lightness, and that what many consider to be the vitality of the times - noisy, aggressive, revving and roaring - belongs to the realm of death, like a cemetery for rusty old cars" Italo Calvino
"Robyn Archer is a colossus on the Australian stage"
- Kryztoff (June 2011)"
Robyn Archer is a singer, writer, director, artistic director, and public advocate of the arts, mainly in Australia though her reach is global.
Many fans remember her from her stage successes such as A Star is Torn and Tonight lola Blau: some know her only as one of the world's foremost exponents of German cabaret songs. She is known for her own writing, including political songs in shows like Pack of Women and Kold Komfort Kaffee. Those who are just getting to know Robyn Archer may have only seen her as Artistic Director of arts festivals. Very few people have the full picture. Robyn Archer is a ball of energy still driving all the above and more.
She always has new things on the radar so it's worth stepping into the lounge from time to time to catch up. She's been a real gypsy for many years now so this site is the very best way to pin her down for five minutes. Enjoy.
See Robyn's towering Arthur Boyd Memorial Lecture from London October 2012 in Recent Words
Robyn is currently the Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra, which is currently in full swing. Go to www.canberra100.com.au: you can read her Canberra Day Oration ( March 12th 2011) on the main website.
See also www.canberradiaspora.com.au and www.oneverybigday.com.au
She is also the Deputy Chair of the Australia Council
Robyn performed her French repertoire in her show Que Reste t'Il at the National Gallery of Australia and at the Spiegelgarden last weekend, to standing ovations
She was awarded the South Australian Premier's Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ruby Aawrds in October 2012.
A selection of Robyn's keynote speeches have been published under the title DETRITUS by University of WA Press - available online
On October 15th 2009 Robyn was awarded ABAF's Dame Elisabeth Murdoch leadership Award. Her acceptance speech can be found in RECENT WORDS on this site
"She could have sung right through the weekend and filled the theatre for a month. As it was Robyn Archer, with Michael Morley at the piano have two enthusiastically packed houses two very different evenings of songs and poems... Archer presents both programs with humour and intelligence, backed up by years of performance experience. If she comes back ( and let's hope it is 'when') she is not to be missed" Canberra Times Nov 13 2008
ROBYN'S BACK CATALOGUE NOW AVAILABLE ! Today The Can announced that a substantial chunk of Robyn Archer recordings are now available online. Go to www.thecan.com.au/digital/robynarcher
Architektin opened at the Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide, for State Theatre. See Real Time Dec/Jan for Jonathan Boland's excellent review . Also From online review 5.9.08 by Stephanie Johnson www.australianstage.com.au Robyn Archer is beloved in Adelaide for her gutsy, fresh, intellectual material. Margarete Schütte-Lihotsky is likely unknown until this world premiere play depicts her life story ...rich, intriguing and thought-provoking. Archer and Schutte-Lihotsky remind us of the power of the human mind, and the passion that can drive individuals to achieve..Designer Mary Moore has done Schutte-Lihotsky proud with her clean lines and minimalistic stage design, complete with media screen. Her replica of the 'Frankfurt Kitchen' is particularly enlightening. Lighting designer Geoff Cobham ably supports her..Helen Morse as the older Schutte-Lihotsky brings to life the passion of this remarkable woman.. Archer has used a technique of having the older Schutte-Lihotsky on stage most of the time, in the background and acting as a voice of conscience to the younger Schutte-Lihotsky , played by Ksenja Logos. Architektin is heady material...not for the faint-hearted.
Review of Norwich concert on May 10th 2007
May 11, 2007 Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)
"... Robyn Archer was a legend - and a star who gained further lustre from her concert in Norfolk.This veteran performer has a strong mezzo voice and a personality as big as her native Australia, and she invests her favourite material - culled from the archive of Bertolt Brecht and his peers and collaborators - with awesome passion.Aided by splendid pianist Michael Morley, these songs worked as cabaret (or, with so many from Weimar Berlin, as Cabaret).Spoken lyrics added poignant poetry.But a cycle moving from 1920s decadence through songs of economic and then moral collapse, to bitter refuge in America and false dawn in East Berlin, provided a surgeon's survey of the 20th century's icy heart.As Robyn sang, grainy newsreel images of terror and horror flashed through my mind.And as Tony Blair prepares for profitable retirement, leaving young British soldiers to die pointlessly in Iraq, the singer would doubtless agree that the messages of Brecht, Eisler and Kurt Weill resonate to this day."
Robyn's addresses from Ghent ( October 06) and New York ( January 07) now appear in Latest Words
Robyn in Lola Blau (1984)
Photo by Robert McFarlane
Robyn's festival at Federation Square, The Light in Winter , is currently in preparation for its 7th edition
Go to www.fedsquare.org
She continues to work on the massive program for the Centenary of Canberra , which runs to the end of 2013
She has also been advising on the Centenary of Anzac
Robyn will deliver a Hawke Lecture at the Adelaide Festival Centre on March 18 2013. The title is 'Try a Day Without the Arts' and will focus on the role of the arts in our cities, and also on the crisis in arts training in Australia.
Robyn's French Cabaret Show , Que Reste t'il ? will be performed at the Noosa Long Weekend March 17th
Having participated in the Atelier in Singapore in May, Robyn again acted as mentor and openign keynote in the European festivals Association's Atelier ( for young festival managers/ directors ) in Izmir, Turkey in October 2011 and in Ljubljiana in September 2012. She is expected to repeat this role in Beirut in October
A rare copy of the soundtrack from Pack of Women has been found and is digitised for download through Chaos Music.
Rare copies of Robyn Archer books, no longer published, are offered for sale.
Pack of Women - A$ 55 incl GST plus postage
Mrs Bottle Burps - A$ 44 incl GST plus postage
Cafe Fledermaus - A$ 33 incl GST plus postageTo order the books contact Rachel Skinner at Rick Raftos' Management - cheques or electronic transfer only.