Writer (& broadcaster & lecturer)
Over seventeen years, as Secretary and Warden of Adelaide University Union, then as General Manager of the Parks Community Centre, Ralph Middenway wrote a diverse range of reports, minutes, submissions, brochures, articles for newspapers and journals, press releases and so on.
Among these were study leave reports on visits to Canada and the United States, Britain, Germany and Scandinavia, covering student unions, student housing and student welfare, and university performing arts venues and programmes.
Over twenty years, as (sometime Chief) Music and Opera Critic, writer and book reviewer for 'The Advertiser', with a short spell at 'The Australian', he wrote hundreds of pieces and covered a variety of events, notably the opening of the Sydney Opera House.
He has contributed occasionally to newspapers and magazines in Britain and North America and reported back on musical events in Europe. In addition to his journalistic work in the performing arts, he has contributed to several educational journals on a variety of subjects.
His broadcasting experience is limited - an Ockham's Razor for Radio National, several times a performing arts commentator, interviewing in Europe for ABC Education. He has been on the receiving end a few times, on radio and television (e.g. ABC-TV gardening programme).
For the Wagner Society he contributed two essays to a book with the title The Enigma of Parsifal, timed to coincide with its State Opera production in 2001.
Some years ago he became seriously fed up with aspects of Australian politics and against his better judgment started writing a novel in his spare time. A fable really - the Prime Minister never tells lies, Ministers always know what they're talking about and act in the public interest, the colonial fossils we call States are no more, and the present entrenched adversarial system in politics (and the law) has to some extent been replaced by a search for consensus (and a search for truth). In short, things aren't what they used to be (are). His goal was a trilogy: the three novels are approaching the stage where they might be allowed out. The first focuses on entrenched racist attitudes to Aboriginal health, the second on ethnic prejudice and terrorism in Japan and Australia, the third is also driven by racism plus the idea of climate change.
Anyone interested may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org OR go to e-book publisher, Smashwords, to buy the third, 'Midsummer Nights', at https://www.smashwords.com. If necessary, make sure the adult filter is off (top right hand corner) and then search for 'Midsummer Nights by Ralph Middenway'. You should then see a screen with a thumbnail 'cover' picture; if not, click on 'Midsummer Nights'. All three fables and some other material will eventually be available through Smashwords.
For a note about plays for young people, see also Theatre & Drama.
He has been invited to speak (about music, theatre, arts administration and cultural history,
and growing Australian native flowers ...)
to the Richard Wagner Society of SA;
in Adult Education or WEA courses;
to secondary and tertiary students;
to the Friends of State Opera SA, the National Convention of the Australasian Singing Teachers Association, Rotary Clubs, the Council for the Ageing, the Musicological Society of Australia, and
the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
He is available for writing or speaking commissions in various fields, including:
- music for music-lovers
- opera for opera-lovers e.g. Tristan and Isolde
- management and creativity
- developing ideas in the design of small theatres New theatres
- architecture from a client's point of view
- the cut-flower industry e.g. Frequently asked questions
- feature articles for newspapers or magazines within his areas of competence
Enquiries are welcome.