Sydney; The Eighth Wonder Of The World
Performances on repeat, the world over are normally something reserved for the most timeless and internationally acclaimed of opera around the world like Carmen, Turandot and La Boheme. But turn the focus ever so slightly to what is our international acclaimed backyard and you’ll find that’s to the case.
Opera Australia‘s third iteration of the Australia-centric opera, The Eighth Wonder, proves just that. First seeing daylight in 1995 and 2000, the opera that explores the merit of what is debatably one of the most recognisable buildings of the 21st century as a wonder of the world is back this year in an entirely different way.
Performed on the front steps of the House itself, the iconic monument to the arts and creativity scene of Australia that also put the country and what we have to offer on the map was cast in a new light.
As much educational as it was engrossing, The Eight Wonder explored the long and tumultuous – and well over-spent – history of the Sydney Opera House and how it came to be.
From the unforeseen death of then Premier of NSW, Joseph Cahill who initiated the construction of the icon, to the back story of the ancient Mexican and Aztec ruins that inspired Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the House truly is a remarkable construction that was cause of much concern for the families of the 60s and 70s.
Opera Australia and their set designer, Dan Potra made such wonderful use of the unique (and obligatory) stage for the production. Complete with rolling stage fragments that are indicative of not only the lack of stable ground for the production, but the flighty and unstable premise under which the House was constructed do wonders to transport you to the time and feel the same fluidity and frustration of the Australian people at the time.
By far the most unique element of the production is the fact it was performed silently: no orchestra, no chorus, no voices. Live, that is.
With the orchestra situated inside the Opera House and performers live on the steps, singing into microphones that were transmitted to a secure FM frequency for only the audience to hear, noise obstructions were avoided, the story is told wholly and the audience is enveloped in a cocoon of sound that tells the tale of one of the greatest things this country has to offer that stirs the cogs of patriotism.
A must see.
Watch the videos on how they made the entire production come to life below…
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