The best of Australian opera in Melbourne and Sydney in 2022

The Bohemians welcome Mimi in La Boheme

It’s been SO long since we’ve been inside the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House or the Melbourne Arts Centre to see our favourite operas by one of the world’s leading production companies, Opera Australia – let alone anything else – that this news is big.

In case you can’t make the opera festivities in the middle of Sydney Harbour for New Years this year, then worry not, the official launch of the 2022 opera season by Opera Australia has launched and it’s incredible.

Here’s what to expect from Australia’s own opera company powerhouse, Opera Australia.

Opera in Melbourne 2022

Local Melburnian and superstar soprano Stacey Alleaume will make her in-theatre debut as Violetta in Elijah Moshinsky’s celebrated production of La Traviata, a highlight of the Company’s 2022 Melbourne season.

And if that’s not exciting enough, the Australian premiere of Olivier Py’s production of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin there’ll also be a one-night only concert by arguably the greatest bass alive today, Ferruccio Furlanetto, along with a highly anticipated blockbuster musical. Our favourite Diego Torre will join the line-up, too!

Here are just two stand out events for Autumn 2022 in Melbourne to look forward to. For more, head to the Opera Australia website.

VERDI: La Traviata | Conductor Renato Palumbo | Director Elijah Moshinsky
Following her success at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, shining star soprano Stacey Alleaume will make her in-theatre role debut as Violetta. Renato Palumbo makes a welcome return to Australia to conduct Ho-Yoon Chung as Alfredo, José Carbó as Giorgio and Celeste Haworth as Flora. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, May 4 – 28 2022

WAGNER: Lohengrin | Conductor Tahu Matheson | Director Olivier Py
A co-production with Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Olivier Py’s Lohengrin will premiere in Melbourne, using a monumental revolving tiered set to depict a decaying theatre where emblems of German Romanticism gather dust. Opera Australia’s Head of Music Tahu Matheson will conduct Wagner’s romantic opera for the first time with an all-star cast featuring Emily Magee as Elsa, Elena Gabouri as Ortrud, Marco Vratogna as Telramund and Roberto Aronica in the title role. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, May 14 – 24, 2022

Opera in Sydney 2022

Sydney is where the year 2022 is AT when it comes to Opera.

Obviously with the Sydney Opera House as the mothership of the production company, many of the world’s favourite operas will make the reappearance this year, the likes of La Boheme, Turandot, The Marriage of Figaro and Otello!

“It’s been a very difficult time for our performers and the arts industry as a whole, so I’m sure audiences are looking forward to returning to the theatre just as much as we are, and I’m confident the coming season has something for everyone.

“We’ll have some of the best singers in the world performing a selection of the most fantastic music ever written with adored classics and fascinating rarer operas; it will be an invigorating year of live music performance,” said Lyndon Terracini, artistic director of Opera Australia.

Here’s a taste of some of the season’s stand outs. For more info, head to the Opera Australia Sydney website.

PUCCINI: La Bohème | Conductor Lorenzo Passerini and Paul Fitzsimon | Director Gale Edwards
This beloved production of La Bohème by Gale Edwards opens Opera Australia’s 2022 program with Italian soprano Valeria Sepe as Mimì and Australian-Chinese tenor Kang Wang as Rodolfo. The superb cast includes Julie Lea Goodwin, Haotian Qi, Shane Lowrencev and Richard Anderson. Sydney Opera House, December 31, 2021 February 4, 2022

PUCCINI: Turandot | Conductor Christian Badea and Leonardo Sini | Director Graeme Murphy
Fear and love go hand in hand and death is always just around the corner in this fantasy opera of poetry and myth. Some of the world’s finest singers, including Yonghoon Lee, Karah Son, Ivan Gyngazov and Mariana Hong will share the tale of a brutal princess and an impossibly brave suitor who will make any sacrifice to win her love in an exotic world. The title role will be sung by American soprano Lise Lindstrom and rising star Australian soprano Anna-Louise Cole in her exciting role debut as Turandot. Sydney Opera House, January 12 March 14, 2022

MOZART: The Marriage of Figaro | Conductor Andrea Molino | Director David McVicar
Sir David McVicar’s acclaimed production of Mozart’s classic comedy returns to delight Sydney audiences. With stunning period costumes and lush set designs, this upstairs-downstairs comedic masterpiece is enduringly entertaining for its witty, fast-moving libretto and charming melodies. Mario Cassi as the Count plays opposite Ekaterina Morozova as the Countess, while Stacey Alleaume returns as Susanna and Tommaso Barea is Figaro, under the baton of the acclaimed Andrea Molino. Sydney Opera House, January 27 February 18, 2022

VERDI: Otello | Conductor Andrea Battistoni | Director Harry Kupfer
Described as ‘taking the best bits’ of Shakespeare’s play, Otello is a taut romantic tragedy featuring three of Verdi’s most demanding roles, both vocally and dramatically. Celebrated Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee, known as a remarkable singer-actor, debuts in the role of Otello, alongside the incomparable Karah Son making her long awaited debut as Desdemona. Master of operatic villains, Marco Vratogna will deliver a chilling portrayal of Iago. Sydney Opera House, February 19 March 19, 2022