Category: OPERA

Opera Australia’s chorus is getting their own run

Men women colour chous

From 4 February to 10 March this year, Opera Australia’s chorus will take centre stage, hogging the limelight for the first time in – ever! It’s an exciting time for any chorister, new or established, as they take to the centre stage of the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre in a new work sensibly named Chorus! The Opera Australia Chorus are the nation’s only full-time opera chorus and one of the busiest and most celebrated in the world, often praised by international singers and conductors as one of the finest choruses they’ve had the opportunity to work with. In addition to the operas that form OA’s 2023 summer season, the Chorus will present this one-hour concert production exploring musical terrain spanning five languages and three centuries of music. Iconic choral pieces from popular operas such as Madama Butterfly, Il Trovatore and Rigoletto, as well as lesser-known gems, will delight both the opera aficionado and those new to the artform. Chorus! will guide audiences on a journey through time exploring humanity and conflict and a return to nature and celebration of unity. Raw sets, costumes and lighting designs all place the focus on the mesmerising force of these voices and reflect the underpinned theme of togetherness, which is the essence of the Chorus itself. For more info and tickets, head to the Opera Australia website

Opera For All: free in Melbourne this February

Opera Australia Melbourne

If you’re looking for something of the musical variety to kill an hour this February in central Melbourne, consider Opera Australia’s first Opera For All! They have announced a stellar line-up of four brilliant singers to perform in the free BMW Opera for All concert in Fed Square on Saturday 4 February between 4pm-5pm. Annual concerts take place in Munich, and the series has also been staged in Berlin, London, and Moscow and now Melbourne’s joined the list, living up the city’s European heritage, feel and reputation as culturally iconographic. Singing some of opera’s most famous arias, the cast will comprise soprano Sophie Salvesani, direct from her mainstage opera debut in the recent acclaimed production of Don Giovanni; Melbourne-born and three time Green Room Award-winning mezzo-soprano Dimity Shepherd; Korean tenor Simon Kim, known for his concert performances with Opera Australia and internationally; and acclaimed baritone Luke Gabbedy whose recent role debut in La Traviata received high praise. The free, summer afternoon, open-air concert will feature opera’s biggest hits from Verdi to Puccini for an hour of thrilling high notes and soaring harmonies; it is the perfect way to dip your toe into opera for the first time or revisit some of opera’s best. For a flavour of what it might be like, checkl out our previous coverage on Opera Australia’s outdoor spectacles they host annually. 4pm-5pm, 4 February 2023 Tickets are free with no registration required | Fed Square, Melbourne

Reuben Kaye to host Opera Up Late this Sydney World Pride

Reuben Kaye Sydney Opera House Joan Sutherland Theatre 1

Opera Up Late is back this February! A bespoke arts event from Opera Australia, in association with Sydney WorldPride, on 18 and 23 February, it’ll shine a light on all things artistic and musical in a camp explosion of humour and art, totally befitting the Sydney World Pride events of 2023. And this year, Australian queen of camp comedy, Reuben Kaye will host, bringing his brutally funny and multi-award winning comedy to the stage. Reuben Kaye is an Australian comedian, singer and writer, who has cemented himself as one of the biggest names in comedy and cabaret both locally and internationally, while also accruing a massive following on Tiktok, Youtube and Instagram. What is Opera Up Late about? Opera Up Late shines a light on the extraordinary talent that the queer community brings to the national company, Opera Australia and the iconic Sydney Opera House as Sydney WorldPride takes over the city in 2023. In a rare late night peek beneath the city’s famous sails these performances begin at 11:00pm and feature artists from Opera Australia, including Australian tenors Tomas Dalton and Benjamin Rasheed, mezzo-soprano Angela Hogan, soprano Cathy-Di Zhang and musical theatre’s rising star Annie Aitken, with music direction by Opera Australia’s Chorus Master Paul Fitzsimon. There’s more at the Opera Up Late website

Don Giovanni is back on stage with Opera Australia

Opera Australia Don Giovanni

Putting an opera on is no easy feat. But it’s possible with a cast of thousands and some of the most talented singers the world – genuinely – has to offer. Opera Australia’s latest instalment of Don Giovanni is a mashing together of singers from every corner of the globe, coming together to celebrate their art and put on a show Opera Australia has been acclaimed internationally too many times to count. Ukrainian baritone Andrei Kymach will deliver his first performance in Australia as the malevolent anti-hero Don Giovanni. Kymach is no stranger to the torment of this malicious character, having performed the role with the Welsh National Opera earlier this year. Celebrated French-Israeli bass Yuri Kissin will also make his Australian debut in the role of Leporello, having sung this role in Maribor among many other performances in opera houses and festivals across the globe. Opera Australia Young Artist Sophie Salvesani will make her official mainstage opera debut for the Company in the role of Donna Anna, after stepping in last minute earlier this year as Violetta in La Traviata. Salvesani will share the role with OA Chorus member Celeste Lazarenko making her mainstage leading principal role debut. Another Chorus member, soprano Bronwyn Douglass, will make her mainstage debut in the role of Donna Elvira, sharing with Jane Ede who received a fantastic reception in this role in 2020. Reprising the role of Don Ottavio is Spanish tenor Juan De Dios Mateos who, in the 2020 production, “impressed with his striking, clarion clear tenor voice”… Read More

Opera’s now free to all thanks to Opera Australia

Opera Australia Melbourne

From Europe to Australia, Opera Australia is teaming up with BMW for Opera for All. It’s been staged in Munich, Berlin, London and Moscow, and this year leading opera companies like Opera Australia is presenting world-class opera to the public for free. The Australian premiere of this global initiative will include a one-hour open-air concert that will take place on 4 February 2023 at Federation Square in Melbourne and include the most popular arias in opera. The performance will feature four of Australia’s finest opera singers accompanied by Orchestra Victoria. Think of it as a different incarnation of the renowned Opera in the Domain in Sydney or Opera in the Bowl in Melbourne; a massive outdoor opera spectacle open to all! Whether you’re new to opera or an old hat; been wanting to hear the music in real life for a first or keen to try something new, this event is an excellent way to dip your toe in. With some of the world’s most famous pieces of music and vocal work to go along with them, you’ll be hard done by to find something that doesn’t appeal to you! If you need a glimpse, take a look at some of our opera content, or listen to one of my favourites of all time: BMW Opera for AllSaturday 4 February 2023, 4:00 – 5:00pmFederation Square, Cnr Swanston Street & Flinders Street, MelbourneVisit for further event information.

Phantom of the Opera is on in Melbourne: why it’s a must-see

Phantom Opera Melbourne

Since 1986 when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera took to the stage, it did so much more than that. It took the hearts and minds, imaginations and operatic passions of everyone who’s seen it since – including the latest round of audience members in Melbourne Australia with the debut of the latest production touring the city this year in 2022. Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera will wow audiences throughout the summer months has welcomed a stellar cast talented ensemble cast including Elliot Baker, Anton Berezin, Laura Bianchi-Bishop, Eleanor Blythman, Gavin Brown, Ben Clark, Bridget Costello, Andrew Dunne, Lewis Francis, Christina Gibbs, Claudia Hastings, Olivia Jenkins, Daniel Koek, Naomi Livingston, Josephine Lonergan, Aaron Lynch, Imogen-Faith Malfitano, Kayleigh Marven, Emma McFarlane, Lachlan O’Brien, Brittany Page, Edward Smith, Anna Stephens, Tod Strike, Troy Sussman, Raphael Wong, Jack Wunsch and Elisha Zion Lee. And though the story’s already held in the firmament of what’s good in the world of theatre, new direction by director Laurence Connor with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on stage. The production of Melbourne’s Phantom of the Opera is on until 5 February 2023. Get tickets at the Phantom of the Opera website

Opera like you’ve never seen it: a grungy Carmen is coming to Sydney

Carmen on Cockatoo Island Summer 678x449 1

Do away with the dresses and bring out the elbow grease; Carmen is back in Sydney. Normally the saucy southern Spaniard, bringing her heat from the ramparts of Seville to the stage of Sydney is dress-adorned and flaunting what she’s got the enjoyment of fellow cast and audiences – this this time ’round we’re looking at something different. Think Carmen with an Amy Winehouse beehive and all the animal prints your heart can desire. Oh, and motor bikes. It’s something new for Opera Australia, which over the past half a decade and maybe longer has erred on the side of reimagined traditional and minimalistically chic in its stage productions, costumery and on-stage – or pontoon in the case of the annual Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour! And it’s a welcome change. Under the direction of the acclaimed Liesel Badorrek, a cast of brilliant singers and musicians, 12 contemporary dancers and three motorbike riders have begun weaving together the story of Carmen, who Liesel says is the ultimate femme fatale. “This is Carmen as you’ve never seen it before. For me it is a story about misfits, fringe dwellers and outsiders and nothing says that like rock ‘n’ roll. “Sydney’s Cockatoo Island is an industrial and gritty place so we have taken that aesthetic to the next level with the sets and costumes to create a thrilling set. You will feel like you’ve entered our world of Carmen as soon as you step off the ferry, it really is going to be a unique experience,” said director Liesel Badorrek. Incorporating such… Read More

Attila is finally on in Sydney after a long Covid wait

Attila Opera Australia Diego Torre cast

If you’re living in Sydney, then rejoice; Opera Australia’s finally putting on Attila by Verdi. It’s the Opera Australia company’s first co-production with the prestigious Teatro alla Scala in Milan, after the COVID pandemic suspended its hugely successful 2020 premiere after only two performances and its 2021 run days before opening. “We had magnificent feedback when Attila opened in 2020 and we’ve received requests to reschedule it ever since, so I’m ecstatic that we are able to present it again in the Sydney Opera House with most of the original cast and enable more people to experience such a marvellous production,” says OA Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini. And with a cast comprising Taras Berezhansky as Attila, Natalie Aroyan as Odabella, Diego Torre as Foresto, Mario Cassi as Ezio, Virgilio Marino as Uldino and Richard Anderson as Pope Leo I; you know it’ll be a quality production. What is Attila about? In a nutshell, telling the story of the King of the Huns’ invasion of Italy, this revenge opera will feature a world-class cast including renowned bass Taras Berezhansky who will reprise his role as the barbarous Attila. For more info and to book tickets for the show in Sydney, go to the Opera Australia website

New opera by Opera Australia to see on Cockatoo Island Sydney

Camen Opera

Opera Australia is putting on another open air event outside of the world of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, this time on Cockatoo Island. Launching in November 2022 with a gritty new production of Bizet’s much-loved Carmen, giving visitors a thrilling opportunity to experience world-class opera under the stars with stunning harbour views. Celebrated director Liesel Badorrek and set and costume designer Mark Thompson have created an edgy and immersive production of Carmen, featuring motorbike stunts and nightly fireworks that are sure to give audiences a thrill. This unique Sydney summer experience is an all-inclusive night out, with customised dining offerings and pop-up bars onsite at one of the most spectacular locations in the city. See the production from 25 November – 18 December 2022. Tickets from $79 at Eastern Apron and Bolt Wharf, Cockatoo Island

Opera Australia’s 2023 program – and the end of an era

Madame Butterfly Sydney Opera Australia geisha

Next year in 2023, Opera Australia will hit another one of its many milestones, though with a bitter-sweet undertone. Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini, the man behind the sumptuous programming and incredible progress of the company will see out his final season before moving onto other things. Though his last season will definitely not leave us wanting! In a clear indication of Opera Australia’s standing on the global stage, some of the biggest names in opera will be performing for the Company in 2023. The world’s leading tenor, Jonas Kaufmann, in demand sopranos Ermonela Jaho, Lise Lindstrom, Jessica Pratt and Amber Wagner, along with globally renowned Wagner interpreter Stefan Vinke, legendary bass Ferruccio Furlanetto and audience favourite Michael Fabiano, to name just a few, will all make very welcome returns to Australia in 2023.  The season for 2023 will – as per usual – include a phenomenal line-up of productions with world-class singers from every corner of the globe. Think Chen Shi-Zheng’s amazing production of the world’s first digital Ring Cycle in Brisbane, with the cast from the original 2020 season largely intact; OA’s co-production of The Tales of Hoffmann will finally make it to the stage after being postponed in 2021 and everyone’s favourite, Alex Ollè’s Madama Butterfly. Karah Son will reprise the starring role of Cio Cio San that she performed to much acclaim for OA in the Joan Sutherland Theatre in 2019. Ultimately, 2023 is shaping up to be a year of celebration of Australian talent with many homegrown performers singing alongside their international counterparts, many in break-out roles. Among those… Read More