Category: OPERA

Opera for One: The new initiative for opera lovers who go it alone

La Traviata 2018 Opera Australia brindisi

If you love opera, but your friends just don’t get it, then never fear: your days of going to the opera to see the wowing productions of Opera Australia are over. OA are introducing ‘Opera for One’, a new initiative for people who’ve for too long, enjoyed the dazzling highs of Carmen and the heart-wrenching plights of La Traviata by themselves. For the upcoming autumn season of opera in Melbourne, Australia, OA found that the number one reason people do not attend the opera is because they have no one to go with. One in five people said they had not yet seen a performance because they were unwilling to go on their own. Opera for One, the incredible new initiative by Australia’s largest opera production company aims to bring together solo attendees so they have someone to enjoy the show with and chat to during those awkward moments pre-show, during interval and that all-important post show critique. How it works is simple: If you’ve bought an Opera for One ticket, you’ll be invited to complimentary drinks and canapès an hour before the performance to meet other solo guests in a welcoming and relaxed environment. The group will be treated to a pre-performance talk by a member of the OA creative team before all being seated together for the show. The upcoming opera season in Melbourne includes these shows, which you can more easily visit alone now, if you’ve always wanted to, or just if you prefer it that way! RIGOLETTO State Theatre, Arts Centre… Read More

Oscar and Lucinda in Sydney: Carriageworks, Sydney Chamber Opera produce world premiere

Oscar Lucinda

Australia’s artistic triumph of a book by the same name will make it onto the stage thanks to Carriageworks Sydney and its resident opera company, the Sydney Chamber Opera. Composer Elliott Gyger will join forces with librettist Pierce Wilcox to transform Peter Carey’s novel Oscar and Lucinda into a new Australian opera from 27 July – 3 August 2019.  Directed by Opera Queensland Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan, the work reimagines the love story between the orphaned proto-feminist industrialist and the man who believes he is touched by God. Having nothing in common, except their addiction to gambling, Oscar and Lucinda find each other in colonial-era Sydney with a wild dream: to build a cathedral of pure glass, and to walk it into the Australian outback. “Elliott is one of this country’s greatest composers, with an originality, refinement and savage beauty that sounds like no one else. Seeing the score develop into our most ambitious and large-scale new work, filled with astonishingly vivid characters, colours and sounds has been a deeply exciting experience. Elliott has created a modern Australian epic without ever relying on the tired clichés of Australiana – a feat worth celebrating as we interrogate the history and stories that make up this complex country. Give him one instrument and he’ll make a world; give him 16 instruments and 6 singers and he’ll create a universe,” said Sydney Chamber Opera artistic director Jack Symonds.  Tickets on Sale 3 May, 2019 at the Carriageworks website.

Coming this June: A movie about the one-and-only tenor Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti

The trailer to what may very well be the movie of the year for opera lovers has dropped and it’s all kinds of good news. Since the tenor of tenors died in 2007, the world of opera performances has been left somewhat void. Of course, there’s the likes of Jonas Kaufmann, Diego Torre and basically the entire cast of Opera Australia, but The Pav was different. The movie tells the tale that not many know about the larger-than-life superstar. We all know he put opera on the map, had a look all his own and a voice you can recognise within the first few bars, but who was the man himself? That’s a lot about what the movie sets out to tell the story of. The movie named Pavarotti is a compelling look at the life of an icon who brought opera to the people. Academy Award-winner Ron Howard gives audiences a front row seat for an exploration of The Voice… The Man… The Legend. Out on Decca records from 7 June 2019.

Royal Opera’s Big Screens: Watch performances from anywhere in the UK this summer

Carmen production image (C) ROH. Photo by Bill Cooper

In 24 locations all around the UK, the best of British culture by the Royal Opera will be broadcast – thanks to BP Big Screens – for everyone to enjoy. Putting on classics like Romeo and Juliet (11 June), Carmen (2 July) and The Marriage of Figaro (9 July), the Royal Opera will broadcast live to locations across the UK like at Aberdeen’s Duthie Park, Castle Square in Swansea, Walton Halls and Gardens in Warrington and all the way down to Bembridge in the Isle of Wight. What else in on? Well, nothing but the best. 11 June at Covent Garden will show Kenneth MacMillan’s celebrated ballet Romeo and Juliet 2 July will see the screening of the award-winning director Barrie Kosky’s exuberant take on Bizet’s Carmen. And, on 9 July, the Royal Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro will be screened. Mozart’s greatest comedy is given a sumptuous staging by David McVicar, its stunning score is fast-moving in this hilarious production with ravishing duets and emotionally potent arias. The Big Screens have been running since 1987 and smashed out over 41,500 audience members between the lot of them last year alone. It’s a popular endeavour by the Royal Opera and it’s easy to see why. There is a seriously large number of places to catch some of the headlining screenings. Here they all are: Romeo and Juliet, 11 June 2019: Trafalgar Square (London); Cressing Temple Barns (Essex); Trinity Square (Hull); Sandy Balls Holiday Village, The New Forest (Hampshire); Television Centre, White City (London); Walton Hall… Read More

Something new on Sydney Harbour: West Side Story by Opera Australia

Opera Australia West Side Story HOSH dance

It’s not often Opera Australia strays from the respite of centuries-old, well-loved scores by the likes of Puccini, Bizet and Verdi to try something more contemporary. But the latest production of West Side Story by Opera Australia that headlines this year’s annual Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour does just that, and has done so well. Complete with mid-way surprise fireworks as is now customary by the production company, and a range of 40-strong cast that can easily blur the lines between opera singer, dancer and actor, it’s a remade musical that pays homage to the original, the book and the tale; just makes it better. Directed by Jerome Robbins, the entire production of West Side Story is a shining testament to the classic story that’s given us some of the world’s most memorable show tunes. They were all there in the script. Think Maria, Tonight, America and Gee Officer Krupke to name a few. All of them just as hilarious as they are telling in the play about the horror to come. With OA names like Julie Lea Goodwin and Alexander Lewis as Maria and Tony; Mark Hill and Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva as Riff and Bernardo and Karli Dinardo as Anita, the musical adaptation is done wonders as the story of race hatred and a blossoming romance unfolds to the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Opera Australia’s artistic director, Lyndon Terracini has been wanting to produce West Side Story on the HOSH stage for years. Something about the backdrop and the… Read More

A chat with Yonghoon Lee, Calaf in Turandot by Opera Australia

Turandot Yonghoon Lee

New to opera, old to opera; it doesn’t matter. If there’s one voice you hear this season by Opera Australia, it’s Yonghoon Lee as Calaf in the company’s production of Turandot, on until 30 March. If there was ever a tenor to belt out the aria made most famous by the late Luciano Pavarotti, Nessun Dorma, it’s Yonghoon, who makes hitting that hair-standingly invigorating high C seem all too easy. Yonghoon is a Korean born opera singer, who’s established himself internationally as a leading tenor of his generation.  He has made debuts at most of the most prestigious theatres in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera and so many more, and has now joined OA to give some of their singers a taste. We had a chat with him off the back of his more-than-rousing performance in Turandot at the Joan Sutherland Theatre in Sydney Opera House recently. How exciting is it to perform for OA this year?  I’m so happy to work with OA. It has become a favourite place among opera singers, where we all want to perform. This year is especially exciting for me – I get to perform my favourite piece and production with my favourite artists, so it made me so thrilled to be here.  You can really blow the roof off with your rendition of Nessun dorma. How long have you been practising that aria?  I made my Calaf debut in 2012, but of course I sang this beautiful and famous aria long before 2012.  How emotionally invested do… Read More

Worth a visit: The Royal Opera House in London has been redone

Royal Opera House

Three years after the Royal Opera House in London was overhauled, it’s open and the result is exactly what you’d expect of the city’s finest arts and culture venue. It comes complete with all the bells ‘n’ whistles of the old opera house, just a lot nicer, newer and with a whole new feeling entirely its own. With inviting new entrances, extended foyers and terraces and a new café, bar and restaurant, together with an extensive programme of ticketed and free daytime events, the Royal Opera House is now open to the public every day from 10am. You’re welcome to wander in, check it out, have a coffee and take a tour, but for those die hards, there’s a full program of oeratic wonderment that is absolutely worth a ticket. See their full line-up here. The whole project was spurred on by the Linbury Theatre; a new space, which takes the spot as the West End’s newest and most intimate theatre. The new space will let The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and other special artists all perform in the same space. Check out the Royal Opera in Covent Garden and the new space with any production at the Opera House any time. Have a look at their website.

Opera Australia is taking it to the bush in a bold new outback series

Opera Australia Madama Butterfly Capitol Theatre Sydney flowers

Opera Australia is taking it to the Aussie outback in a new series launched in partnership with tour people APT. Opera in the Kimberley will comprise two exclusive concerts in September 2019 at Cathedral Gorge in the heart of the Bungle Bungle Ranges. It’ll come complete with opera singers ready to brave the heat and harsh conditions to deliver a stellar performance in the Purnululu National Park, a World Heritage listed area of Western Australia. What’re they performing? OA’s National Tour in 2019 will see John Bell’s celebrated production of Puccini’s much loved Madama Butterfly travel through Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia taking in some of Australia’s most iconic landscapes along the way. See more at the Opera Australia website.

Who’s who? The cast of West Side Story on Sydney Harbour has been announced

West Side story

They’re doing something different this year. Every year, Opera Australia puts on a grand outdoor performance of their headline act for the autumn-winter season, but this year, they’re trying something new. The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (HOSH) isn’t doing an opera this year, rather a modern production of West Side Story and the cast is epic. They’ll take to Opera Australia’s famous over-water stage and join opera/musical crossover stars Julie Lea Goodwin and Alexander Lewis, the role of the fiery Anita will be played by Melbourne-born Karli Dinardo, who is gaining attention as a rising musical theatre star in the U.S., with performances in Hamilton(National Tour), West Side Story (Carnegie Hall), and the starring role in Flashdance (National Tour). Karli will be joined on stage by her sister, Luca Dinardo, who will play the tomboy Anybodys, pitching the sisters against each other on opposing sides of the famous West Side Story gang rivalry. “I was blown away by the calibre of Australian performers that auditioned,” said Associate Director and Choreographer, Julio Monge. See it from 22 March to 21 April 2019, or for more, go to the Opera Australia website.

Melburnian opera singers dominate the annual Mazda in the Domain, Sydney

Opera Domain 1

Their voices soar so high, you can hear them from Circular Quay. And that’s the way we like it. Sydney’s annual Opera in the Domain has been going strong for 19 years now and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. They say 30k people come to hear some of the world’s most impressive voices belt out tunes up-to 300 years old. It’s quite the spectacle. Overtaking Sydney’s famed Domain public grounds, right next to the Sydney Harbour, singers primarily from Melbourne as well as around the world like mezzo soprano Sian Pendry (Melbourne), soprano Stacey Alleaume (Melbourne), soprano Anna-Louise Cole (Melbourne), tenor Shanul Sharma (Melbourne), tenor Diego Torre (Mexico) and baritone Jose Carbo (Argentina-Australia) performed beautifully, pieces by Puccini, Bizet and Rossini and many more. It even made the first large-scale public presentation of vocal clarity for two young up-and-comers, Anna-Louise Cole and Shanul Sharma, both of whom made their big-stage debut at the Sydney event. Mazda Australia is in its 16th year of sponsoring the Opera in the Domain as their way of enriching Australia’s cultural scene. By giving back to a community that has continued to support them and their business, Mazda is happy to support something quite unique for opera and quite unique to the rest of the world, right here in Australia. “An appreciation for art in its many forms is deeply embedded in Mazda’s DNA. From world class musical spectacles to groundbreaking gallery exhibits, we pledge support to a vast range of art initiatives, to help make these culturally enriching… Read More