Pinchgut Opera is doing two operas and two performances in two cities in 2019

Pinchgut Opera singer

Sydney and Melbourne are set to host the Pinchgut Opera’s 2019 season between them, from a program comprising of internationally celebrated artists.

Pinchgut Opera rediscovers operatic masterpieces from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and next year, the company will stage four seasons: in April, Pinchgut performs a concert of Bach’s Easter Oratorio together with Telemann’s Thunder Ode; in June, Monteverdi’s final opera The Return of Ulysses; in August, the multi-award-winning counter-tenor Valder Sabadus will perform in Australia for the first time for one night only; and in December Pinchgut will stage Vivaldi’s favourite opera, Farnace.

It’s an exciting time for the production company who’ve made the baroque era of opera and the striking days of the countertenor their ‘bread and butter’ since launching in 2002 in Sydney.

Pinchgut Opera Farnace

What are the opera about?

Based on the final chapters of Homer’s Odyssey, Monteverdi’s late masterpiece, The Return of Ulysses, is an epic yet intimate story of love, constancy and sacrifice.

This production will be directed by Chas Rader-Shieber, designed by Melanie Liertz, and features Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães, last seen in Australia in the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Handel: Heaven, as Ulysses, a role he has sung to international acclaim. Australian mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby, whose performances have earned her rave reviews around the world, joins him as Penelope.

Widely acclaimed as Monteverdi’s crowning achievement,The Return of Ulysses was his first opera for the city of Venice, with its humming network of thriving and competing opera houses. Gramophone has described Monteverdi as illuminating ‘almost every aspect of human experience in a way that was without precedent’ in this, his final opera.

Vivaldi’s Farnace is a passionate drama of political and dynastic intrigue. In the ultimate test of family loyalties, Farnace and his mother-in-law Berenice are pitted against each other for political gain and control of the kingdom. Farnace premiered in Venice while the composer was at the pinnacle of his operatic career; it was revised in 1731 in Pavia and again in 1738 in Ferrara.

Pinchgut will present the 1738 version, a score filled with Vivaldi’s characteristically wide and varied array of orchestral colours, vocal splendour and heart-breaking melodies. The title role will be sung by renowned countertenor Christopher Lowrey, with Jacqueline Dark as his scheming mother-in-law. Joining them are Helpmann Award winner Taryn Fiebig,Helen Sherman and emerging Australian countertenor Max Riebl, in his Pinchgut debut.

Find out more at the Pinchgut Opera’s website

Pinchgut Opera Ulysses