Tag: sydney opera

Why anticipate West Side Story, Sydney Harbour

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Rehearsals have commenced for the highly-anticipated return of the sensational musical, West Side Story, at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. Set to reopen on Friday 22 March, this production promises to deliver an electrifying and larger-than-life experience, making it the most sought-after presentation in the history of the venue. Talented performers hailing from various regions across Australia, including Mount Gambier, Wagga Wagga, Alice Springs, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Melbourne, and Adelaide, alongside an international cast member from the US, have converged upon Sydney with great enthusiasm. They are all poised to take on the challenge of the four-week open-air season on the iconic harbour stage. The exceptional cast faces an intense rehearsal schedule as they prepare to master the intricate dance sequences and iconic music inherent in this legendary Broadway musical. Under the direction of Associate Director Eric Sean Fogel, Revival Choreographer Kiira Schmidt Carper, and Musical Director Guy Simpson, the cast is gearing up to bring West Side Story to life in a truly remarkable manner. Featuring one of the most renowned ensembles in musical theatre, the production calls for highly skilled dancers to portray the rival street gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, and perform the celebrated and complex choreography with finesse. At the forefront of the cast are First Nations soprano Nina Korbe as Maria and Canberran Billy Bourchier as Tony. They are joined by a stellar lineup including Newcastle-born Patrick Whitbread, Gold Coast’s Kimberley Hodgson, and Broadway performer Manuel Stark Santos, who is set to make his Australian debut in the… Read More

World’s greatest tenor Jonas Kaufmann returns to Sydney

Jonas Kaufmann

Renowned as the “world’s greatest living tenor,” Jonas Kaufmann, is set to dazzle audiences with an ensemble of globally acclaimed opera singers in two exclusive performances of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. These performances, scheduled for August 9 and 12, are part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the iconic Sydney Opera House. In what is a significant achievement for Opera Australia, the celebrated German tenor will be making his role debut as Enzo Grimaldo. This marks his first performance in Sydney since 2019. Accompanying Kaufmann in this grand spectacle is the Spanish soprano sensation, Saioa Hernández, who will be making her debut at the Sydney Opera House. She’ll be performing in the eponymous role of Gioconda. Hernández, winner of the Best Soprano of the Year at the 2021 Oscar della Lirica competition by the Spanish Opera National Association, has been lauded as ‘the diva of our century’ by the legendary Montserrat Caballé. Adding to the pool of talent is Australia’s very own Deborah Humble, the successful mezzo-soprano, who will be pausing her international assignments to perform with Opera Australia after a decade. Joining them will be the esteemed French baritone Ludovic Tézier, who will be reuniting with Kaufmann to play the role of Barnaba, the vengeful; Agnieszka Rehlis, the Polish mezzo-soprano currently making her Australian debut in Aida, will play Laura Badoero; and bass Vitalij Kowaljow from Ukraine will play Alvise Badoero, returning after his lauded performance in OA’s 2021 production of Ernani. Guiding the Opera Australia Orchestra and Chorus will be the eminent conductor Pinchas… Read More

An opera about Mahatma Ghandi for one night only this May: Satyagraha

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Opera Australia is set to give its premiere performance of Philip Glass’ Satyagraha, a hypnotic masterpiece featuring minimalist compositions, at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on Saturday, May 13. The operatic depiction of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent protest in South Africa during his early years, performed in its original Sanskrit language, presents a challenging role for Indian-born tenor Shanul Sharma. Sharma, who started off as a heavy metal vocalist, will portray Gandhi for the first time in his career, becoming the first Indian-born Australian to perform as a principal artist in Opera Australia. Opera Australia regular, Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin who was previously appointed for the role of Mrs Schlesen with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, is set to play the same role here. The Opera Australia Chorus will perform the substantial four-part chorus and Opera Australia’s Head of Music, Tahu Matheson, will lead Orchestra Victoria sans brass or percussion instruments. It’s directed by Andy Morton and features a talented cast of Opera Australia principals, including Andrew Moran, Richard Anderson, Sian Sharp, and Alexander Sefton and you know will be an incredible experience. For more and tickets head to the Opera Australia website

Why you need to see La Boheme – we speak to lead male singer Atalla Ayan

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Opera Australia is putting on La Boheme this season at the Sydney Opera House, as part of their year-long celebration of the world famous Sydney Opera House’s 50th birthday this year in 2023. Ahead of the show wrapping-up and to remind you that yes, you do need to see it before it leaves the stage, we had a chat to its lead tenor, Atalla Ayan, opera singing extraordinaire who is taking on the role of Rodolfo for Opera Australia in this production on at the Sydney Opera House until 11 March 2023. How exciting is it for you to be taking it on the role of Rodolfo with Opera Australia?  Singing Rodolfo means a lot to me – it was the very first role I’ve sang on stage professionally and it is certainly very close to my heart. Singing Rodolfo means experiencing the joy of singing and the passion for living every moment as the last one. Are you excited to be singing in the Opera House? I just love singing in Sydney! People are the nicest, the House is great to sing in and colleagues are the best. It is a pleasure and a true gift for me singing in the magnificent Sydney Opera House! And an honour, really. Also, I’ve got to make a point: the audience is just amazing! H emotionally invested do you have to be in your character. How do you do it?  Singing La Boheme taught me something beautiful about life: The passion and the joy of living every moment, every second as… Read More

Opera Australia’s singer shine bright in new Adriana Lecouvreur

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From 20 Feb to 7 March, Opera Australia will put on the ultimate story of love, drama and costumery with a hint of espionage, that is Adriana Lecouvreur. Played this season by Opera Australia favourite, Ermonela Jaho, the role demands the finest talent in both singing and acting, and Albanian soprano’s renowned musical and storytelling skills make her perfect to return to Sydney to reprise the part. Michael Fabiano will return also, after his last performance with the Company in 2019, to make his role debut as the romantic lead, Maurizio. Coming from the cast of Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, Fabiano will first perform his debut Australian solo recital at Melbourne City Recital Hall on February 12. See more info on that here. The production this year is a new reimagining by director Rosetta Cucchi, which will bring to life Cilèa’s operatic incarnation of the true story of Adrienne Lecouvreur is one of many adaptations of her fascinating life across a variety of artforms. Cucchi’s vision of this high-tension love triangle drama, including a stunning silks performance, will have audiences intrigued by Adriana’s scandalous tale until the final curtain falls. Book tickets at the Opera Australia website

Opera Australia’s chorus is getting their own run

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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

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

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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

Superstars in Sydney for Opera Australia’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’

Marriage of Figaro Sydney Opera

It was in 2019 when Melbourne-born superstar soprano Stacey Alleaume took to the stage in Opera Australia’s The Marriage of Figaro as Susanna alongside Paolo Bordogna, tenor. It’s now in 2022 that the illustrious Australian opera company is bringing back the legendary tale – with Stacey in the role she performed all-too-well – that brought us its renowned overture from 27 January to 18 February 2022 at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. With three vocal talents that comprise some of the world’s finest singers, the production this summer won’t be one to miss. A regular on the stage of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and opera houses around Europe, impressive Italian baritone Mario Cassi will debut as the Count, a role he has perfected in Liege and Dresden. Stellar Russian soprano Ekaterina Morozova will debut as the Countess, a role she performed at the Bolshoi in late 2021, and rising star Venetian bass-baritone Tommaso Barea debuts, as Figaro himself, opposite celebrated Australian soprano Stacey Alleaume as clever servant Susanna. Based on a play that was initially banned for its anti-aristocratic undertones, this sharp cat-and-mouse comedy that heroes the underclass will delight and entertain audiences as it has done since its 1786 debut in Vienna. The Marriage of Figaro is a lovable tale that has brought us such recognisable tunes as the one above and the beautiful, floaty Sull’Aria, sung by two characters Countess Almaviva who dictates to Susanna (Stacey Alleaume) the invitation to a tryst addressed to the countess’ husband in a plot to expose his… Read More