OPERA AUSTRALIA 2014
La bohème opens the opera season on New Year’s Eve with a lavish production of Puccini’s most popular opera, directed by Gale Edwards. It’s a heart-breaking love story about a group of young artists living, loving and learning to survive together.
Then there’s an enchanting production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute by Julie Taymor, director of the Broadway sensation Disney’s Lion King. With spellbinding costumes, puppets and effects, a nine-metre serpent, towering polar bears and hundreds of props painstakingly hand-crafted in a kaleidoscope of colour, this production is ideal for families and there are many matinee performances.
Colour, comedy and bikini’s from the 50s collide in Simon Phillips’ new production of Rossini’s side-splitting romp, The Turk in Italy.
Carmen, the ultimate femme fatale, is back to stamp her feet, toss her hair and dance. Will she love Don José? Maybe. Will you fall for her sultry Habanera? Definitely.
Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin comes to Sydney in a handsome new co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Verdi’s dark tale Rigoletto, glitters with passion and suspense in a glamorous new production with an all-star cast.
Three outstanding singers go head-to-head in a bold production of Verdi’s Otello, based on the Shakespeare play. Direct from triumphs at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and La Scala Milan, New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill is Otello.
The serial seducer is on the loose again in a new production of Don Giovanni from the opera director of his generation, Sir David McVicar. Teddy Tahu Rhodes’ Don is mad, he’s bad, he’s dangerous but, damn him to hell, his serenades are just divine.
Italian opera meets the Australian outback in this much-loved production of The Elixir of Love, Donizetti’s tongue-in-cheek, heart-on-sleeve tale of a shy boy and a bold girl directed by Simon Phillips.
Opera Australia and John Frost bring the now legendary production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I back home for its first-ever season at the Sydney Opera House.
If you have never been to the opera, this is the time to start.
Opera Australia's 2013 winter season features a monumental yet intimate new production of Puccini’s Tosca
, staged by Bell Shakespeare’s Artistic Director John Bell; a brilliantly conceived new production of The Force of Destiny
; Donizetti’s celebrated work Don Pasquale
, with its warm and bright Italian street scenes; the Director Elijah Moshinsky’s much-loved La Traviata
and the rarely-staged Benjamin Britten opera Albert Herring
. Finally, the sell-out 2012 production of South Pacific
returns for an encore season.
The depth and breadth of the season means there is an opera to suit everyone.
Opera Australia is Australia's national opera company. Resident at
the Sydney Opera House, Sydney and Arts Centre Melbourne, it performs in
capital cities and regional centres, inspiring people across the country with
live opera. As Australia's largest and busiest performing arts organisation,
Opera Australia gives upwards of 600 performances a year, including two seasons
each year in Sydney and Melbourne, the short yet spectacular outdoor season of
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, community engagement projects and extensive
regional touring and schools performances by Oz Opera, its touring arm.
The company casts its productions from an ensemble of high
performing Australian artists, with regular appearances by international guest
artists, conductors and directors. Opera Australia also manages the
Sydney-based Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (AOBO), which plays for all
Opera Australia and Australian Ballet performances in Sydney. When in
Melbourne, Opera Australia performs with the independently managed Orchestra
Opera Australia is a dynamic and responsive
performing arts company with a drive to continually adapt to a changing
cultural landscape. Under the artistic vision of Lyndon Terracini, Opera
Australia began in 2012 to reshape opera experiences and to make more
meaningful connections with audiences both Australian and international.
One of the new projects born from this vision
is Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. In late summer, a tailor-made stage built out
over water becomes Australia's most spectacular opera theatre, under the stars
and in the open air. Situated in the Royal Botanic Gardens and with the
glorious Sydney Opera House and city skyline as its backdrop, Handa Opera on
Sydney Harbour is a three week season of a single opera, designed as an 'opera
event' complete with special dining options on site. A magical addition to the
Opera Australia suite of opera experiences, this is a spectacular new
initiative to appeal to the widest possible audience. For more info:
Beyond the opera theatre are many community
engagement projects, which also feed this new vision of opera in Australia.
Rather than simply being about creating new audiences, these offer people
opportunities to participate in music making. Community Choirs, begun in 2012,
saw around 1,000 Sydney-siders join choirs dotted throughout the outer regions
of the city, to learn the grand opera choruses of Aida, Nabucco and Tosca. Led by Opera Australia conductor
Simon Kenway, these ordinary Australians gained a first-hand experience of
singing opera! The project culminated in a massed choir performance at the
Sydney Opera House, where every participant performed on the stage, to a packed
house. The project, poignant and moving, brought many new people to opera and
there are plans to expand this over the coming years.
Indigenous projects also feature in
Opera Australia's community program. In 2012 a creative team took up residence
at Yarrabah, a small Indigenous township in Far North Queensland. Working collaboratively
with members of the community, the project spanned several months of creative
work, and resulted in two performances on a professional stage built
temporarily in Yarrabah. The power of storytelling and music making, those
elements at the core of 'opera', brought the community and the opera company
together in a work of incredible significance. The story of the town and its
people was told through the voice of its residents, supported by Opera Australia
staff in every possible way. Costumes were made in the local school. Sets built
in their workshops and out on the grass. A stage built in the park at the
centre of the town and an audience of around 2,000 flooded this normally
out-of-the-way township at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.
From remote Australian townships to the
grand Sydney Opera House, the people that make up Opera Australia represent a vast
collective of experts – each the best in their field. At its peak times there
is a staff of around 1,000 people ranging from singers and music staff
(including a full-time chorus of 48), orchestral musicians, creative
technicians in the areas of scenic construction and painting, lighting, design,
direction, wardrobe, wig-making, and staff working in management and
administration. The organisation is led by Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini,
who joined Opera Australia in late 2009.
Beyond performing, Opera Australia is a national resource for
opera as an artform in Australia. It maintains a repertoire of over 80
productions (including sets, props and costumes) and stages new productions
every year, manufactured on site at The Opera Centre in Surry Hills, Sydney.
These productions are seen in Opera Australia's own seasons and are also hired out
to Australia's state opera companies and other opera companies worldwide.
Chief Executive: Narelle Beattie (Acting)
Artistic Director: Lyndon Terracini
Associate Music Director: Tony Legge
Telephone: +61 2 9699 1099
Fax: +61 2 9699 3184