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A woman holding a dagger and drenched with blood.

Mad Scenes with Jessica Pratt

3 August 2023

Journey to the edge of danger and delirium, as leading Australian soprano Jessica Pratt delivers a mind-blowing evening of opera’s cliffhangers in Mad Scenes.

Feel the wind on the wing of madness

A soprano – solo in the spotlight – vocally and emotionally crumbles into madness before your eyes. Favoured by the likes of Bellini, Verdi and Donizetti, ‘mad scenes’ evoke some of the most dramatic, heartbreaking and impressive moments in opera. Euphoric highs and spiralling descents show off a virtuosa’s prowess.

Hailed by the New York Times as a soprano of “gleaming sound, free and easy high notes, agile coloratura runs and lyrical grace,” Australia’s own Jessica Pratt is considered one of the world’s foremost bel canto interpreters. She is best known for making Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor her own, taking his dangerously unhinged bride around the world in over 100 performances.

Now, discover the method in her madness. This one-night-only showcase of ‘mad scenes’ gives Jessica an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate her dramatic range and vocal acrobatics as part of the Sydney Opera House's 50th birthday celebrations.

In a performance laced with passion and poignancy, Jessica takes on the most challenging arias of the bel canto repertoire with incomparable precision and conviction. Whether singing in the languages of unrequited love, jealous rage, or haunted delusion, Jessica teases out the moments that propel each heroine to the mind’s edge.  

Presented by Opera Australia

Artist Information

Creative team


Johannes Fritzsch

Jessica Pratt
Opera Australia Orchestra

The song list includes:

Orchestra Nabucco overture

La Sonnambula - Vincenzo Bellini
La nello mio... Ah non credea mirarti... Ah non giunge

Emilia di Liverpool - Gaetano Donizetti
Quest’aure mattutina... Madre deh placati... Ah di contento ripiena ho l’alma

Orchestra Leoncavallo Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo

Lucia di Lammermoor - Gaetano Donizetti
Il dolce suono... Ardon gli incensi... Spargi d’amaro pianto

Orchestra Verdi Macbeth ballet music

I Puritani - Vincenzo Bellini
O rendetemi la speme... Qui la voce sua soave... Vien diletto è in ciel la luna.

Orchestra Verdi I Lombardi preludio act 3

Linda di Chamounix - Gaetano Donizetti
Carlo Carlo... Nel silenzio della sera... No non è ver mentirono
(nel silenzio della sera si trova nel appendice del’edizione critica di Ricordi)

The song list is subject to change without notice.

Other information

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