Sharon Prero as Musetta in La boheme

Sharon Prero as Musetta in La boheme

Puccini’s “La bohème” has opened Opera Australia’s 2014 Summer Season at Sydney Opera House.  Two dazzling new productions plus three classics make up the Sydney Summer Season of Opera which promises a healthy mix of laughter and tears, where comedy stands alongside tales of love and betrayal. Joining “La bohème” in this exciting program of popular operas on offer over January, February and March are Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, Rossini’s “The Turk in Italy”, Bizet’s “Carmen” and Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”.

Gale Edwards’ cabaret styled production of Puccini’s most popular opera, “La bohème”, transports the poet Rodolfo and the young seamstress Mimì from the Latin Quarter of 1830s Paris to early 1930s Berlin, a time of political and social shifts during the final days of the Weimar Republic. Leading the stunning cast are Nicole Car as Mimì and tenor Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo.

Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” returns with Julie Taymor’s production of spellbinding costumes, puppets and effects plus a nine metre serpent, towering polar bears and hundreds of props.  This production, with its many matinee performances, is ideal for families.

Simon Phillips’ take on Rossini’s “The Turk in Italy” brings two long lost lovers, a quarrelling couple and a secret lover, a masquerade ball, the seashore with 1950s bikinis, dancing, deceit and confusion together in this irreverent comedy.

The fiery femme fatale returns in Francesco Zambello’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen”. She’s wild, seductive, irresistible and always at the centre of any trouble. Hearts are broken and it all ends in true tragic opera style amidst a flurry of passion, lust and longing.

Nicole Car as Mimi & Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo in La boheme

Nicole Car as Mimi & Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo in La boheme

Finishing off the season is Tchaikovsky’s romantic tragedy “Eugene Onegin”, Opera Australia’s first co-production with The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Set in St Petersburg in the early 19th century and having one of the most beautiful scores in opera, “Eugene Onegin” is an exploration of what might have been. After rejecting a young admirer, Onegin is unaware the decision will determine his life’s course, with the fallout affecting those around him, leading to an unnecessary and fateful duel with his closest friend.

Sandra Tiltman 


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