Opera Australia is following up on their recent success in building audiences, with a program of popular masterpieces in their 2015 summer season.
Renowned Scottish director, Sir David McVicar, will bring a dramatic intensity from the theatre to his opera work, when directing his celebrated gothic production of Faust, first performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
La bohème opens at Sydney Opera House on New Year’s Eve, with additional performances in January. Gale Edwards sets Puccini’s emotional music in the streets of 1930s Berlin, amid the colourful chaos of street fairs and burlesque bars, fairylights and fishnet stockings. Hear Metropolitan Opera star Maija Kovalevska sing the role of Mimì. The production will also feature Mexican tenor Diego Torre, as well as local favourites Lorina Gore and Andrew Jones. Conducted by Andrea Molino.
The Magic Flute opens on 2 January with Emma Matthews making her debut as The Queen of the Night in this version created especially for families. Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart’s famous pantomime is full of colourful, larger than life puppets, enchanting stilt walkers and fantasy characters. It’s a great introduction to opera for people of all ages. Conducted by Anthony Legge and stars Samuel Dundas, Taryn Fiebig and Daniel Sumegi
Tosca, a gripping drama, tells the story of an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances who has found true love in a time of war and secrets, but the powerful Scarpia desires her for his own. John Bell’s spectacular and dramatic telling of Tosca returns to Sydney on 13 January and runs until 17 March. Starring international artists Amanda Echalaz, Riccardo Massi and Claudio Sgura, with Italian Conductor Andrea Battistoni.
Madama Butterfly is one of the world’s most famous love stories. A woman capable of great love, a man transfixed by exotic beauty get swept up in Puccini’s rousing music as the opera progresses from love to wonder, to hope and at last despair. Directed by Moffatt Oxenbould and starring international soprano Alexia Voulgaridou and Australian tenor James Egglestone. Conducted by Gianluca Martinenghi, Madama Butterfly opens on 27 January and runs until 18 March.
Faust sees two stars of Australian opera making their role debuts in this timeless opera about temptation and redemption. Teddy Tahu Rhodes plays the alluring yet debauched devil, leading the hero astray, while Nicole Car is the embodiment of beauty as the innocent, desirable Marguerite. Conducted by Guillaume Tourniaire, Faust opens on 17 February and runs until March 13.
The annual Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour will present the grandest of all operas when Verdi’s Aida brings the spectacle of Ancient Egypt to the water-top stage. Directed by Gale Edwards, Set & Costume Designs by Mark Thomson, Conducted by Brian Castles-Onion and features international artists Latonia Moore and Daria Masiero alternating in the title roles opposite Roberto Aronica and Arnold Rawls as Radamès. Aida opens on 27 March and runs until 26 April. Sandra Tiltman