September 30, 2014

magic-flute-ss15-brochure-highresOpera 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



September 30, 2014


Australia’s leading Spanish chocolate cafe, San Churro, has launched its new summer menu that’s full of refreshing desserts, just right for celebrations during the coming holiday season. Australians love getting out and about during summer and really enjoy socialising over food.

With over 100 delicious menu items, from ice cream sundaes to chocolate shakes and icy cold real fruit smoothies, San Churro has something to suit all palates and preferences. The classics like ice cream sundaes and shakes are what they do best and they have put a creative spin on these traditional summer staples to create an innovative and delicious range of refreshing drinks and light, summery treats.

Ice cream sundaes have been given a makeover and now choosing one is a delicious dilemma. The new Chocoholic’s Sundae, made with one whole chocolate brownie, chocolate fudge, melted chocolate and couverture chocolate ice cream is a show-stopper. Their new Raspberries & Cream Sundae was inspired by the Australian Iced Vovo biscuit and is a refreshing combination of white chocolate ice cream, shortbread crumble, raspberry jam coulis, coconut and fluffy pavlova meringue.

San Churro’s couverture chocolate shakes are drinkable desserts. Choose from ten flavours including the Peanut Butter Besos, Salted Choc Coconut and the fruity new Raspberry Ripe made with dark chocolate, real raspberries and coconut.

They also offer a range of icy cold and refreshing real fruit smoothies and mocktails. Why not try their new Pina Colada Mocktail or a lemon with fresh mint iced tea.

Bring on summer.   Sandra Tiltman