Opera Australia has officially launched it’s first HANDA OPERA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR tonight.
The first production will be (as previously hinted in my Opera Australia 2012 Season leaks article in January of this year) Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA. The cast and creatives are as follows:
Opera in 4 Acts by Guiseppe Verdi
Conductor Brian Castles-Onion
Director Francesca Zambello
Choreographer Stephen Baynes
Set Designer Brian Thompson
Costumes Tess Schofield
Lighting John Rayment
Violetta Emma Matthews alternating with Rachel Durkin
Alfredo Ji-Min Park alternating with Gianluca Terranova
Germont Jonathan Summers alternating with Warwick Fyfe
Quoting from Opera Australia’s media release tonight – ‘Fireworks, a harbour stage and a giant chandelier will transform opera in Sydney like never before when Opera Australia presents La Traviata on Sydney Harbour for an exclusive three-week season starting 24 March 2012. It will be the first opera in Australia to be held on a tailor-made stage built over the water off the Royal Botanic Gardens and will be directed and designed especially for this unique outdoor staging. It is the Company’s most ambitious project to date, working in conjunction with Events NSW on behalf of the NSW Government to attract audiences from across the globe to be a part of this uniquely spectacular opera event.’
The concept is similar to the the staging of operas on an offshore island with a large audience watching from seating on the shore on Lake Constance at the Bregenz Festival in Austria.
The $11.5 million production is intended to be a drawcard for international tourists, who comprise about 30 per cent of Opera Australia’s audience at the Opera House, but who have been coming in fewer numbers since the global financial crisis.
Tickets with prices ranging from $85 – $350 with full dining and show packages available, go on sale to the public on 4 July 2011.
Opera on Sydney Harbour is sponsored by Events NSW and Japanese businessman Haruhisa Handa’s International Foundation for Arts and Culture. Dr Handa has previously sponsored the Perth International Arts Festival. The sponsorship is for three years, and a different opera will be staged next year.
Details about the set have been revealed. The floating stage will be 32 metres wide; three times the size of the Opera Theatre stage in Sydney, fireworks will erupt at the climax of the famous “Drinking Song” of Act 1, Violetta will ascend into the sky riding a dazzling chandelier which measures 9.5 metres in diameter , and the orchestra will be situated underneath the stage in a studio to ensure the best possible amplified sound quality.
Opera Australia had set up a specific site for the event which has been up for the last week (but without any detailed content).
For further information see:
or details on the event Facebook site: