Posts Tagged ‘Opera Australia’
Opera Australia has launched the website for the 2013 Melbourne DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN.
Full details of the dates of performances, ticket prices and full casting is available on the site.
An application form for purchase of tickets can be downloaded from the site.
It is anticipated that there will be strong demand for tickets. Therefore, your booking should be considered an application for tickets, and not a guarantee that we will be able to provide them. For this reason, when you book your tickets.
The Melbourne RING Cycle is a special event and not part of Opera Australia’s regular season. Each RING cycle is sold as a 4-opera series and tickets are available for complete 4-opera cycles only.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, 23rd July 2012.
Opera Australia’s Donors and Subscribers will be offered priority booking before this date.
All other ticket applications will be processed after the 23rd July 2012, and confirmation of bookings will be sent after that date.
The previously leaked complete cast for the RING Cycle is now confirmed, and the Opera Insider remains underwhelmed by some of the minor role casting decisions.
The Melbourne RING website can be found here:
|Der Wanderer||Juha Uusitalo|
|Forest Bird||Taryn Fiebig|
|Gunther||Gunther Barry Ryan|
|First Norn||Elizabeth Campbell|
|Second Norn||Jacqueline Dark|
|Third Norn||Anke Höppner|
The joint venture between Opera Australia and The John Frost Organisation to mount the multiple Tony Award winning Bartlett Sher production of SOUTH PACIIC may not be a one off project.
The coming together of Australia’s largest performing arts company – Opera Australia, with Australia’s largest commercial theatrical producer, John Frost provides an opportunity for further forays into musical theatre with productions of some of the finest works in the genre in future years.
Opera Australia is looking closely at musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein in particular CAROUSEL, Lerner and Lowes’ BRIGADOON and CAMELOT, and Gerswin’s PORGY AND BESS. KISS ME KATE was also under discussion a few years ago.
Light musical theatre has been a feature of Opera Australia for many seasons, including operetta by Strauss, Lehar, Kallman, Offenbach and Gilbert and Sullivan, Jerry bock (FIDLER ON THE ROOF), Stephen Sondheim with SWEENEY TODD and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, and Lerner and Lowes’ MY FAIR LADY.
However, Opera Insider recalls the commercial arm of the Victorian State Opera which specialised in highly successfully musicals, successfully staged by a separate financial arm of the company, until revenues fell against increasing cost and contributed to the unfortunate demise of the Victorian State Opera.
While such a venture sounds appropriate initially, considerable commercial expertise will have to be brought to bare to ensure reduced financial risk, and also not to alienate the subscriber base for opera.
Another exciting guest artist for Opera Australia next year is American Soprano Jennifer Rowley.
Soprano Jennifer Rowley, winner of the 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant, burst onto the international scene as a last minute replacement in the title role of Donizetti’s MARIA DI ROHAN at the 2010 Caramoor Music Festival, a performance she gave with just one day’s notice and one rehearsal. The New York Times stated, “Throughout, she sang with a fluid, darkly rich voice and expressively conveyed Maria’s anguish,” and Opera News raved that she “emerge(d) not just unscathed, but a real star… Rowley revealed a commanding soprano voice, richly colored, with an attractive thrust and full control of trills, roulades and vocal shadings.” She followed that performance with critically acclaimed successes at the Norwegian National Opera as Musetta in La Bohème (soon to be released on DVD), as well as at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
Future engagements include her Carnegie Hall debut singing Verdi’s REQUIEM MASS with the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra. She will also sing the role of Queen Orasia in Telemann’s ORPHEUS in her debut with New York City Opera in May 2012. Ms. Rowley will return to the Savonlinna Opera Festival this summer where she will be a featured artist on the festival’s 100th anniversary gala, and as Lucifer in the world premiere opera, FRE WILL. She has been engaged to perform Musetta in LA BOHEME for Toledo Opera, and she will then join the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for their 2012/2013 season when she covers Desdemona in OTELLO. She has also been engaged by the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and Opera Australia to perform in future productions.
Ms. Rowley is one of the top prize winners of the 2011 Opera Index Vocal Competition, receiving the William H. Wells Founders Award. She was a winner of the 2011 William Mattheus Sullivan Musical Foundation awards, a first prize winner of the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, a grant winner of the 2011 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, and an Honorable Mention recipient from the 2011 George London Foundation competition. She was the winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Michigan District. Ms. Rowley was also awarded an Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Grant for her international work with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in 2009.
Ms. Rowley made her professional debut in 2003 in DIE ZAUBERFLOTE with the Cleveland Opera, conducted by Anton Coppola. More recently, during the 2008-2009 season, she was a member of the Scuola dell’Opera Italiana at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, where she made her main stage debut as Magda in LA RONDINE. In summer of 2009, she sang Konstanze in Mozart’s DIE ENTFUHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL with Opera New Jersey, followed by her Avery Fisher Hall debut in New York City in the Mid-Autumn Chinese Festival concert, and Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI for Michigan Opera Theatre, in the Spring of 2010. Other roles in her repertory include Rosalinde inDIE FLEDERMAUS, many of the Mozart heroine’s including Elettra in IDOMENEO, and bel canto’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, ANNA BOLENA, and Elvira in I PURITANI.
Ms. Rowley was a Gerdine Young Artist Apprentice at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2007 where she covered Violetta in LA TRAVIATA, and was a featured dancer and dance captain inTHE MIKADO. Other young artist opportunities included a summer each with the Caramoor Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Portland Opera’s POPI. Ms. Rowley also spent a summer in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Instituto Superior del Arte of the Teatro Colón, where she was the first Ambassador of the Arts for the Ohio Arts Council, initiating an exchange program between the Instituto and American conservatories of music.
Ms. Rowley holds a Master’s Degree with honors from Indiana University School of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree with Magna Cum Laude honors from the Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. She also holds a Certificate of Performance Achievement from the Instituto Superior del Arte of the Teatro Colón, and was a Max Kade Scholar at the Middlebury College German for Singers Program.
The Opera Insider suspects she has been engaged to sing the soprano lead in a Verdi opera for the bicentennial of Verdi’s birth.
Opera Australia has released further details of the cast for the much anticipated and multi-Tony Award winning production of SOUTH PACIFIC opening at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday, 11th August 2012.
After 7 Tony Awards® and sell out seasons on Broadway and the West End, the Lincoln Center Theatre’s stunning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC is finally coming to Sydney and Melbourne.
A ground-breaking new production, directed by Bartlett Sher, SOUTH PACIFIC swept the 2008 Tony Awards® and played to sold-out houses for 2 years, making it one of the Lincoln Center Theatre’s most successful productions.
Starring Lisa McCune as Nellie, Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Emile, Eddie Perfect as Luther Billis and Kate Ceberano as Bloody Mary, SOUTH PACIFIC will play the Sydney Opera House, Sydney and Princess Theatre, Melbourne for a strictly limited season.
An extended tour to other cities is being discussed.
Find out more: http://southpacificmusical.com.au
Diego Torre, the lyrico spinto tenor who sang in the recent Gale Edwards production of LA BOHEME for Opera Australia in 2011, returns to Australia to sing in the 2013 season. The role he will be singing remains under wraps, but either Gustavus in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA or Don Alvaro in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO are the most likely.
Born in Mexico City, tenor Diego Torre is a two-year graduate of the Domingo – Thornton Young Artist’s program at Los Angeles Opera, where he made his company debut three seasons ago as Don José in performances of CARMEN. In his debut season with Wolf Trap Opera Company, Mr. Torre sang Conte Ivrea in Verdi’s UN GIORNO DI REGNO, Captain in CANDIDE, and Bacchus in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. He was invited to return to Wolf Trap in the summer of 2009 to play Rodolfo in LA BOHEME, where The Washington Times said of his performance, “His passion was real, his heartbreak was immense, and his commanding, gloriously sculpted instrument makes him an up-and-coming talent to be watched.” He was then engaged for the 2009/2010 season at The Metropolitan Opera to play the Messenger in AIDA and Federico in STIFFELIO, followed by Masaniello in La MUETTE DE PORTICI for Dessau Opera.
La Muette de Portici Masaniello
Capuleti e i Montecchi Tebaldo
Carmen Don José
Il Postino Il Postino
L’Elisir d’Amore Nemorino
Lucia di Lammermoor Edgardo
La Bohème Rudolpho
Der Rosenkavalier The Tenor
Don Carlo Don Carlo
La Forza del Destino Don Alvaro
Un Ballo in Maschera Gustavus
Opera in 4 Acts by Guiseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, after the play LA DAME AUX CAMELIAS by Alexandre Dumas fils (1852)
Performance by Opera Australia on Friday, 30th March 2012 at Lady Macquarie’s Chair on Sydney Harbour.
Conductor Brian Castles-Onion
Director Francesca Zambello
Scenery Designer Brian Thompson
Costume Designer Tess Schofield
Lighting Designer John Rayment
Choreography Stephen Baynes
Sound Designer Tony David Cray
Site Designer Ross Wallace
Producer/Assistant Director Michael Campbell
Second Assistant Director Matthew Barclay
Violetta Emma Matthews
Alfredo Gianluca Terranova
Pere Germont Jonathan Summers
Flora Margaret Plummer
Gastone Martin Buckingham
Baron Douphol James Clayton
Marquis d’Obigny Christopher Hillier
Doctor Grenvil John Bolton Wood
Annina Sarah Sweeting
Violetta’s servant Samuel Sakker
Messanger Tom Hamilton
American conductor Andrew Litton, is returning to Australia in 2013 to conduct performances of the new production of Verdi’s LA FORZA DEL DESTINO for Opera Australia during June and July.
He is the Music Director of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, and Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony. He guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of almost 100 recordings, including a Grammy and other honors.
After his superb job conducting the recent revival of Opera Australia’s DER ROSENKAVALIER, this is a most welcome return.
Despite the recent success of the Opera Australia revival of the much loved Moshinsky production of Rossini’s IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, plans are afoot for a replacement.
The new production of this opera at Houston Grand Opera starring Nathan Gunn, Ana Maria Martinez and Lawrence Brownlee (pictured above) staged in the Brown Theatre in October and November of 2011 is a co-production of the Canadian Opera Company, Opera National de Bordeaux and Opera Australia.
The production is directed by Joan Font and designed by Joan Guillen.
Joan Font has directed Faust-Bal and L’italiana in Algeri, both at Teatro Real Madrid. He founded Els Comediants theater group in 1971 and was the driving force behind the creation of La Vinya, the Comediants’ unique artistic center in Canet de Mar, Barcelona. Font has acted as a consultant and artistic director for numerous events, such as the opening and closing ceremonies for the Avignon Festival (France, 1983), the selection of Barcelona as an Olympic city, the presentation of the Barcelona ’92 Olympic mascot and the mascot for the Expo ’92 in Seville, La magia del tiempo (Expo ’92), El foc de la festa, (the ’92 Barcelona Olympic Games closing ceremony), O rapas de papel (Expo ’98, Lisbon), the inauguration of the International Chekhov Theatre Festival in Moscow (Russia, 2003), and the opening ceremony of the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona (2003). He has directed Mozart’s La flauta màgica (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona) and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurídice(Peralada Festival), the show D’òpera (Gran Teatre del Liceu), the prize-awarding ceremony of the Premios de la música de l’SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores), Bretón’s La verbena de la Paloma (Granada Festival), and Mirzo’s Les mil i una nits.
Joan Guillén is a satirical cartoonist whose work has appeared in numerous prestigious Spanish publications and on Spanish television. A member of Els Comediants theater group, Guillén is an instructor at the School of Dramatic Art of the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, teaching courses in character design, theater masks, and set design. He leads courses, conferences, and lectures for graduate students at universities around the world, and won the Gold Medal in costume design at the Prague Quadrennial for Theater Architecture and Set Design (1999). He has designed sets, costumes, masks, and devices for countless stagings and performances, both inside and outside of the theater. His most important recent projects include D’òpera for Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), Bi (Two Worlds, Two Views) in Beijing and at the Festival de Peralada, Maravillas de Cervantes for Compañía Nacional de Teatre Clásico (Madrid), Mozart’s La flauta màgica (Gran Teatre del Liceu), Colors for (Peralada Festival), and El libro de las bestias with Els Comediants. Guillén was honored with the Award of the City of Barcelona in 1983 and 1985 for journalism. He currently contributes to the Barcelona based weekly newspaper, La Vanguardia.
The production has received excellent reviews.
The timing of the new production in Australia is not known at this time.
COSI FAN TUTTE
Opera in 2 Acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Performance by Opera Australia on Saturday, 17th March 2012 in the Opera Theatre of the Sydney Opera House.
Conductor Benjamin Northey
Director Jim Sharman
Scenery Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Gabriela Tylesova
Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
Choreography Joshua Consandine
Assistant Director Kip Williams
Fortepiano continuo Kate Golla
Ferrando Stephen Smith
Guglielmo Samuel Dundas
Don Alfonso Richard Anderson
Fiordiligi Sharon Prero
Dorabella Sian Pendry
Despina Lorina Gore
After a three year rest, the Jim Sharman production of Mozart and da Pontes’ third and final opera returned to the Opera Theatre of the Sydney Opera House to conclude the Summer Season works. It suffers from being the last of three Mozart productions (2 of them modern updatings with the same set designer) in this season, and audience fatigue of Mozart was evident. The upper loges were empty and a substantial number of premium seats in the stalls were also empty. Again the opera was sung in English.
The Sharman production frames the production within a modern wedding celebration, where the marrying couple, an Australian man and a Japanese bride seat themselves on the sides of the stage projecting around the orchestra pit and watch, and occasionally involve themselves in the unfolding shenanigans of some of their wedding guests – the unmarried couples of the opera.
The production is framed in a solitary white set with a rolling a high flowing ramp descending from the back of the stage reminiscent perhaps of the sand descending to the water at Bondi Beach (a frequent haunt for Japanese weddings) and angled side walls leaning to the right hand side of the stage. After a while the effect of the slightly leaning walls produces an illusion of the stage being tilted to the side which I found unsettling. Opening with the trio of men concluding their workout in a gym while dressing in the change room and discussing the love life of Ferrando and Guglielmo works well, as did the following scene with their lovers in swim wear. The men march of to war in army camouflage fatigues, later they are resuscitated by Despina with a device resembling a dildo, stylised period costumes are used for the chorus in the garden scene and the wedding banquet table is a long platform flown in from the fly tower on which Despina does a sassy strip and fan dance for her Act II aria, “Una Donna”. Thankfully, the restudied production omitted much of the previously intrusive use of a cameraman on stage filming the action. Much of the stage action was very active, physically demanding, and at times almost busy, producing a fast paced and extremely comedic production. There were some memorable stage pictures, particularly for the chorus for the Act II evening garden scene.
Musically the performances were in the more than competent hands of the young Australia conductor, Benjamin Northey who delivered a sparkling account of the score. Sian Pendry was the only original member of the cast. She has grown considerably in this role, and also in size of her voice since the productions last outing. Lorina Gore, an experienced member of the company, made a delightfully sung and acted Despina. Somehow the complete package of vivacity, manipulation of events and humour was unfortunately not as well delineated in the production – though no fault of Ms Gore. The rest of the cast consisted of young and less experienced singers who did an absolutely sterling job both vocally and dramatically, only lacking more experience, further development, and a better production to be entirely successful. Ensembles were all well sung pattering along with excellent precision and colour amidst the fast paced and extremely physical action.
Richard Anderson surprised as a resonant and well sing and acted Don Alfonso. This singer now seems to be finally making his mark in the company after an excellent performance of Tereus in Richard Mill’s opera THE LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE in 2011, and now Don Alfonso. Similarly Sam Dundas as Guglielmo. Previous roles though well sung, have been wooden. Not so in this role which was sung and performed with verve. Indeed he has even deserved a rating on the barihunks site ( http://barihunks.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/shirtless-samuel-dundas-heats-up-cosi.html ) !
Stephen Smith also continues to improve in this, his largest main stage role to date. His well sung Ferrando, particularly in the ensembles, was matched by an ease of acting. His upper range needs a little more work for his aria “Un aura amorosa” which required some effort and loss of the liquid tone required above the stave in this difficult number.
In the vocally demanding role of Fiordiligi, Sharon Prero sang with precision but the voice initially was marred by a steely tone. She settled in time delivering a well sung “Come scoglio”, albeit lacking the fine tonal quality present in some of the best exponents of the role seen on this stage over the years, such as Joan Carden, Yvonne Kenny and Amanda Thane. The production was well supported by a small chorus and the excellent of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Although containing some entertaining scenes and some fine singing, this production is the least successful of the three Mozart operas presented in this Summer Season. Despite the valiant attempts of the experienced and ingenious director Jim Sharman (surely a living National treasure), and a young, vibrant group of promising singers this seemed a long evening in the theatre. Unfortunately the singing and staging never realised the lofty heights that this Mozart work surely requires. The casting would be quite acceptable for a regional opera company, but not for our National company. The administration of Opera Australia has not only let the singers down by not supporting them with more experienced singers mixed into the cast for this opera, and also the new MAGIC FLUTE, but more importantly they have let their audience down. Opera Australia cannot expect it’s audience to grow when they deliver works not cast to knock the socks of the audience. A shame that there were more vacant seats after the interval.