Posts Tagged ‘Victorian Opera’
The 2011 Green Room Awards, for excellence on the Melbourne stage for the period January 1st through to 31st December 2011, were announced at a ceremony this afternoon, Sunday 18th March, 2012, at The Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne.
The winners in the opera category are as follows:
Direction: Bruce Beresford, Of Mice and Men (Opera Australia)
Production: Of Mice and Men (Opera Australia)
Conductor: Tom Woods, Of Mice and Men (Opera Australia)
Principal Male: Anthony Dean Griffey (Lennie Small), Of Mice and Men (Opera Australia)
Principal Female: Jacqueline Dark (Donna Elvira), Don Giovanni (Opera Australia)
Supporting Male: Bradley Daley (Curley), Of Mice and Men (Opera Australia)
Supporting Female: Suzanne Johnston (Mrs Herring), Albert Herring (Victorian Opera)
Certificate Award (not in the program/not a trophy):
Ongoing Standard of Excellence: Orchestra Victoria
The Victorian Opera also featured in the ballet category with the following awards:
Betty Pounder Award for Choreography: Gideon Obarzanek, Assembly (Chunky Move / Victorian Opera, presented by Melbourne Festival in association with Sydney Festival & Brisbane Festival)
Sound and Music Composition and/or Performance: TIE BETWEEN:
Cast of Assembly (Live Performance), Assembly (Chunky Move / Victorian Opera presented by Melbourne Festival in association with Sydney Festival & Brisbane Festival)
Soloists and Victorian Opera Chorus & Orchestra Victoria (Live Performance), Requiem (The Australian Ballet)
A very big congratulations to Bruce Beresford (roll on DIE TOTE STADT), the amazing Anthony Dean Griffey ( the master of the role of Lennie Small, one of the great tenors of the World who valiantly continued his contractual obligations magnificently amidst some despicable treatment by some administrators), Tom Woods (a consistently excellent conductor particularly of new and modern works), Jacqueline Dark (always excels, but her Donna Elvira was an absolute joy both dramatically and vocally), Brad Daley (fitted the production like a glove, and with a bold dramatic, voice that I hope we hear more of in the very near future), Suzanne Johnston (another masterful role in a long line of excellence), Opera Australia and Victorian Opera. I couldn’t agree more with the decisions.
And a very BIG bravo to Orchestra Victoria for the recognition of their ‘Ongoing Standard of Excellence”. Formed in 1969, they are the superb pit orchestra for the Australian Ballet and Opera Australia in Melbourne and more recently Victorian Opera. Over the last 2 years they have been racked by financial problems, the target of reviews, reduction in player numbers, and have recently re-invented themselves with a new marketing strategy. Despite all this, the excellence of their playing has only continued to grow and improve. Well done !
Victorian Opera continues with it’s exploration of a little left of centre works with Stravinsky’s 1951 neoclassical operatic masterpiece, THE RAKE’S PROGRESS.
At the core of Stravinsky’s great opera, THE RAKE’S PROGRESS, is a battle between good and evil. Inspired by a series of 18th century paintings by William Hogarth, Stravinsky’s opera depicts the tumultuous journey of Tom Rakewell from man to monster. Acclaimed Director and living National treasure, John Bell (Bell Shakespeare) works with Music Director Richard Gill who will conduct this timeless story of love, morality and forgiveness.
Opening with an idyllic duet between Tom and his beloved Anne Trulove, the pleasantries quickly unravel with the introduction of the malevolent Nick Shadow – the Devil in disguise. The opera tracks Tom’s downfall as his temptation for material happiness leads him into madness he cannot escape.
The production is designed by Western Australian born designer, Leon Krasenstein (previous work includes the sets and costumes for the Graeme Murphy production of the FIREBIRD for the Australian Ballet and the Gaudi inspired production of IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA for Opera Australia). Below is an illustration of his costume designs for the whores in the Mother Goose’s brothel scene.
The production stars Benjamin Namdarian as Tome Rakewell, Andrew Collis as Nick Shadow, and Tiffany Speight as Anne Trulove (the role created by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf).
Performances are on the 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th and 27th of March at the Arts Centre Melbourne Playhouse.
Ticket prices range from $35 to $171 and can be booked here:
For more information on Victorian Opera THE RAKE’S PROGRESS see here:
Victorian Opera has announced their 2012 opera season, the final season with Richard Gill (pictured above) as Music Director.
Details are as follows:
Gill’s CINDERELLA – Her Majestys Theatre from January 25th to 28th 2012
This is a pantomime written and composed by Richard Gill.
Richard Gill Conductor
Derek Taylor Director
Julie Nelson Set & Costume Designer
Richard Vabre Lighting Designer
Jonathan Bode Dandini, the Prince’s servant
Georgina Darvidis Cinderella
Roxane Hislop Stepmother
Suzanne Johnston Fairy Godmother
Roger Lemke Ugly Stepsister
James Payne Cinderella’s Father
James Pratt Buttons, a friend of Cinderella
Janet Todd Prince Charming
Julian Wilson Ugly Stepsister
Stavinsky’s THE RAKES PROGRESS – The Arts Centre Playhouse for 6 performances between the 17th and 27th March 2012
Richard Gill Conductor
John Bell Director
Leon Krasenstein Set & Costume Designer
Matt Scott Lighting Designer
Steven Heathcote Choreographer
Jonathan Bode Mother Goose
Andrew Collis Nick Shadow
Roxane Hislop Baba the Turk
Jerzy Kozlowski Trulove
Oliver Mann Keeper of the Madhouse
Benjamin Namdarian Tom Rakewell
Tiffany Speight Anne Trulove
Gordon Kerry’s MIDNIGHT SON with a libretto by Louis Nowra – The Merlyn Theatre at the Malthouse for 6 performances from the 16th to 23rd May 2012
The World premiere of a new Australian opera Set against the backdrop of suburban Melbourne.
Ollivier-Philippe Cuneo Conductor
Louis Nowra Director
Mozart’s MARRIAGE of FIGARO – The Arts Centre Playhouse for 9 performances from 18th July to 3rd August 2012
Richard Gill Conductor
Jean-Pierre Mignon Director
Richard Roberts Set Designer
Christina Smith Costume Designer
Paul Jackson Lighting Designer
Jonathan Bode Don Basilio
Andrew Collis Figaro
Roxane Hislop Marcellina
Oliver Mann Antonio
Jacqueline Porter Susanna
Dimity Shepherd Cherubino
Tiffany Speight Countess Almaviva
Daniel Todd Don Curzio
Christopher Tonkin Count Almaviva
Emily Uhlrich Barbarina
David Woloszko Dr Bartolo
Manuel de Falla’s MASTER PETER’S PUPPET SHOW and Elliot Carter’s WHAT NEXT? – The Elizabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre for 6 performances from 15th to 22nd August 2012
A double bill of two special 20th century operas in collaboration with Black Hole Theatre.
Daniel Carter Conductor
Nancy Black Director
Adam Gardnir Set and Costume Designer
Philip Lethlean Lighting Designer
Lynne Kent Puppet Designer
Master Peter’s Puppet Show – Cast
Carlos Barcenas Master Peter
Anthony Mackey Don Quixote
Whats Next? – Cast
Jessica Aszodi Rose
Emily Bauer-Jones Stella
Timothy Reynolds Zen
Gary Rowley Harry or Larry
Ireni Utley Mama
In the newly reopened Hamer Hall, Richard Gill conducts the Victorian Opera Chorus and Orchestra Victoria with soloists who have been working with the company since the beginning and others who will make their company debut. One performance only on Wednesday, 19th December 2012.
The season is diverse with some interesting casting. My picks are Christopher Tonkin as the Count, and Tiffany Speight as the Countess in Mozart’s MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. Despite a lot of rhetoric from South of the border, Victorian Opera continues to present repertoire that is very similar to Opera Australia. Productions of Mozart operas, ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, THE TURN OF THE SCREW, ORPHEE ET EURYDICE, THE ELIXIR OF LOVE, JULIUS CAESAR, and THE RAKES PROGRESS to name a few, have been seen within recent memory staged by Opera Australia. There is still no progress in mounting large scale opera in the State Theatre at the Victorian Arts Centre. Perhaps the selection of lesser known works of Mozart, Ravel, less well known comedies of Rossini and an attempt at a less well known Verdi might have been more interesting and adventurous.
Richard Mills, has been appointed to the position of Artistic Director of Victorian Opera.
He succeeds Richard Gill who announced last year that he will leave the company at the end of the 2012 season.
Mr Mills said he is committed to continuing the distinct identity Victorian Opera has established of being flexible and surprising.
Victorian Opera Chairman Michael Roux said that following an extensive nine month international search he was thrilled to announce the appointment of Richard Mills, who is currently Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera. ”His vision for Victorian Opera will increase the international focus of the company while extending the scale and ambition of the repertoire performed.” Mr. Roux said
Mr. Mills said that Victorian Opera’s commitment to new Australian work will continue. “I am keen to continue to develop accomplished, confident new Australian work”, he said. ”Richard Gill’s accomplishments as Founding Music Director are extraordinary and I have great respect for both him and his work. I want to build on his legacy to ensure the values of Victorian Opera – innovation, risk taking and access – continue. “I would like to engage the company’s audiences through a commitment to both vocal excellence and ensuring the joy of discovery has a special place with its public.”
Richard Mills has a reputation of building companies and championing new Australian work. He was Director of Australian Music program for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and is currently Artistic Director of WA Opera where he has been in post for the last 15 years.
Richard Mills’ first full season with Victorian Opera will be 2013 and will be launched in September 2012. He will be released from his contract with Victorian Opera to conduct Opera Australia’s Ring Cycle in 2013.
West Australian Opera later today announced that their Artistic Director of 15 years, Richard Mills will step down at the end of 2012 to take up the same post at the Victorian Opera. WA Opera General Manager, Carolyn Chard said an international search for Mills’ successor had begun.
Richard Mills is deservedly one of Australia’s most sought after composers and music directors and he is now in the forefront of senior Australian composers. He has pursued a diverse career as a composer, conductor and artistic director which has seen him working with almost all of the nation’s music organisations.
Currently, he is Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera, a position he has held since 1997. In 2008 he was Musica Viva’s Composer of the Year and from 2002 – 2008 was Director of the Australian Music Project for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. In 2007/8 he was awarded an Ian Potter Foundation Fellowship. Richard is a senior fellow, Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne; Adjunct Professor of Music, University of Queensland: and Senior Research Fellow Faculty of Music University of Western Australia.
Since his debut as an opera conductor at Opera Queensland with THE MAGIC FLUTE he now has a large repertoire of standard works, as well as a reputation for conducting contemporary opera and his own compositions. He is one of the few Australian composers who have been commissioned to write operas for main stage performances in Australia, and whose works, SUMMER OF THE SEVENTEENTH DOLL , BATAVIA and THE LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE (winner, Helpmann Award) have not only been presented by both opera companies and festivals across Australia but have also received the country’s most prestigious awards.
Recent conducting engagements have included the inaugural concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre; AIDA, THE MAGIC FLUTE, PETER GRIMES and LA SONNAMBULA for West Australian Opera; concerts and recordings with the WASO, MSO, TSO and Orchestra Victoria and a concert performance of Wagner’s TRISTAN UND ISOLDE for the Queensland Music Festival (winner, Helpmann Award).
His 2011 engagements include DIE FLEDERMAUS with West Australian Opera, LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE with Opera Australia in Sydney and concerts with the Melbourne, Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras.
Richard Mills’ most recent compositions include a score for the Australian Ballet and his PASSION ACCORDING TO ST. MARK which premiered around Australia in 2009. His song cycle SONGLINES OF THE HEART’S DESIRES received its European premiere at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival, his Organ Concerto will be premiered with Calvin Bowman and the Melbourne Symphony in August 2011.
His CD recording Richard Mills: Orchestral Works with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra has become a best seller and his three volume CD of the film music of Franz Waxman with the same orchestra was awarded a Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik.. He has recently released a CD of his major orchestral works with the Melbourne Symphony.
In February 2012, he will be preparing and conducting Richard Strauss’ ELEKTRA with the West Australian Opera, ThinIce, Perth International Arts Festival and Opera Australia. In the second half of 2013 he will be preparing and conducting Opera Australia’s first complete cycles of Wagner’s epic DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN.
The Victorian Opera was established 5 years ago to fill the void left by the amalgamation of the old Victorian State Opera with the Australian Opera to form Opera Australia in 1998 after the financial collapse of the Victorian State Opera. Since it’s creation, it has steered a financially cautious path staging from 3 to 5 staged works annually and some concerts. A feature of programming has been the presentation of small to medium sized repertoire, presentation of an Australian opera each season, some children’s operas, regular touring, education programs, predominant use of Australian resident singers particularly from Melbourne, and presentation of staged works in smaller scale venues such as the National Theatre, CUB Malthouse, the Arts Centre Playhouse and the new Melbourne Recital Hall.
Unlike its sister State opera companies, the Victorian Opera does not as yet venture into large scale works such as Verdi or Wagner, use Opera Conference productions, share productions with Opera Australia or use the much larger State Theatre for large scale works.
Whether this will slowly change under the tutelage of Richards Mills and who is going to replace Ricard Mills at the West Australian Opera we will have to wait and see.