Co-produced with Opéra de Lausanne, Switzerland, director Giancarlo del Monaco stages the piece as a flashback, with what could have been literally hanging over the action courtesy of William Orlandi’s gravity-defying set. The monochromatic design focuses all the attention where it should be – the singers – who must deliver one Verdi’s most demanding scores.
“I am thrilled to bring Luisa Miller to my home town” said Nicole Car. “The show is my Verdi debut, and I’ve revelled in the challenges and rewards of performing this beautiful music, with wonderful conducting and an extraordinary cast. I hope Melbourne audiences will embrace this gem of a piece.”
Car was Lyndon Terracini’s first appointment when he joined OA in 2009 and since then the Victorian College of the Arts graduate has not only led multiple productions at home, but had her debut at the Royal Opera House (Carmen), returned to Covent Garden for Eugene Onegin and released her first album, The Kiss which went straight to #1 on the ARIA Classical Album Chart.
Luisa Miller follows the story of a soldier’s daughter who falls in love with Rodolfo, a man she doesn’t realise is of the nobility. Both families are unhappy with the match, and go to extraordinary lengths to separate the lovers. Exclusively for Melbourne, Italian tenor Riccardo Massi takes the role of Rodolfo joined by Australians Michael Honeyman (Miller, Luisa’s father) and David Parkin (Walter, Rodolfo’s father).
One of the slipperiest villains in opera, Wurm, will be played by Melbournian Steven Gallop who will simultaneously be appearing in The Pearlfishers. Fellow Melbournian and VCA alumni Sian Pendry will sing Federica, Rodolfo’s betrothed.
“Our Melbourne premiere of Don Carlos last year proved that not only do rare pieces have an audience, but people relish these unique opera experiences,” said Lyndon Terracini. “Luisa Miller is without doubt a diamond in OA’s 60th year. It is everything opera should be – phenomenal music, gut-wrenching emotion and singing that cuts to your core.”
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 16 – 27 May 2016
Bookings: 1300 182 183 or online at: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Image: Luisa Miller – courtesy of Opera Australia