Some of Australia’s finest opera voices will perform together for one night only when the State Opera of South Australia (SOSA) presents The Mastersingers of Nuremberg Act III at the Adelaide Festival Theatre for one-night-only on Saturday 4 August 2018.
This special concert performance is being staged to help celebrate 20 years since the State Opera presented Australia’s first Ring Cycle – Wagner’s epic music dramas based on Old Norse myths. The Mastersingers of Nuremberg Act III will mark the welcome return of internationally renowned soprano Kate Ladner (as Eva), who now lives in France and appears at opera houses throughout Europe and Australasia.
Ladner will be joined by Bradley Daley (as Walther), Shane Lowrencev (as Hans Sachs) and acclaimed British Wagner specialist Andrew Shore (as Beckmesser), who will be making his Australian debut. Conductor Nicholas Braithwaite will lead the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and a State Opera Chorus of more than 60 voices.
Braithwaite said the third act of Mastersingers was the perfect blend of dramatic storytelling and rousing vocal performances. “It’s the famed singing contest in which a guild of professionals and tradesmen who are passionate about music and the art of song is competing to win the Head of the Guild’s hand in marriage,” he said.
“The ardent young Walther, guided by the wise cobbler Hans Sachs, competes for the hand of the beautiful Eva, and not even the opposition of his vengeful rival Beckmesser can stand in the way of his ultimate triumph.”
Artistic Director Stuart Maunder said Wagner’s compositions were close to the hearts of many South Australians, as demonstrated by the fact SA has its own Richard Wagner Society. “The State Opera is incredibly proud of its history with such a prolific composer, and Mastersingers is going to be a really special event for Wagner enthusiasts,” he said.
Nicholas Braithwaite has had a life-long involvement with opera during which he has conducted more than 70 operas with different companies around the world. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, at the Festival Masterclasses in Bayreuth and in Vienna.
He served as Associate Principal Conductor of English National Opera from 1971-74, when his performances of Wagner’s Ring Cycle received widespread critical acclaim, and from 1976-80 he was Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera. From 1977-91 he was Principal Guest Conductor and then Principal Conductor of the Manchester Camerata.
Braithwaite was Principal Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 1987-91, and held the same post with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has made many recordings, notably of English music for Lyrita Recorded Edition with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, London Symphony and Philharmonia.
In recent years he has conducted Peter Grimes and Boris Godunov for New Zealand Opera, Capriccio for Opera Australia, Macbeth for Opera Queensland and The Flying Dutchman, Tosca, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci and Fledermaus for the State Opera of South Australia. He has conducted all of Wagner’s operas from Rienzi on, most of them many times.
Andrew Sinclair has directed productions for all the major Australia Opera companies. The video of his La Bohème (OA) won a TV Emmy Award in Los Angeles. As a Resident Director at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, he staged revivals of Turandot, Tosca, Katya Kabanova and Ariadne Auf Naxos among others. He also directed a semi-staged Ring Cycle at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Sinclair has a busy directing career in the United States – Le Nozze di Figaro (Seattle), Norma (San Francisco Opera), La Bohème (Denver), Salome (Pittsburgh), Lohengrin, Aida and Tosca (San Diego Opera). His acclaimed production of The Pearl Fishers for San Diego Opera has been seen in all the major US cities.
Other engagements have taken him to the Wexford and Bayreuth Festivals, Buenos Aires (Lohengrin), Bologna (I Masnadieri), Savonlinna (Peter Grimes), Hong Kong (Coronation of Poppea and Le Nozze di Figaro), and Singapore (Aida, Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci and Salome).
Conductor: Nicholas Braithwaite Director: Andrew Sinclair Featuring: Kate Ladner, Fiona Mcardle, Bradley Daley, Samuel Sakker, Shane Lowrencev, Andrew Shore, Pelham Andrews, John Bolton-Wood AM, Robert Macfarlane, Hew Wagner, Adam Goodburn, Andrew Turner, Jeremy Tatchell, Daniel Goodburn, Joshua Rowe, Robert England, State Opera Chorus, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Chorus Master: Simon Kenway Lighting Design: Donn Byrnes
The Mastersingers of Nuremberg Act III
Festival Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Performance: Saturday 4 August 2018 – 7.30pm
For more information, visit: www.saopera.sa.gov.au for details.
Image: courtesy of State Opera of South Australia