Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

ACOCo-Alices-Adventures-in-Wonderland-Melissa-Davis-as-Alice-and-Christopher-Tonkin-as-White-Rabbit-photo-by-Greta-NashAward winning independent company Australian Contemporary Opera Co (ACOCo) celebrates a return to live performance, kicking off their 2022 season with the Australian premiere of London’s Opera Holland Park smash-hit production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This feel-good, family friendly garden production will be staged in Yarra Park, right in the heart of Melbourne’s premier sports precinct, as well as Macedon, the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.

Premiering in 2013 and running for five consecutive sell-out annual seasons in London, Will Todd (composer) and Maggie Gottlieb’s (librettist) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is designed to delight adults and children alike.

The witty libretto shapes Lewis Carroll’s familiar nonsense into a relatable story that remains true to the madcap spirit of the classic book. Led by a collection of celebrated Wonderland characters, a chorus of Victorians (folk from the historic era and our state) and a nine piece orchestra, the music is an eclectic mix of jazz, musical and opera.

“We have a fabulous cast and team bringing this gorgeous show to Victoria for its Australian premiere,” says ACOCo’s Artistic Director Linda Thompson. “It’s an absolute testimony to the intrepid spirit of our Australian musicians and singers, that after performing with opera companies around the world they are so keen to jump on the outdoor opera ride with us!”

Featuring Berlin-based conductor Matthew Toogood in his first visit home in four years (after conducting in opera houses in Germany and Switzerland), the show stars American soprano Melissa Davis as Alice; Australian baritone Christopher Tonkin (recently returned from Germany) as White Rabbit; Australian/Chinese tenor Daniel Zhiesong Todd as Dad/Queen of Hearts; and American/Australian mezzo Heather Fletcher as Mum/Mad Hatter.

“Families will love all the fun and adventure of this stage, costumed contemporary opera,” says Thompson. “With an engaging and beautiful score and a tale that blends beloved classic literature with modern characters.”

“Its all brought to life with the fabulous set and costume designs originally created by award-winning UK designer Leslie Travers.”

With four Yarra Park performances across two weekends in early Autumn (Sunday 6 & 13 March), ACOCo is bringing a splash of opera culture to the MCG sporting precinct! Public transport literally to the door, you won’t want to miss these extraordinary performers in this limited season.

The regional performances will offer the idyllic backdrop of beautiful gardens and historical properties. All you need do is sort your low beach chairs, rugs or bean bags and grab your tickets.

Director: Linda Thompson | Conductor: Matthew Toogood | Featuring: Melissa Davis, Christopher Tonkin, Heather Fletcher, Daniel Szesiong, Jessica Mills, Angelique Tot, Alexandra Amerides, Leah Phillips, Sandra Liu, Grace Gallur, Callum Andreas, Bailey Montgomerie, Caitlin Toohey | Set and Costume Designer: Leslie Travers | Set and Costume Adaptor: Madeline Nibali

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be presented at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin (Sunday 20 February); Alowyn Gardens, Yarra Valley (Sunday 27 February); Bolobek, Mount Martha (Saturday 12 March); and Yarra Park, Jolimont (Sunday 6 & 13 March). For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Melissa Davis as Alice and Christopher Tonkin as White Rabbit- photo by Greta Nash