Following in the great Dame Joan Sutherland’s footsteps, internationally renowned Jessica Pratt will make history when she sings all four soprano roles in the world premiere of Damiano Michieletto’s new production of The Tales of Hoffmann which opens at the Sydney Opera House this week.
Homegrown superstar soprano Jessica Pratt returns to Australia to make multiple role debuts as all four of Hoffmann’s leading ladies. Just as Dame Joan was at the time, Pratt is currently one of few sopranos in the world capable of tackling this fiendishly difficult repertoire, including the famous Doll Song, making it an operatic event not to be missed.
Italian director Damiano Michieletto’s brand new production marks the first co-production with the Royal Opera House that Opera Australia will build and create locally in its Surry Hills workshop. This is also the first time this partnership will stage a premiere season in the Sydney Opera House.
Longtime collaborators Alessandro Carletti will light elaborate sets designed by Paolo Fantin and matching costumes by Carla Teti, which will combine to transport the characters and audience into Hoffmann’s three worlds. This accomplished creative team was last applauded in Australia for its creative reimagining of Il Viaggio a Reims in 2019.
Based on the stories of German romantic author and composer E.T.A Hoffmann, Offenbach’s greatest and last work follows a tipsy Hoffmann narrating the fanciful stories of his four great loves, his elusive muse and the evil which follows him.
Accomplished Peruvian tenor Iván Ayón Rivas will make his role debut as the titular character Hoffmann following his brilliant Opera Australia debut earlier this year as Rodolfo in La Bohème. Having performed at some of the finest opera houses in the world, Croatian bass-baritone Marko Mimica will also make his Opera Australia and role debuts playing all four villains.
Several Opera Australia principal singers will also make role debuts including Agnes Sarkis, Jennifer Black, David Parkin, Iain Henderson, Tomas Dalton, Luke Gabbedy, Sian Sharp, Anthony Mackey and Adam Player, performing alongside Richard Anderson who will reprise one role and perform a new to complete the leading cast.
Acclaimed French conductor Guillaume Tourniaire will return to Sydney, following his success with OA’s Don Giovanni earlier this year, to guide the principal singers, the Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra through Offenbach’s intoxicating mix of emotion and dazzling music in this mini marathon of an opera.
Conductor: Guillaume Tourniaire | Director: Damiano Michieletto | Featuring: Iván Ayón Rivas, Jessica Pratt, Marko Mimica, Agnes Sarkis, Jennifer Black, Iain Henderson, David Parkin, Tomas Dalton, Luke Gabbedy, Adam Player, Richard Anderson, Sian Sharp, Anthony Mackey, Opera Australia Chorus, Opera Australia Orchestra | Set Designer: Paolo Fantin | Costume Designer: Carla Teti | Lighting Designer: Alessandro Carletti | Projection Designer: Vandal | Choreographer: Chiara Vecchi | Magic & Illusion: James Gales, Adam Mada | Assistant Directors: Eleonora Gravagnola, Shaun Rennie | Translation: Andy Morton
The Tales of Hoffmann
Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 11 – 22 July 2023
Information and Bookings: www.opera.org.au
Image: Jessica Pratt to star in Opera Australia’s new production of The Tales of Hoffmann – photo by Alessandro Moggi