Winner of 70 major theatre awards including two Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards, Miss Saigon has been described as one of the greatest musicals of all time.
From the creators of Les Misérables, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, Miss Saigon has been seen by 38 million people and performed in 15 different languages, in over 32 countries and 350 cities.
Casting for the 42 roles in the new Australian production is already well underway, with a full cast announcement anticipated to be made in April.
Opera Australia CEO Fiona Allan said Miss Saigon is regarded as one of the most critically-acclaimed and popular musicals of all time, with an incredible catalogue of music, enjoyed by millions around the world.
“This year Opera Australia will be producing both Miss Saigon and the 1904 opera which inspired the musical’s creation, Madama Butterfly,” said Ms Allan.
“We believe this to be the first time any one company in the world has produced both these seminal pieces of 20th century performance in the same year, so that audiences can appreciate both their similarities and differences.”
“Both are haunting stories with brilliant musical scores, set in very different periods in time. Miss Saigon is a powerful and moving story, which like Madama Butterfly, looks at the complex nature of love, whilst set against the destruction and violence of war, and examining the aftermath it leaves.”
“What I find particularly exciting is to see this story now told by an Australian cast – which will really showcase the depth of Asian-Australian talent we have in this country.”
“OA is thrilled to again be partnering with Cameron Mackintosh following our incredibly successful collaboration on his production of The Phantom of The Opera which broke box office records at the Sydney Opera House, and we look forward working with Cameron and his team on future projects,” said Ms Allan.
Cameron Mackintosh reiterated the production’s achievements saying “Miss Saigon has been a phenomenal success around the world since it opened in 1989, and like many musicals its story has proved timely and timeless,” he said.
“Boublil and Schönberg’s powerful story is so heartfelt that it never fails to move audiences night after night in a unique way.”
“Over 25 years ago we brought the original production to Sydney, but this time Australian audiences will be getting my new production, which had sensational success in London, then on Broadway and across America.”
“Auditions were being held during my recent trip to Australia, and we’ve seen some terrifically exciting local performers, several of whom we are hoping will make their debuts in this new production of Miss Saigon and who I have no doubt will go on to become the next generation of musical theatre super-stars,” said Mackintosh.
Miss Saigon tells the story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim, who is orphaned by war and forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer.
There she meets and falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris, but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For 3 years, Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he’s fathered a son.
This new production features stunning spectacle and a sensational cast of 42 performing the soaring score, including Broadway hits like The Heat is On in Saigon, The Movie in My Mind, Last Night of the World and American Dream.
Since its London premiere in 1989, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s epic musical Miss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history. The original Broadway production of Miss Saigon opened on April 11, 1991 with what was the largest advance sale in Broadway history ($37 million).
The show went on to play for nearly ten years with 4,111 performances. The original production also premiered in Australia to critical acclaim in 1995 and returned in 2007. Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Miss Saigon opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim.
Miss Saigon also marked the career beginnings of numerous award-winning performers including Lea Salonga who won a Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk originating the role of Kim. And Eva Noblezada who received a Tony nomination for Kim in the 2017 Broadway production, becoming one of the youngest nominees in the category, at age 21.
Miss Saigon has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. The new production is directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt.
Production design is by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; lighting design by Bruno Poet; projections by Luke Halls; sound design by Mick Potter; and orchestrations by William David Brohn. Music supervision is by Alfonso Casado Trigo and Guy Simpson.
Tickets for Miss Saigon at the Sydney Opera House go on sale Monday 20 March. For more information and to join the wait-list, visit: www.miss-saigon.com.au for details.
Image: Miss Saigon – courtesy of Opera Australia