OA-Ernani-photo-by-Prudence-UptonOpera Australia will present the Melbourne premiere of its epic co-production, with Milan’s famous Teatro alla Scala, of Verdi’s rarely performed opera, Ernani, in the State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne from 13 May with two of the country’s finest singers, Diego Torre and Natalie Aroyan, leading an extraordinary cast.

This seldom performed work requires an extremely talented cast to tackle the difficult score. Torre and Aroyan will play Ernani and Elvira respectively, along with internationally renowned powerhouse singer baritone Vladimir Stoyanov as Don Carlo, King of Spain. Internationally celebrated bass Alexander Vinogradov joins the cast as Don Ruy Gomez de Silva.

OA’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini chose to program two big Verdi masterpieces for the Company’s return to the State Theatre. “We’re delivering what OA does best; opera on a grand -scale with a huge cast and orchestra, big voices and big sets. I’m sure the Melbourne audiences are really going to appreciate these productions,” he said.

“I’m particularly proud to be bringing Ernani to Melbourne, it’s the second co-production we’ve done with La Scala, which has allowed us to present such a rarely performed work.”

Conductor Carlo Montanaro, will lead the Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Victoria in their performance of this rousing score. With passionate choruses, emotional arias and flawless ensemble writing, this opera will have the audience in raptures from the opening notes.

In this production, German director Sven-Eric Bechtolf wholeheartedly embraces the melodrama of the story and creates a ‘play within a play’. The commanding staging, combined with grand sets and lavish period costumes, including masks and headdresses, create the perfect setting for this epic opera to unfold.

Part of Verdi’s early repertoire and based on the play titled Hernani by Victor Hugo, Ernani tells the story of a former Don-turned-outlaw whose desire to be with the woman he loves is outweighed only by his duty to honour a vow he once made. Like all good medieval tales, this opera has intrigue, disguise, betrayal and adventure.

Conductor: Carlo Montanaro Director: Sven-Eric Bechtolf Featuring: Diego Torre, Vladimir Stoyanov, Alexander Vinogradov, Natalie Aroyan, Jennifer Black, Simon Kim, Luke Gabbedy, Opera Australia Chorus, Orchestra Victoria Rehearsal Director: Liesel Badorrek Scenic Designer: Julian Crouch Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard Lighting Designer: Marco Filibeck Video Designer: Filippo Marta

State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 13 – 22 May 2021
Information and Bookings:

Image: The cast of Ernani in Opera Australia’s 2021 production at the Sydney Opera House – photo by Prudence Upton