Mozart’s Idomeneo to play St Kilda’s Palais Theatre this July

AAR-Victorian-Opera-IdomeneoIn a landmark partnership befitting Mozart’s epic tale, Victorian Opera and Opera Australia will present Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s grand saga of love, honour and redemption, Idomeneo, at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre this July.

Across three performances, this dazzling fully-staged new production brings together the creative talents of two of Australia’s leading cultural institutions for the first time in a rare treat for Melbourne opera aficionados and new audiences alike.

First performed in Munich in 1781, the trials and tribulations of ancient Greece now land on the shores of St Kilda in this very special collaboration. The earliest of Mozart’s great operas, Idomeneo is a timeless masterpiece of duty, divine intervention and mythic dilemmas.

After surviving the Trojan War, the brave Idomeneo is forced to make a tragic vow with the powerful Poseidon who commands that Idomeneo sacrifice his own son in order to save his people from certain destruction.

Idomeneo, Mozart’s favourite opera, the theatrical work of which he was most proud,” said Victorian Opera Artistic Director Richard Mills. “It is a summation of the traditions of the 18th century, but its transcendent humanity breaks the barriers of convention to speak with timeless eloquence about the human condition and the effects of war, fate and suffering on our lives.”

“Victorian Opera brings back to Melbourne one of the worlds great Idomeneo‘s Steve Davislim who has sung the role at La Scala. Steve is joined by Catherine Carby, a regular at Covent Garden and a distinguished cast of Australian singers.”

“Conductor Benjamin Bayl brings an acute sense of style and Mozartian flair to the pit in a revolutionary production by Lindy Hume which brings into focus the elemental force of the story and its impact on the fragility of human relationships.”

“This is a journey through the vicissitudes of fate and suffering which ends with a triumphant message of hope and belief in the future,” said Mr Mills.

With celebrated opera director Lindy Hume AM at the helm, this premiere presentation will revisit the timeless opera seria in a sharp new staging. While the original setting of Crete around 1200 BC remains, the production’s bold contemporary costuming and immersive use of video art will take the classic story to new heights.

Featuring lush projections from award-winning video designer David Bergman – who recently received rave reviews for his work in Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed The Picture of Dorian Gray – Mozart’s rich world of vengeful gods and jealous lovers will come to life on the walls of the Palais.

Leading the production in the show’s title role is the internationally renowned Australian performer, Steve Davislim. Touted as one of the greatest tenors of his generation, Davislim has long been in high demand on concert and operatic stages here and abroad.

Joining Davislim in his homecoming is pre-eminent mezzo soprano Catherine Carby who will also be making a return to the Australian stage. Having worked with many of the top opera companies around the globe, Carby will play the pant-role of Idomeneo’s doomed son, Idamante.

Accompanied by a full cast of superb operatic talent – including Kathryn Radcliffe, Olivia Cranwell, Michael Dimovski, James Egglestone and Simon Meadows – and backed by the distinguished Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Benjamin Bayl, Idomeneo is set to be one of the year’s most anticipated opera productions.

Conductor: Benjamin Bayl | Director: Lindy Hume | Featuring: Steve Davislim, Catherine Carby, Kathryn Radcliffe, Olivia Cranwell, Michael Dimovski, James Egglestone, Simon Meadows, Jonathon Bam, Elizabeth Barrow, Paul Batey, Paul Biencourt, Kirilie Blythman, Kerrie Bolton, Emily Burke, Robert Campbell, Alastair Cooper-Golec, Stephen Coutts, Rebecca Crabtree, Irving Dekterev, Shakira Dugan, Shania Eliassen, Olivia Federow-Yemm, Fraser Findlay, Matan Franco, Lyndon Green, Teresa Ingrilli, Jerzy Kozlowski, Alister Lamont, Kieran Macfarlane, Jane Magao, Ursula Paez, Alexsander Pokryshevsky, Henry Shaw, Syrah Torii, Peter Tregear, Emily Uhlrich, Nicole Wallace, Lynlee Williams, Hannah Kostros, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra | Set Designer: Michael Yeargan | Costume Designer: Anna Cordingley | Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson | Video Designer: David Bergman | Cinematography: Catherine Pettman | Set Design Consultant: Richard Roberts

Palais Theatre, Lower Esplanade, St Kilda
Season: 4 – 8 July 2023
Information and Bookings:

Image: Victorian Opera and Opera Australia co-presents Idomeneo (supplied)