Opera Australia on the road to recovery with a full 2022 Sydney season announced

AAR Lise Lindstrom in Opera Australia's 2019 Production of Turandot photo by Jeff BusbyOpera Australia has signalled a return to normal programming, announcing its entire 2022 season, confident that COVID shutdowns and debilitating restrictions will be a thing of the past.

As has been the case almost every year for the past decade, Gale Edward’s celebrated production of La Bohème will kick off the summer season on New Year’s Eve however OA’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini has signalled that this will be its final run in the iconic Joan Sutherland Theatre.

“Gale’s production of La Bohème is certainly close to my heart, it was the first opera I commissioned when I started at OA back in 2009 and it has served the Company wonderfully well. It is loved by people the world over, so this is an opportunity for audiences to see it one last time and bid her farewell,” said Mr Terracini.

Premiering in 2011 and running on an almost annual basis, this beloved version of Puccini’s tale of struggling bohemians will have racked up an impressive 183 performances by the time the curtain closes in February.

Presenting a full season for the first time since COVID hit, the program features some of the world’s most loved operas alongside rarely performed works, as well as two blockbuster musicals and the addition of a new and exciting outdoor experience.

“It’s been a very difficult time for our performers and the arts industry as a whole, so I’m sure audiences are looking forward to returning to the theatre just as much as we are, and I’m confident the coming season has something for everyone,” said Mr Terracini.

“We’ll have some of the best singers in the world performing a selection of the most fantastic music ever written with adored classics and fascinating rarer operas; it will be an invigorating year of live music performance.”

Summer will see the welcome return of star American soprano Lise Lindstrom as she reprises the role of Turandot, which she will share with Australian star on the rise, Anna-Louise Cole, in Graeme Murphy’s celebrated production.

Otello will have its rescheduled return to the stage with the same powerhouse principal cast of Yonghoon Lee making his role debut as Otello, which Terracini believes will become his signature role, Karah Son and Marco Vratogna as the villain Iago.

La Juive, a co-production with Opera de Lyon directed by the acclaimed Olivier Py, will have its Australian premiere offering audiences the rare treat of two sopranos, two tenors and a world-class bass singing together. The Marriage of Figaro also returns, and Russian star Olga Peretyatko will make her Australian debut in a concert version of Maria Stuarda.

In winter, renowned director Davide Livermore will premiere a new digital production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, demanding four of the world’s best singers. Graeme Murphy’s digital production of Madama Butterfly will return with Sae-Kyung Rim as Cio-Cio San and Chanyang Choi’s first leading role for OA as Suzuki.

Stacey Alleaume will perform in-theatre as Violetta in Elijah Moshinsky’s La Traviata following her success in the 2021 Handa Opera of Sydney Harbour production. Audiences will have the chance to finally see Attila, after its two-performance premiere in 2020 and postponement days before opening in 2021, this time with Russian Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stages a brand new version of one of the most successful musicals of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Director Simon Phillips and designer Gabriela Tylesova will deliver a whole new level of spectacle to the show’s defining moments on the famous over-water stage.

And proving that you can never have enough of the Phantom, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of the legendary musical will make its long-awaited Sydney Opera House debut.

Also rescheduled from 2021, the contemporary take in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella will premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, showcasing an Australian cast of rising stars and treasured favourites.

At a new custom-built site, Opera Australia will present its inaugural season of Opera on Cockatoo Island with an edgy new production of Bizet’s Carmen by director Liesel Badorrek. Audience members can enjoy an all-inclusive evening out in the island’s industrial scene or a world-first unique experience of opera viewing from their own boat.

OA will continue its commitment to providing access to opera for everyone, presenting Cinderella to schools across NSW, touring a new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville by director Priscilla Jackman around regional theatres across the country, and staging the Opera Gala at Uluru once again in the heart of Australia.

Subscription packages are now available. Single tickets on sale from 16 November 2021. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Lise Lindstrom in Opera Australia’s 2019 Production of Turandot – photo by Jeff Busby