Opera Australia’s new Artistic Director Jo Davies has announced the Company will present an epic, fully staged production of Tosca, one of Puccini’s most-loved operas, at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena in May next year – the first opera to ever be staged in the venue.
Marking the centenary of the great Italian composer’s death, Tosca at Margaret Court Arena is the first programming announcement by the incoming Artistic Director who officially takes up the creative reins in November this year.
It also signifies OA’s commitment to securing new venues for its Victorian season when its traditional home, the State Theatre at Arts Centre Melbourne, undergoes a major upgrade as part of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project.
“I’m thrilled that my first announcement at Opera Australia is something bold, epic and a celebration of one of the most popular opera composers of all time, Giacomo Puccini,” said Ms Davies.
“This classic 5-star production will be a very special event, bringing to life, in an exciting new setting, one of opera’s most thrilling scores, with raise-the-roof chorus scenes, haunting arias and an action-packed plot, all of which will feel at once both epic and intimate.”
“I’m excited that I’ll soon be able to reveal the rest of the 2024 season in Victoria. Whilst the State Theatre is closed it’s a great opportunity for OA to spread its creative wings and think about opera outside of traditional theatre spaces. This also means looking beyond the city to regional areas and presenting opera in new venues in exciting, innovative ways,” said Ms Davies.
“Melbourne’s sports precinct is no stranger to performances from world class athletes – now it’s time to raise the roof with the first-ever opera performance to be staged at the arena, Puccini’s Tosca,” said Minister for Creative Industries and Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos.
“We are a proud to help bring this unique production to Melbourne audiences and we look forward to seeing the arena burst to life like never before.”
This hugely acclaimed production of Tosca, directed by Edward Dick for Opera North is brilliantly designed by the award-winning Tom Scutt to echo the grand stadium feel of Margaret Court Arena.
Focusing on the social and sexual politics of this incredible operatic thriller, this production perfectly blends old and new with Renaissance grandeur and elegant contemporary costumes by BAFTA winning costume designer Fotini Dimou. This will be the first staging outside of the United Kingdom.
In the roles of complex diva Tosca and her lover Cavaradossi, Karah Son and Diego Torre will reunite on stage, the pair recently wowed audiences in Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour. Torre will share the role with rising Korean tenor Young Woo Kim, and baritones Robert Hayward and Warwick Fyfe will perform the role of Scarpia.
Opera North Music Director and Chief Conductor Garry Walker will conduct Puccini’s sensational score, leading the internationally acclaimed Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Victoria through one of opera’s most tragic love stories.
Ms Davies will officially commence in the role of Artistic Director in November 2023. Opera Australia will announce its full 2024 Season on 24 October 2023.
Tosca at Margaret Court Arena will be presented from 24 – 30 May 2024. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.
Image: Opera North’s 2023 production of Tosca – photo by James Glossop