Over the last 60 years Opera Australia has grown to become Australia’s largest and busiest arts company. It is now equal to the great opera companies of Europe and North America. This is no mean feat with Australia’s comparably small population and huge landmass.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary year, and in tribute to one of the world’s great buildings, Opera Australia is thrilled to present Sydney Opera House – The Opera (The Eighth Wonder), outside on the Opera House forecourt with Utzon’s renowned white sails as the background. This will be an historic event with international appeal.
The 2015 production of Aida for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour along with Opera Australia’s 2015 Sydney Summer Season reached ticket buyers from 120 countries across all continents. The Company now provides work for well over a thousand artists including singers, musicians, carpenters, tailors, sewers, wig-makers, painters and writers.
In early 2015 Opera Australia premiered Kate Miller-Heidke’s The Rabbits at the Perth International Festival before a season at the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October. Now Sydneysiders can experience this beautiful, family-friendly production in January.
In the 2016 Sydney season, Opera Australia will work internationally with Lausanne Opera to present a co-production of Verdi’s glamorous Luisa Miller, along with a re-staging of Simon Boccanegra. The company is very much looking forward to seeing Chinese film and opera director Chen Shi-Zheng’s take on Puccini’s Turandot on the Sydney Harbour stage, and to see Julie Andrews’ direction of My Fair Lady – also celebrating its 60th birthday after its 1956 Broadway debut.
For the 2016 Melbourne season, Opera Australia will present Luisa Miller and the new production of The Pearlfishers. Only Melbourne audiences will have the chance to hear the great Lianna Haroutounian sing the role Mimì in Gale Edwards’ production of La Bohème. In November and December of next year, the ‘Everest’ of opera, Wagner’s Ring Cycle returns to Melbourne in Neil Armfield’s production with some of the greatest Wagnerian singers alive today.
In 2016 Opera Australia also sees Australian singers take on new roles; Nicole Car in Luisa Miller and Stacey Alleaume in The Pearlfishers. International singers include Paolo Bordogna in The Barber of Seville and Barbara Frittoli and Georges Petean in Simon Boccanegra.
But it’s not just about large-scale productions. Opera Australia’s Regional Tours company will be travelling thousands of kilometres presenting The Magic Flute throughout Victoria, Tasmania, ACT and NSW. Traditional free events Opera in the Domain in Sydney and Opera in the Bowl in Melbourne will also return in 2016.
Subscription Packages for 2016 are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.
Image: The Pearlfishers – courtesy of Opera Australia