The first of Opera Australia’s critically acclaimed digital productions, Aida, by celebrated Italian director and choreographer Davide Livermore, will finally have its Melbourne premiere next month, in a spectacular return to the State Theatre stage after an 18 month hiatus due to COVID 19.
Using OA’s integrated digital technologies, Livermore’s interpretation of Verdi’s world of Egypt conveys the scale, depth and magnificence demanded by this monumental opera, transporting the audience experience to a whole new level.
OA’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is thrilled to be reopening the State Theatre with such an epic production. “This digital production of Aida is grand opera at its absolute best, and it’s extremely important to us that we’ve been finally able to bring it to our Melbourne audiences,” he said.
“Aida has a huge cast, the singing, the score and the music are all amazing, the costumes are stunning and with the digital screens, the result is nothing short of spectacular,” said Mr Terracini.
Ten towering LED screens create an immersive theatrical experience, as ever-changing floor-to-ceiling set pieces present video design that ranges from rich symbolism to vivid landscapes. Coupled with Gianluca Falaschi’s magnificent costume designs, this production proves to be a feast for the senses.
Completing the picture, OA has assembled a cast featuring some of the world’s best singers. Known for her moving portrayals of opera’s greatest heroines, American soprano Leah Crocetto will astonish Melbourne audiences as she makes her OA debut in the titular role of Aida.
Joining her will be tenor Stefano La Colla as Radamès to lead an outstanding cast of more than one hundred musicians, singers, dancers and actors in this extravagant production.
Reprising her 2018 characterisation of Amneris is the stunning French-Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Gabouri and basses Alexander Vinogradov and David Parkin will share the role of Ramfis. Baritone Michael Honeyman returns as Amonasro.
From its moving opening with delicate strings in the orchestral prelude, to its famous Triumphal March, this is a score that demands rapt attention. Commanding the cast, Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Victoria will be OA’s head of music, conductor Tahu Matheson.
Premiering in 1871 when Giuseppe Verdi was well established as the leading composer of his day, Aida was a spectacle from the start. Egypt needs a hero to lead their army against Ethiopia and the chosen Radamès hopes to win not just the battle but also the hand of beautiful slave girl Aida.
However she is secretly an Ethiopian princess and is torn between her love for the Egyptian hero and her homeland. Verdi’s monumental music makes this historic epic an enduring favourite.
Conductor: Tahu Matheson Director & Choreographer: Davide Livermore Featuring: Leah Crocetto, Elena Gabouri, Stefano La Colla, Michael Honeyman, Alexander Vinogradov, David Parkin, Gennadi Dubinsky, Jane Ede, Opera Australia Chorus, Orchestra Victoria Revival Director: Shane Placentino Set Designer: Giò Forma Costume Designer: Gianluca Falaschi Digital Content Designer: D-Wok Lighting Designer: John Rayment Assistant Director: Shaun Rennie
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 6 – 21 May 2021
Information and Bookings: www.opera.org.au
Image: The Cast of Aida in Opera Australia’s 2018 production at the Sydney Opera House – photo by Prudence Upton