A tale from ancient Rome, Theodora speaks to our hearts, here and now. Innocence, love, faith and courage bloom strong and full of promise, only to be struck down by blind hatred and the thirst for power. Theodora is the leader of the Christian community in Antioch: a young woman whose life of virtue has inspired many to embrace her faith – including the Roman officer Didymus, who has in the process fallen deeply in love with his spiritual mentor.
When the order comes through that all who refuse to offer sacrifice to Jupiter are to be tortured and killed, the two lovers find themselves locked in a battle to the death: each determined to sacrifice their own life to save the other.
Handel’s sublime music takes us deep inside the emotional drama of this tragic story, revealing the characters’ inmost hopes and fears: the pure flame of Theodora’s faith, but also her despair when faced with a fate worse than death; Didymus’s tender love for Theodora; the offended rage of the Roman governor, determined to uphold the letter of the law; the crowd, baying for blood at the start, but deeply shaken by the martyrs’ quiet courage at the last.
Pinchgut Opera is delighted to welcome home Australian soprano Valda Wilson, who’s been garnering rave reviews in Europe for several years, and also to welcome back to the Pinchgut stage Christopher Lowrey (Tamerlane in Bajazet), Caitlin Hulcup (an unforgettable Iphigénie, 2014) and the thrilling voices of Cantillation, singing the choruses that Handel himself acknowledged to be his finest. Theodora is sung in English with English surtitles.
Director: Lindy Hume Featuring: Valda Wilson, Caitlin Hulcup, Christopher Lowrey, Ed Lyon, Andrew Collis, Cantillation, Orchestra of the Antipodes Conductor: Erin Helyard Designer: Dan Potra Lighting Designer: Matthew Marshall
City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney
Season: 30 November – 6 December 2016
For more information, visit: www.pinchgutopera.com.au for details.
Image: Valda Wilson stars as Theodora – courtesy of Pinchgut Opera