West Australian Opera announces 2023 season

AAR-WAO2023-INTO-THE-WOODS-photo-by-Steffan-Hill-©-Northern-Ireland-OperaWith stories of hope, passion, love, and wonder, West Australian Opera celebrates Western Australian talent, local connections and journeys of joy and self-discovery, as the Company announces its 2023 season.

“Australian talent is at the front in everything we do and we’re particularly happy to see some West Australian singers take the stage in leading roles,” said West Australian Opera’s Artistic Director Chris van Tuinen.

“Our artists, including conductors, directors, designers, singers, and musicians, sit at the heart of this season, reminding us that there’s something special about this part of the world.”

The season begins with Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen, staged outdoors in the historic WACA Ground from 24 – 25 February and presented in association with Perth Festival.

Directed by Stuart Maunder and conducted by Dane Lam, over 150 singers and musicians bring Bizet’s masterpiece to life. Rising star Ashlyn Tymms makes her role debut as Carmen.

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical Into the Woods comes to His Majesty’s Theatre for eight-performances from 23 March – 1 April.

Director Cameron Menzies created this production for Northern Ireland Opera to critical acclaim. Conducted by Jen Winley, the production features Maria Mercedes as The Witch, Alexander Lewis as The Baker, and Samantha Clarke as The Baker’s Wife.

Pure-voiced chants will echo among the arches of the University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall in Oratorio from 20 – 22 April.

Bach’s Easter Oratorio will be presented in association with UWA’s Conservatorium of Music and features the UWA Symphony Chorus and UWA Symphonic Chorus with WAO’s Wesfarmers Arts Young Artists conducted by Chris van Tuinen and directed by Margrete Helgeby Chaney.

In a world premiere, responding to and interlocking with the Bach, will be a newly commissioned work by WA composer Lachlan Skipworth.

Verdi’s Otello is staged at His Majesty’s Theatre from 20 – 29 July with Opera Australia’s iconic production by director Harry Kupfer.

This tragic tale demonstrates the collateral damage when our worst impulses triumph over our better selves. Chris van Tuinen conducts this production, featuring West Australian star Paul O’Neill in the title role.

Puccini’s La bohème is staged at His Majesty’s Theatre in a new co-production from WAO and Opera Queensland from 19 – 28 October.

Directed by Matt Reuben James Ward and conducted by Chris van Tuinen, the production stars Elena Perroni as Mimi and Paul O’Neil as Rodolfo.

This classic opera shimmers with youthful hope as friends and lovers pursue their dreams though face the shattering impact of poverty, illness, and loss.

Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse’s celebrated Noongar language opera Koolbardi wer Wardong will be presented at Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on 4 August.

Koolbardi, the magpie, and Wardong, the crow, are two proud, vain, jealous brothers. Their cunning, rivalry and one-upmanship bring them unstuck in spectacular fashion.

West Australian Opera is proud to announce the second Wesfarmers Arts commission from Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Wundig wer Wilura, for presentation in 2024.

“Our dream is to speak to the heart through the human voice. We share the joy of music through opera and the powerful stories opera tells,” said Executive Director Carolyn Chard.

“We are uniquely and proudly Western Australian and we bring audiences and artists together to celebrate sung stories that are relevant to our people, time, and places.”

Subscriptions are now available. Tickets go on sale at 9.00am on Thursday 1 December. For more information about West Australian Opera’s 2023 season, visit: www.waopera.asn.au for details.

Image: Into The Woods – photo by Steffan Hill © Northern Ireland Opera