It’s rush hour for Sydney’s performing ensembles as they jostle to release their programmes for 2014 and secure the all important subscription dollar for the year. Hot on the heels of the SSO’s 2014 season release, Opera Australia has announced it’s compilation for next year on a re-vamped website.
Nine of the 16 productions offer opera in the classical sense. Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, (The Elixir of Love) Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Rossini’s Il turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy) are likely to spark interest from the left of the field. There is a reprise of La Boheme, seen earlier in 2013 and repeated in theme of the 2013/14 New Year’s Eve Gala; Carmen follows its 2013 season on Sydney Harbour, the NY Met’s Julie Taymor production of an abridged The Magic Flute sung in English and seen last year, returns. The rest comprises staple operatic fare – Mozart’s Don Giovanni and two operas by Verdi, Rigoletto, and Otello.
Baroque opera gets a look in with the Sydney Festival’s Dido and Aeneas listed in the OA collection. Jonas Kaufmann’s one night only recital of Verdi, Puccini, Bizet ‘and more’ with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra conducted by Jochen Reider is likely to be the hottest ticket in town for the year.
A co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Fondazione Teatro Regio, Turin, Eugene Onegin should be a treat, directed by Wunderkind Kasper Holten, Artistic Director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Il turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy) is directed by the multiple award winning Simon Phillips and features Emma Matthews as Fiorilla. Matthews sings the role of Gilda in Rigoletto, with Giorgio Caoduro and Helpmann Award winner Jose Carbo sharing the title role; Gianluca Terranova and Diego Torre play the Duke. A bevy of superlative home grown talent makes up the supporting cast – David Corcoran, Sian Pendry, Shane Lowrencev, David Parkin, Samuel Dundas, Domenica Matthews and Luke Gabbedy.
Powerhouse New Zealand born Wagnerian tenor Simon O’Neill sings the role of Otello. O’Neill sang one of his signature roles, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of Mtensk for Opera Australian in 2009, and returned to sing in Mahler’s Symphony No 8 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Tamar Iveri (Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera in 2013) sings Desdemona with Nicole Car singing the role in the second cast alongside more of our best, Jacqueline Dark, Michael Honeyman, Richard Anderson and James Egglestone.
The Scottish opera director Sir David McVicar arrives to recreate his lauded vision of Don Giovanni, conducted by Jonathan Darlington with Teddy Tahu Rhodes reprising his role for OA from 2011 and 2005, and Shane Lowrencev, Elvira Fatykhova, John Longmuir, Taryn Fiebig, Richard Andersen and Jud Arthur in the main roles.
Simon Phillips’ creativity is plied again with his direction of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love), in which a crackerjack cast of Rachelle Durkin, Aldo di Toro, Conal Coad, Samuel Dundas and Katherine Wiles takes us to the outback.
The remaining 5 offerings are aimed at a broader market – the NewYear’s Eve La Boheme Gala in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, and the New Year’s Eve Opera Gala in the Concert Hall, Opera in The Domain, Opera on Sydney Harbour, and another musical The King and I, whose cast is unnamed, which takes over the Joan Sutherland Opera Theatre for 7 1/2 weeks from September.
Visit http://www.opera-australia.org.au/whatson/Sydney to subscribe