Opera Australia and Victorian Opera’s exciting new co-production by Lindy Hume of Mozart’s Idomeneo will have its Sydney Premiere at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, opening 20 February and running to 15 March.
This production is the first partnership between these two leading Australian performing arts organisations, extending both companies’ capabilities to present world-class opera to audiences around the country.
Idomeneo is an exploration of humanity, a grand tale of love, politics, familial conflict and sacrifice that draws on the mythology of the aftermath of the Trojan War and questions the depths humans will plumb in the face of desperation. It explores mortal themes that resonate through the ages: the fallout of war, natural catastrophe, grief, love and human frailty.
The epic story sees the King of Crete faced with an impossible dilemma. To save himself from drowning at sea in a vicious storm, he makes a pledge to Neptune to save his ship and his men. He vows to sacrifice the first human life he encounters on land, when bound by his rash promise, the first person he meets is his own son. The choice he makes next sets the vengeance of the gods upon the people of Crete.
Distinguished Australian director Lindy Hume vividly reimagines Mozart’s 18th century work through an Age of Enlightenment contextual lens. Her visually rich interpretation invokes the mythic power of the drama, through an immersive set depicting the unforgiving seas and rugged coastline of ancient Crete.
Cinematographer Catherine Pettman and award-winning video, stage and sound designer David Bergman, whose recent credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray for STC, utilise awe-inspiring landscape projections of Tasmania’s craggy coastline to highlight the natural forces at play in Idomeneo’s world. An elegant set by Michael Yeargan with design consultation by Richard Roberts, lighting by Verity Hampson and contemporary costumes by Anna Cordingley all combine to create a powerful experience.
Labelled a showcase of “theatrical design excellence – achieved through set design being successfully blended with vivid video design and captivating cinematography.
The cast will be led by celebrated Canadian tenor Michael Schade making his OA debut in the title role, alongside internationally established Australian mezzo soprano Caitlin Hulcup also in her OA debut as Idamante. Australian singers Emma Pearson and Kanen Breen complete the cast alongside OA principals Celeste Lazarenko, John Longmuir and Richard Anderson, all performing role debuts.
Renowned conductor Johannes Fritzsch will lead the Opera Australia Orchestra and the Opera Australia Chorus through the passionate, tuneful score.
Venue: Joan Sutherland Theatre| Sydney Opera House
Date: 20 Feb – 15 Mar 24
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