Opera Australia returns to Melbourne with two grand-scale Verdi performances

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.

Aida | Photo by Prudence Upton

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. 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.

Opera Australia will also present the Melbourne premiere of its epic co-production, with Milan’s famous Teatro alla Scala, of Verdi’s rarely performed opera, Ernani, at the Arts Centre Melbourne this May with two of the country’s finest singers, Diego Torre and Natalie Aroyan, leading an extraordinary cast.

This seldom performed work requires an extremely talented cast to tackle the difficult score. Torre and Aroyan will play Ernani and Elvira respectively, along with internationally renowned powerhouse singer baritone Vladimir Stoyanov as Don Carlo, King of Spain. Internationally celebrated bass Alexander Vinogradov joins the cast as Don Ruy Gomez de Silva.

Part of Verdi’s early repertoire and based on the play titled Hernani by Victor Hugo, Ernani tells the story of a former Don-turned-outlaw whose desire to be with the woman he loves is outweighed only by his duty to honour a vow he once made. Like all good medieval tales, this opera has intrigue, disguise, betrayal and adventure.

For tickets and more information, visit TakeYourSeats.com

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of AussieTheatre.com. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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