Opera Australia (OA) today announced the keenly anticipated inaugural season by incoming Artistic Director Jo Davies, marking an exciting new chapter for the country’s largest performing arts company.
I’m excited to introduce a season comprising new Australian works and exhilarating renditions of audience favourites presented by some extraordinary creative teams and casts, featuring some of the world’s best artists.
I’m particularly delighted to be presenting new repertoire and stories by some brilliantly talented Australian composers and teams, who are creating exciting new opportunities for opera to engage and form new connections as well as, of course, entertaining our existing audiences with productions that haven’t been seen before in these theatres.
CEO Fiona Allan:
Opera Australia’s new direction is as a company that is more collaborative, more
committed to diversity, and developing and showcasing the best Australian talent, all of which is well demonstrated in Jo’s first season as Artistic Director. In 2024 we will broaden our offering to audiences old and new across the country with a varied and interesting artistic program. The fact Jo has been able to address all of our strategic ambitions, having not yet commenced full time in her role as incoming Artistic Director, is remarkable and a sign of exciting times to come for Opera Australia.
Highlights of Ms Davies’ 2024 Sydney Winter Season include Australian composer Brett Dean’s internationally acclaimed Hamlet starring British tenor Allan Clayton, renowned Australian director Neil Armfield’s production of Watershed, and Sydney Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Kip Williams’ new production of Gilgamesh, along with new productions of Tosca and Il Trittico.
Demonstrating the depth of talent in Australia, Il Trittico will showcase the creativity of exciting young local directors Constantine Costi, Imara Savage and Shaun Rennie, and across the season some of the country’s best singers will be on stage including Stacey Alleaume,Pelham Andrews, Kanen Breen, Lauren Fagan, Warwick Fyfe, Lorina Gore, Simon Meadows, Mark Oates, Alexandra Oomens and Helen Sherman plus a cast of contemporary opera specialists in Gilgamesh.
Ms Davies’ reputation as a strong advocate for gender equality has carried over to her new role with OA, increasing the percentage of female creatives across the board with Francesca Zambello returning to direct West Side Story on Sydney Harbour, BAFTA winning costume designer Fotini Dimitou bringing her design eye to Tosca, director Imara Savage will be joined by lighting designer Verity Hampson on Il Trittico, while conductors Lidiya Yankovskaya and Zoe Zeniodi will lead the Opera Australia Orchestra through Il Trittico and Così fan tutte respectively.
OA will present several new works in partnership with local arts organisations including Carriageworks and the Sydney Opera House as well as the Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring. 2024 will also mark the first time OA joins forces with Sydney Chamber Opera, which is renowned for achieving new visions with contemporary opera.
Opera Australia is also reprising its most popular Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of the smash-hit musical West Side Story, touring a new production of La Bohème around the country, and introducing an all-new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard starring one of music theatre’s true icons Sarah Brightman.
Ms Davies’ inaugural season for Opera Australia follows on from the 2024 Sydney Summer Season curated by guest Creative Director Lindy Hume, comprising five productions making their Sydney Opera House premieres: La Traviata, Orpheus & Eurydice, The Magic Flute, Idomeneo and Theodora in Concert.
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