Opera Australia’s Sydney Winter season to feature five show-stopping premieres

Neil Armfield’s critically acclaimed opera Watershed to premiere at the Sydney Opera House

Date: 14 – 16 June 2024
Venue: Joan Sutherland Theatre

Receiving 5-star reviews and emotional standing ovations at its sold-out premiere season at the 2022 Adelaide Festival, Watershed is based on the true story of the tragic events surrounding the infamous drowning of Dr George Duncan that compelled South Australia to lead the nation in the decriminal isation of homosexuality.

Directed by theatre legend Neil Armfield and written by Helpmann Award-winning playwright Alana Valentine and author Christos Tsiolkas, Watershed has a no-punches-pulled libretto and a luscious score, conducted by Brett Weymark.

Acclaimed Australian singers Pelham Andrews, Mark Oates, Tomàš Kantor, dancer Macon Escobal Riley,
along with the OA Chorus and Orchestra, tell the story through powerful choral music, solo voices and dance.

It fuses inquest transcripts, press clippings, private correspondence and monologues spanning five decades of anti-gay violence, and pays tribute to the unassuming academic whose untimely death lit a fuse.

Opera North’s five-star spectacular staging of Puccini’s political thriller Tosca

Date: 25 June – 16 Aug 2024
Venue: Joan Sutherland Theatre

Leading UK arts organisation Opera North’s Tosca received 5-stars from The Times UK for its tense
dramatic power. Director Edward Dick presents Puccini’s gripping drama and sensational music amid a
blend of Renaissance Roman grandeur and contemporary references in a highly theatrical design.

International stars Giselle Allen, Karah Son, Young Woo Kim, Gevorg Hakobyn and Warwick Fyfe will
deliver unmissable performances in this action-packed romance with a jaw-dropping ending.

Australia’s finest singers present a concert of opera’s biggest hits– thrilling for new comers and diehard fans alike

Date: 30 June – 21 Oct 2024
Venue: Joan Sutherland Theatre

Great Opera Hits is a relaxed, entertaining 90 minutes of soaring melodies and stunning arias performed by some of the country’s finest singers. Audiences will delight in recognising many famous tunes by the world’s most renowned composers, as heard in television, films and video games, and be awed by the skill and power of the unamplified opera voice. A wonderful outing to the Sydney Opera House.

Three one-act operas offer gritty melodrama, intimate tragedy and surprising satire in one night

Date: 3 – 19 July 2024
Venue: Joan Sutherland Theatre

Puccini’s rarely performed triptych presents three operas, each with their own characters, story and genre, in a contrasting exploration of love, lies and death in Il tabbaro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya and inspiring Australian directors Constantine Costi, Imara Savage and Shaun Rennie debut with thrilling drama, cinematically intense music and controlled comic chaos. A feast of Australian operatic talent, including Stacey Alleaume, Lauren Fagan and Simon Meadows, perform, including famous aria ‘O mio babbino caro’ and witty, tight ensemble singing.

Australian Brett Dean’s visceral operatic interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet makes its Sydney Opera  House debut

Date: 20 July – 9 Aug 2024
Venue: Joan Sutherland Theatre

Australian composer Brett Dean’s astounding recreation of Shakespeare’s murderous Hamlet features an immensely complex and evocative score using electronic music, cinema-like surround sound effects with Matthew Jocelyn’s thrilling libretto. Award-winning Neil Armfield AO directs British tenor Allan Clayton MBE making his Sydney Opera House debut, Australian soprano Lorina Gore reprising her Helpmann Award-winning Ophelia and tour-de-force American baritone Rod Gilfry as Claudius.

The irresistible Cosi fan tutte – a feisty farce set to music of impossible beauty

Date: 1 – 17 Aug 2024
Venue: Joan Sutherland Theatre

Sir David McVicar’s wildly popular 2016 production of Mozart’s funny and sublime Così fan tutte returns. Set in the early 1900s, the comic yet poignant drama about love, sex, fidelity and loss will play out among ravishing costumes and a set bathed in glorious sunlight. Greek conductor Zoe Zeniodi will make her Australian debut along with British soprano Nardus Williams, as Australian stars make a welcome return home to perform for OA, Helen Sherman and Alexandra Oomens.

Kip Williams to direct Gilgamesh – OA’s first co-production with Sydney Chamber Opera

Date: 26 Sept  – 05 Oct 2024
Venue: Carriageworks

Visionary Sydney Theatre Artistic Director Kip Williams will direct a cast of contemporary opera specialists, accompanied by virtuosic chamber music ensembles Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring, in this new opera composed by Sydney Chamber Opera Artistic Director Jack Symonds.

Humanity’s oldest epic poem is presented in the world’s first opera written in English of the strikingly relevant Gilgamesh and its exploration of mortality, sexuality and humanity’s relationship with nature.

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