After 13 years at the helm of the national opera company, Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini AM has announced his final season for Opera Australia, a year-long celebration of some of the world’s finest singers and musical talent with performances in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
In a clear indication of Opera Australia’s standing on the global stage, some of the biggest names in opera will be performing for the Company in 2023.
The world’s leading tenor, Jonas Kaufmann, in demand sopranos Ermonela Jaho, Lise Lindstrom, Jessica Pratt and Amber Wagner, along with globally renowned Wagner interpreter Stefan Vinke, legendary bass Ferruccio Furlanetto and audience favourite Michael Fabiano, to name just a few, will all make very welcome returns to Australia in 2023.
Reflecting on where he had envisaged Opera Australia (OA) would be in his final year, and the challenges of a lingering pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the arts industry, Mr Terracini is understandably very proud to be able to present such a star-studded final season.
“This 2023 season may not include all the wonderful productions I would have liked for my final program, but I know this incredible collection of the world’s finest talents will thrill audiences over the next twelve months.
“We will finally be able to stage Chen Shi-Zheng’s amazing production of the world’s first digital Ring Cycle in Brisbane, with the cast from the original 2020 season largely intact. And these are the best of the best Wagnerian performers, you won’t find a better cast anywhere in the world,” said Terracini.
The big names aren’t limited to the singers, with highly acclaimed conductors Renato Palumbo, Guillaume Tourniaire, Lorenzo Passerini, Andrea Battistoni, Carlo Montanaro, Pinchas Steinberg, Philippe Auguin, return to Australia while Asher Fisch and Michelangelo Mazza will be making their debuts.
The program includes a mix of new and much-loved productions by acclaimed directors Sir David McVicar, Rosetta Cucchi, Damiano Michieletto, Elijah Moshinsky, Alex Ollè, Davide Livermore, Gale Edwards, and Chen Shi-Zheng.
OA’s co-production of The Tales of Hoffmann will finally make it to the stage after being postponed in 2021. Starring acclaimed Australian soprano Jessica Pratt, proudly following in Dame Joan Sutherland’s esteemed footsteps by being one of the very few singers capable of singing all four female lead roles.
Famous for her incredible performance in Lucia di Lammermoor, Jessica is also set to give a masterclass of her coloratura prowess when she performs a one-off concert showcase of ‘mad scenes’. A not-to-be-missed night of vocal acrobatics by one of the world’s foremost bel-canto interpreters in the newly refurbished Concert Hall.
Also making a welcome return to the Concert Hall, celebrated tenor Jonas Kaufmann will be making his role debut in two concert performances of La Gioconda. Joined on stage by a star-studded cast, including one of the leading baritones of our time, Ludovic Tézier, with Pinchas Steinberg conducting the Opera Australia Orchestra and full Chorus.
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour will welcome back one of its most beautiful productions, with Alex Ollè’s Madama Butterfly. Karah Son will reprise the starring role of Cio Cio San that she performed to much acclaim for OA in the Joan Sutherland Theatre in 2019.
Limited venue availability in Melbourne has resulted in OA being unable to present any fully staged opera productions in 2023, however audiences will be treated to two of the most exciting performances of the year.
For the first time OA will stage a concert performance of Philip Glass’ mesmerising Satyagraha featuring a stellar Australian cast lead by Indian Australian Shanul Sharma and West Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin.
Melbourne’s Wagner devotees will be treated to Tannhäuser in Concert at Hamer Hall, featuring two of the world’s biggest voices, that of the aforementioned global Wagnerian superstar Stefan Vinke and making one of her now-rare international appearances for this performance, soprano Amber Wagner will make a very welcome return to Melbourne.
In addition, two of the finest solo artists in the world will perform one-off recitals at the Melbourne Recital Hall – Michael Fabiano and Ferruccio Furlanetto.
2023 will also be a year of celebration of Australian talent with many homegrown performers singing alongside their international counterparts, many in break-out roles. Among those being thrust into the spotlight will be Anna-Louise Cole who will sing in Tannhäuser before stepping into the role of Sieglinde and then Brünnhilde in the Ring Cycle.
OA’s celebrated chorus will be cut loose to take centre stage at the Sydney Opera House with five performances of their own show aptly named Chorus! Led by Chorus Master Paul Fitzsimon, Chorus! will be a showcase of famous choral pieces performed by 46 outstanding voices coming together as one to create a unique operatic experience.
Explore the season with their digital brochure.
Media release supplied.