There will be a lot going on at Opera Australia in 2019 with arguably the most interesting repertoire for a number of years. Numerically the year will seem to be dominated by Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story which, in addition to performances in the State Theatre, Melbourne (April) and the Opera House (August to October), will be the Opera on Sydney Harbour from March 22. A wonderful work with Bernstein’s music blessed by equally unforgettable lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this may well prove to be the most appropriate work yet for the harbourside setting.
The Sydney Summer Season is full of interest, the only really standard work being La Bohème. Perhaps Graeme Murphy’s greatest achievement, his production of Turandot with gorgeous designs by Kristian Fredrikson and Murphy’s own choreography, will return to the Opera House with a strong cast conducted by Christian Badea. The remaining operas in the Summer will be Wozzeck by Alban Berg, Salome by Richard Strauss, conducted in a welcome return by Johannes Fritzsch, and Werther by Jules Massenet. I shall look forward to the return of the production of Werther which we first mounted in 1989. Directed by Elijah Moshinsky with designs by Michael Yeargan, it is a very stylish and elegant production. This revival promises a strong and attractive cast with Elena Maximova as Charlotte and acclaimed tenor Michael Fabiano in the title role; all looking good and sounding good.
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