The Opera is coming back! Unable to perform for nine months, the company has suffered great financial loss, forcing substantial structural changes and program reconsiderations but there is nothing poorhouse about the Summer Season. There will be lots of performances in January of The Merry Widow which should cheer everybody up. The company has a great history with this Lehar masterpiece; Suzanne Steele, a glamorous Widow in 1972, while Joan Sutherland delighted with the warmth and charm of her Widow performances, not to mention her glorious singing, in 1979 and 1988 both in the Opera House and on national television.
There will be performances of Tosca, also Bluebeard’s Castle by Bartok which may remind some of the pandemic lockdown. Particular interest will focus on a co-production with Teatro alla Scala of Ernani by Verdi. These will probably be the first Australian performances of this opera. The production will be conducted by Renato Palumbo and directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf.
Ernani was Verdi’s fifth opera, premiering in Venice in 1844. It was immediately popular; performances in London and New York followed soon after. Intensely dramatic, Verdi based it on Victor Hugo’s 1830 play Hermani. Verdi turned to Hugo again in 1851 for the plot of Rigoletto. It is astounding that between those two operas, Verdi composed a further ten. February will bring a welcome opportunity to experience another work by this genius.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10