There are things to bring us pleasure in this new year. The opera has opened The Merry Widow (until 16 January). Directed and choreographed by Graeme Murphy, this revival is starring Julie Lea Goodwin as the wealthy widow, Hanna and Alexander Lewis as her former admirer, Count Danilo. Premiered in 1905, in the twilight of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Lehar’s operetta has been an enduring success. “Grand” operas will start with Verdi’s Ernani from 2 February.
Sydney Festival is running until 26 January. Travel restrictions have forced a focus on Australian performers although Heaven knows what havoc state border closures will cause. A sold-out attraction was to be the Orava Quartet. This Brisbane based string quartet of four young men has already earned a reputation for their passionate and thrilling performances, securing a recording contract with Universal Music. But the Queensland border closure has forced the cancellation of their Festival appearances. What a pity.
Congratulations to Pinchgut Opera for the digital broadcast of Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit , high quality both musically and technically.
Sydney Theatre Company will be back in the refurbished Wharf Theatre with an adaption of Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow from 22 February. Meanwhile the Wharf Revue is, in fact, in the Drama Theatre from 17 February.
Happily unaffected by borders is Streeton, at the Art Gallery. This glorious exhibition (until 14 February) will make you feel proud to be Australian; not to be missed.
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