|OPERA QUEENSLAND ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 SEASON|
|Monday, 15 October 2012 11:29|
Just seven months after starting in their new roles, Opera Queensland's new executive team of Artistic Director Lindy Hume and General Manager Russell Mitchell, are delighted to present their 2013 program, describing it as the beginning of an adventure.
Artistic collaborations with local, national and international companies feature strongly in the 2013 Season, featuring three classic works linked thematically by storms, the human heart and the eternal struggle between good and evil.
The season begins in April with a first-ever collaboration between Opera Queensland and Camerata of St John's on a staging of the extraordinary St Matthew Passion by JS Bach, first created by Lindy Hume for the 2005 Perth International Arts Festival. The Passion, re-telling of the suffering of Christ, has had monumental human implications throughout modern history. Christians and non-Christians alike consider the St Matthew Passion the greatest work of its kind ever written, attaining truly sublime musical expressiveness. Directed by renowned conductor Graham Abbott, a fine group of international and Australian soloists, chamber chorus and musicians form an onstage community to play out scenes from this heartbreaking story of betrayal and forbearance. The St Matthew Passion is a powerful music drama that shifts between chronicle and contemporary commentary as the evangelist St Matthew (Swedish tenor Leif Aruhn-Solén) guides the narrative of the re-telling of the suffering of Christ, sung by New Zealand baritone Paul Whelan.
In July, a magical, quirkily eccentric realisation of Rossini's rags-to-riches fairytale Cinderella (or Goodness Triumphant) marks the first of several trans-Tasman co-productions resulting from Opera Queensland's new partnership with NBR New Zealand Opera. This new production, created by Lindy Hume, features whimsical set transformations and costume designs by Dan Potra, inspired by the vivid characters, grime and bustle of Dickensian London.
The Australian mezzo-soprano Fiona Campbell makes her Opera Queensland debut as Cinderella, with a cast of popular local singers including Virgilio Marino, Jason Barry-Smith, Andrew Collis, Emily Burke and Deborah Rogers. Egyptian bass-baritone Ashraf Sewailam and British conductor Wyn Davies, Music Director of NBR New Zealand Opera, make their Australian debuts.
The final major production is a magnificent offering for Queensland audiences. In October, in honour of the bicentenary of the great composer Giuseppe Verdi, Opera Queensland will present the Australian première of a new international co-production of the towering Shakespearean drama Otello in Brisbane's Lyric Theatre.
This contemporary new production by Australia's foremost director of Shakespeare, Simon Phillips, is a ground-breaking international co-production encompassing Cape Town Opera, West Australian Opera, NBR New Zealand Opera, State Opera of South Australia and Victorian Opera. Making his long-awaited Opera Queensland debut, Queensland Symphony Orchestra's Chief Conductor Johannes Fritzsch will lead a superb cast led by Lithuanian tenor Kristian Benedikt in his Australian debut as Otello, the exquisite Cheryl Barker as Desdemona, Douglas McNicol as a scheming Iago and Aldo Di Toro as Cassio. Verdi's monumental score will be passionately realised by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the mighty Opera Queensland Chorus, directed by Narelle French.