There has never been a better time to experience your first opera as Opera Australia presents a line up of enduring favourites.

 
 
Anyone who has seen Rent will be fully acquainted with the story of Puccini’s La bohème, arguably the world’s most popular opera. Fans of Rent will even know one of the main melodies, as Roger riffs the tune of “Musetta’s Waltz” several times on his guitar.
 
Director Gale Edwards is no stranger to the world of musicals having directed many high profile shows, including Jesus Christ Superstar and The Boy from Oz.
 
Costume Designer Julie Lynch (Rocky Horror Show) and Set Designer Brian Thomson (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) have taken the bold step of updating the action 100 years forward from 1830s Paris to 1930s Berlin, “a world teetering on the edge”.
 
International opera stars Takesha Meshe Kizart (pictured) and Ji-Min Park will play tragic lovers Rodolfo and Mimi and Rodolfo. The glamorous Musetta will be played by one of OA’s hardest working stars, Taryn Fiebig.
 
La bohème plays at the State Theatre 12 April – 13 May 2011. The Melbourne season will be the Australian premiere of this brand new production.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of the most thrilling presentations by OA this year will undoubtedly be Verdi’s Macbeth. A co-production with Opéra de Montréal, where it premiered last year, Macbeth combines Shakespeare’s most intriguing play with magic of opera.
 
Acclaimed singers Michael Lewis and Elizabeth Connell will star as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Star OA tenor Rosario La Spina is a also part of the outstanding cast that has been assembled to bring this dramatic work to life.
 
A feature of the opera Macbeth is the massive chorus work. Director Richard Rene Cyr describes this feature: “The main character is the people, victim of the desire and madness driving the Macbeths.”
 
Macbeth runs 20 April – 10 May 2011.
 
 
One of opera’s most glorious scores is that of Bizet’s The Pearlfishers. Central to the popularity of the exquisite music is the all time classic male duet of friendship “In the Depths of the Temple.” Henry Choo and Luke Gabbedy will play friends Nadir and Zurga.
 
Apart from the sumptuous sets and costumes, a major attraction to attending The Pearlfishers will be the chance to see magnificent Australian soprano Emma Matthews as Leila. Fresh for her Green Room Awards Best Actress win for last year’s La Sonnambula, Matthews is bound to delight and enchant as she does every time she steps on stage.
 
The Pearlfishers will run 4 May – 16 May 2011.
 
 
The final show for the 2011 Melbourne Autumn season will need no introduction for music theatre fans. Glibert and Sullivan’s The Mikado has been poking fun at stuffy English politics for over 125 years. The well known score has been heard in countless movies and was completely worked over for the red hot swing musical Hot Mikado.
 
The versatile Taryn Fiebig (pictured, centre) will play the beautiful bride Yum-Yum opposite the charming Kanen Breen as Nanki-Poo.
 
A highlight for music theatre fans will be the OA debut of Mitchell Butel, star of The Full Monty, Dusty, Avenue Q, Little Me, Sugar and many more. Butel will tread the boards as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner of Titipu, and will be joined by the delightful Jacqueline Dark as Katisha.
 
The time honoured OA production of The Mikado presents the action as if played out by Japanese ornamental knick-knacks on a mantle piece.
 
The Mikado will hold court at the State Theatre 17 – 28 May 2011.
 

More information and booking details can be found at www.opera-australia.org.au 

 

The Pearlfishers and The Mikado photos by Branco Gaica. 

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