Opera Australia announced their 2011 season and the sumptuous opera-fest is supplemented by treats for music theatre fans to enjoy.

Mitchell Butel (Avenue Q, Sugar) will headline a return season of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Butel is sure to be hilarious as the meek tailor turned Lord High Executioner Koko. Hopefully OA will be creating special lyrics for ‘I’ve Got A Little List’!

The fabulous Jacqueline Dark will take on the ferocious role of Katisha, with Taryn Fiebig (Eliza in My Fair Lady) as Yum-Yum and Kanen Breen as Nanki-Poo. The Mikado plays at the State Theatre 17 – 28 May 2011.
 
Acclaimed music theatre director Gale Edwards (The Boy from Oz original production, OA’s Sweeney Todd) will direct a new production of the immortal classic La bohème. The setting is to be updated to 1930s Berlin, with set designs by Brian Thomson (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) and costumes by Jane Lynch (Rocky Horror Show, Company). International stars Takesha Meshé Kizart (Mimi) and Ji-Min Park (Rodolfo) will perform in the Australian premiere in Melbourne on 12 April.
 
Another new production is Verdi’s Macbeth, starring Michael Lewis, Elizabeth Connell and Rosario Lo Spina. Macbeth runs 20 April – 10 May 2011. Rounding out the Autumn Melbourne season is the perennial favourite The Pearlfishers, 4-16 May, starring the divine Emma Matthews as Leila.
 
The Melbourne Spring 2011 season sees the return of barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Don Giovanni, 2 -17 December [side note: rumours persist that Rhodes will star as Emil de Becque in an Australian staging of Bartlett Sher’s Tony winning revival of South Pacific – stay tuned for more on this].
 
Another all time classic to return in Spring is Elijah Moshinky’s production of La traviata, starring Elvira Fatykhova as the ill-fated Violetta.
 
The most anticipated presentation of the Spring will be the Melbourne of the new American opera Of Mice and Men. Legendary film director Bruce Beresford will helm the stage adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novella. Beresford’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire was a highlight of the Melbourne Spring 2009 season. Of Mice and Men will be seem for only four performances, 26 November – 10 December, 2011.
 
Of further interest to music theatre fans is the opportunity for opera subscribers to purchase premium seats for the premiere season of the new musical Dr Zhivago. Starring Anthony Warlow, Dr Zhivago plays at the Lyric Theatre, Star City from 11 February 2011.
 
Opera Australia’s season brochures are presented in an innovative 3-D interactive form via their website www.opera-australia.org.au

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