To open Season 2021, Victorian Opera remounts its enchanting production of The Sleeping Beauty, featuring 27 life-sized puppets, at the Palais Theatre from 20 – 26 February.

Described by The Age as ‘pure magic’, Victorian Opera’s production of this timeless fairy tale reimagines the story with playfulness and charm. Awakened by the imagination of director Nancy Black (Black Hole Theatre), singers and puppeteers gather on stage as a community reeling from tragedy to share a story of hope.

One hundred years after it was written, Ottorino Respighi’s opera The Sleeping Beauty (La Bella dormente nel Bosco) finds extraordinary contemporary resonance in a world once again at its knees.

As Europe emerged from the horrors of WWI and the devastation of the Spanish Flu, from which the composer suffered a mild case, Respighi delivered an opera sparkling with joy, resilience and wit.

Premiering in 1922, the original opera was created for Vittorio Podrecca’s famed puppet company I Piccoli, featuring marionette puppets on stage with singers performing alongside the orchestra in the pit. In Victorian Opera’s production, marionettes are replaced with spectacularly realised life-sized puppets.

Victorian Opera’s Head of Music Phoebe Briggs (Lorelei, Black Rider) conducts Orchestra Victoria and a cast of talented local singers, including Georgia Wilkinson, Dimity Shepherd, Liane Keegan, Stephen Marsh and Carlos Bárcenas.

An opera that will enchant audiences of any age, Respighi’s The Sleeping Beauty invites you to reawaken your senses.

Ottorino Respighi’s The Sleeping Beauty

Palais Theatre, St Kilda | 20, 23, 25, and 26 February at 7.30pm

1 h 20, no interval | Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Tickets from $39 – $125