Tag Archives: JOhn Longmuir

OPERA AUSTRALIA: THE MERRY WIDOW @ DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND THEATRE

Above: Alexander Lewis and Danielle de Niese as Danilo Danilovich and Hanna Glavari. Featured image: Danielle de Niese and male ensemble.

It is a challenge to present a modern public with something of a soap-operetta like The Merry Widow. This light work profiles gender, marriage and loyalty to a small state very specifically and in a contrasting way to our contemporary approach.

However, the cast and creatives at Opera Australia, and Lehár’s direct and beautiful score as interpreted with infectious lilt by Vanessa Scammell save the day in this regard. The attractive, engaging production spills over us with sumptuous momentum, visual delights and a dazzling, physicality to the storytelling. Continue reading OPERA AUSTRALIA: THE MERRY WIDOW @ DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND THEATRE

Opera Australia’s Turandot @ The Dame Joan

Members of the Opera Australia ensemble. Photo: Branco Gaica
Members of the Opera Australia ensemble. Photo: Branco Gaica

It has been said that there are two emotions, love and fear. The creative pairing of Puccini and Graeme Murphy is successful in vividly outlining such feelings in the current revival of Murphy’s stunning production.

Conductor Christian Badea presents a strong realisation of Puccini’s atmospheric score. Inspired by this music, Murphy uses intersecting movement prescribed for sub-sections of the ensemble as well as challenging unisons at times such as human waves depicting swirling emotions and troubled minds.

The setting, Peking’s Imperial Palace, is evoked with excellent composite sets and shifting textures as designed by Kristian Fredrikson. His detailed costuming and props dazzle, as does the choreography which asks for these to be manipulated during poses so as to hide or reveal the characters’ vulnerabilities or suggest general unrest. Continue reading Opera Australia’s Turandot @ The Dame Joan