© 2014 by SAMUEL SAKKER

Pollione, Norma - Melbourne Opera

September 17, 19, 21 & 24 - Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne

Following its triumphant production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Melbourne Opera is pleased to present Bellini’s Norma, starring Helena Dix (who has just made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera starring as Alice in Falstaff) as Norma, Jacqui Dark as Adalgisa, Samuel Sakker as Pollione, and Adrian Tamburini as Oroveso.

Norma is regarded as the pinnacle of bel-canto opera;the title role is considered to be the most challenging of soprano roles and was championed by Callas,Sutherland and Caballe.This new production of Norma continues Melbourne Opera’s proud tradition of acclaimed bel canto productions which included Australian premieres of Rossini’s Otello and Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux and Anna Bolena. Directed by Suzanne Chaundy and conducted by Greg Hocking and Raymond Lawrence.

Ulrich, Miss Julie - BBC Symphony Orchestra

October 3 (Barbican Hall)

In the chilling intensity of August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, the composer William Alwyn found all he needed to write one of the most red-blooded operatic tragedies Britain has ever produced. Alwyn learned lessons from the movies and from Puccini in creating a tense and dramatic opera, known for its signature aria of sexual frenzy ‘Midsummer Night’. The neglected composer’s operatic tale of infatuation and class tension returns to the BBC for the first time since its premiere in 1977.

 

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo are joined by an international cast for a landmark concert staging.

Beethoven Missa Solemnis - Sydney Symphony Orchestra

March 18, 20, & 21 - Sydney Town Hall

When Beethoven described it as his greatest work he was perhaps thinking of both its grand scale and its importance. He devoted four years of his final decade to this ultimate statement of his faith, inscribing on the score, ‘From the heart: may it reach the heart’.

Hearing the Missa Solemnis is an overwhelming experience. Moments of hushed intimacy are swept aside by thunderous choruses and vocal solos of operatic intensity. As always with Beethoven, his awe-inspiring music is rich with the complex emotions and ambiguities of a man grappling with the infinite. 

Donald Runnicles continues his Music of Inspiration with the ultimate spiritual journey, which also marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Italian Opera Gala, Stars of the European Opera - Sydney Symphony Orchestra

March 25, 26, 27 & 28 - Sydney Town Hall

Moving drama meets electrifying music as a host of Australian stars, the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and conductor Donald Runnicles bring you the greatest moments of Italian opera.

Opera flourished on the stages of 19th-century Italy as maestri like Giuseppe Verdi matched realistic scenarios, compelling characters and heightened emotion with thrilling music. In extravagant historical epics, gripping dramas and comedies, Verdi’s brilliant theatrical instincts shine in show-stopping moments that put the art of the opera singer in the spotlight.

The next generation of Italian composers Mascagni and Leoncavallo made art out of everyday life where near-impressionistic music amplifies the tragedies of village life and crimes of passion.

Relive the emotion with the Sydney Symphony – sets and staging are optional when the music and the drama are this powerful.

Des Grieux, Manon Lescaut - The Grange Festival

June 21, 26, 28 and July 5 & 12 - The Grange, Hampshire

Puccini scored his first major success with this tragic depiction of urgent young love. Manon chooses luxury over love and pays the ultimate price. She is pursued across the Atlantic by her soulmate Chevalier Des Grieux and dies in his arms. 

 

Packed with soaring melodies, and infused with raw emotion and a desperate sense of desolation, tears will flow and passions will boil. We are thrilled to present a new production created by the internationally renowned director Stephen Lawless and conducted by Italian star Francesco Cilluffo, returning after his triumphant Falstaff.  
 

2017 Grange Festival International Singing Competition finalist Samuel Sakker sings Des Grieux, and Elain Pritchard returns to The Grange as Manon following her success as Alice in Falstaff in 2018.

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