Opera Australia today signalled a return to normal programming, announcing its entire 2022 season, confident that COVID shutdowns and debilitating restrictions will be a thing of the past.
As has been the case almost every year for the past decade, Gale Edward’s celebrated production of La Bohème will kick off the summer season on New Year’s Eve however OA’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini has signalled that this will be its final run in the iconic Joan Sutherland Theatre.
“Gale’s production of La Bohème is certainly close to my heart, it was the first opera I commissioned when I started at OA back in 2009 and it has served the Company wonderfully well. It is loved by people the world over, so this is an opportunity for audiences to see it one last time and bid her farewell,” said Mr Terracini.
Premiering in 2011 and running on an almost annual basis, this beloved version of Puccini’s tale of struggling bohemians will have racked up an impressive 183 performances by the time the curtain closes in February.
Presenting a full season for the first time since COVID hit, the program features some of the world’s most loved operas alongside rarely performed works, as well as two blockbuster musicals and the addition of a new and exciting outdoor experience.
“It’s been a very difficult time for our performers and the arts industry as a whole, so I’m sure audiences are looking forward to returning to the theatre just as much as we are, and I’m confident the coming season has something for everyone.
“We’ll have some of the best singers in the world performing a selection of the most fantastic music ever written with adored classics and fascinating rarer operas; it will be an invigorating year of live music performance,” said Mr Terracini.
Summer will see the welcome return of star American soprano Lise Lindstrom as she reprises the role of Turandot, which she will share with Australian star on the rise, Anna-Louise Cole, in Graeme Murphy’s celebrated production. Otello will have its rescheduled return to the stage with the same powerhouse principal cast of Yonghoon Lee making his role debut as Otello, which Terracini believes will become his signature role, Karah Son and Marco Vratogna as the villain Iago.
La Juive, a co-production with Opera de Lyon directed by the acclaimed Olivier Py, will have its Australian premiere offering audiences the rare treat of two sopranos, two tenors and a world-class bass singing together. The Marriage of Figaro also returns, and Russian star Olga Peretyatko will make her Australian
debut in a concert version of Maria Stuarda.
In winter, renowned director Davide Livermore will premiere a new digital production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, demanding four of the world’s best singers. Graeme Murphy’s digital production of Madama Butterfly will return with Sae-Kyung Rim as Cio-Cio San and Chanyang Choi’s first leading role for OA as Suzuki.
Stacey Alleaume will perform in-theatre as Violetta in Elijah Moshinsky’s La Traviata following her success in the 2021 Handa Opera of Sydney Harbour production. Audiences will have the chance to finally see Attila, after its two-performance premiere in 2020 and postponement days before opening in 2021, this time with Russian Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role.
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stages a brand new version of one of the most successful musicals of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Director Simon Phillips and designer Gabriela Tylesova will deliver a whole new level of spectacle to the show’s defining moments on the famous overwater stage.
And proving that you can never have enough of the Phantom, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of the legendary musical will make its long-awaited Sydney Opera House debut. Also rescheduled from 2021, the contemporary take in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella will premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, showcasing an Australian cast of rising stars and treasured favourites.
At a new custom-built site, Opera Australia will present its inaugural season of Opera on Cockatoo Island with an edgy new production of Bizet’s Carmen by director Liesel Badorrek. Audience members can enjoy an all-inclusive evening out in the island’s industrial scene or a world-first unique experience of opera viewing from their own boat.
OA will continue its commitment to providing access to opera for everyone, presenting Cinderella to schools across NSW, touring a new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville by director Priscilla Jackman around regional theatres across the country, and staging the Opera Gala in Uluru once again in the heart of Australia.
PUCCINI: La Bohème | Conductor Lorenzo Passerini and Paul Fitzsimon | Director Gale Edwards.
This beloved production of La Bohème by Gale Edwards opens Opera Australia’s 2022 program with Italian soprano Valeria Sepe as Mimì and Australian-Chinese tenor Kang Wang as Rodolfo. The superb cast includes Julie Lea Goodwin, Haotian Qi, Shane Lowrencev and Richard Anderson.
Sydney Opera House, December 31, 2021 – February 4, 2022
PUCCINI: Turandot | Conductor Christian Badea and Leonardo Sini | Director Graeme Murphy.
Fear and love go hand in hand and death is always just around the corner in this fantasy opera of poetry and myth. Some of the world’s finest singers, including Yonghoon Lee, Karah Son, Ivan Gyngazov and Mariana
Hong will share the tale of a brutal princess and an impossibly brave suitor who will make any sacrifice to win her love in an exotic world. The title role will be sung by American soprano Lise Lindstrom and rising star Australian soprano Anna-Louise Cole in her exciting role debut as Turandot.
Sydney Opera House, January 12 – March 14, 2022
MOZART: The Marriage of Figaro | Conductor Andrea Molino | Director David McVicar
Sir David McVicar’s acclaimed production of Mozart’s classic comedy returns to delight Sydney audiences. With stunning period costumes and lush set designs, this upstairs-downstairs comedic masterpiece is enduringly entertaining for its witty, fast-moving libretto and charming melodies. Mario Cassi as the Count
plays opposite Ekaterina Morozova as the Countess, while Stacey Alleaume returns as Susanna and Tommaso Barea is Figaro, under the baton of the acclaimed Andrea Molino.
Sydney Opera House, January 27 – February 18, 2022
VERDI: Otello | Conductor Andrea Battistoni | Director Harry Kupfer
Described as ‘taking the best bits’ of Shakespeare’s play, Otello is a taut romantic tragedy featuring three of Verdi’s most demanding roles, both vocally and dramatically. Celebrated Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee, known as a remarkable singer-actor, debuts in the role of Otello, alongside the incomparable Karah Son
making her long awaited debut as Desdemona. Master of operatic villains, Marco Vratogna will deliver a chilling portrayal of Iago.
Sydney Opera House, February 19 – March 19, 2022
HALÉVY: La Juive | Conductor Carlo Montanaro | Director Olivier Py
The Australian premiere of this grand French opera depicting a dangerous affair in 1930s France, La Juive stars a raft of performers developed by Opera Australia including Natalie Aroyan, Esther Song, and Shanul Sharma. A co-production with Opera de Lyon, celebrated conductor Carlo Montanaro will lead the cast
including Australia’s favourite tenor Diego Torre who will soar through the tremendously difficult tenor part.
Sydney Opera House, March 9 – 26, 2022
Great Opera Hits
Described as ‘opera without the boring bits’, a selection of the world’s greatest arias will ring out in the Joan Sutherland Theatre in a 90 minute concert. Classics by the likes of Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, and more, will be recognised by opera fans and newcomers alike throughout the light-hearted yet intimate evening.
Sydney Opera House, December 26, 27, 28, 2021, and January 1, 2, 9, 14, 23, 30, February 13, March 6, 20, July 17, 24, October 30, 2022
DONIZETTI: Maria Stuarda | Conductor Renato Palumbo
Opera Australia’s first ever performance of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda will be delivered in concert. Russian star soprano Olga Peretyatko will debut in Australia as Maria next to Romanian soprano Carmen Topciu as Elisabetta. The tenor role of the Earl of Leicester will be an exciting major role debut for OA’s Shanul Sharma.
Sydney Opera House, March 23 and 25, 2022
WINTER + SPRING 2022
PUCCINI: Madama Butterfly | Conductor Carlo Montanaro | Director Graeme Murphy
The grace and gravity of Graeme Murphy’s digital version of Puccini’s classic opera returns to the Sydney Opera House. Sae-Kyung Rim will play Cio-Cio San, Chanyang Choi will play Suzuki and powerhouse tenor Ivan Magrì plays the much maligned Pinkerton in this heartbreaking tale that begins with rapturous love and ends in the cruellest of ways.
Sydney Opera House, June 29 – July 30, 2022
VERDI: La Traviata | Conductor Renato Palumbo and Tahu Matheson | Director Elijah Moshinsky
Following her success of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, soprano Stacey Alleaume will again shine as Violetta. Renato Palumbo makes a welcome return to conduct Saimir Pirgu as Alfredo, Mario Cassi as Giorgio and Agnes Sarkis as Flora. From October Tahu Matheson conducts Irina Lungu as Violetta, Ji-Min Park as Alfredo, José Carbó as Giorgio and Celeste Haworth as Flora.
Sydney Opera House, July 5 – 29, October 22 – November 4, 2022
VERDI: Il Trovatore | Conductor Andrea Battistoni | Director Davide Livermore
The premiere of a brand new digital production by the visionary director Davide Livermore under the accomplished baton of young conductor Andrea Battistoni. The burning tale of gypsies, witchcraft, murder and recompense will be sung by an all-star cast of Yonghoon Lee as Manrico, Leah Crocetto as Leonora, Elena Gabouri as Azucena and Maksim Aniskin in his OA debut as di Luna.
Sydney Opera House, July 15 – 30, 2022
VERDI: Attila | Conductor Andrea Battistoni | Director Davide Livermore
After only two performances in 2020 and a postponed season in 2021, Verdi’s opera will take its rightful place on the Joan Sutherland stage. A co-production with Teatro alla Scala, Davide Livermore’s production received widespread acclaim following the premiere in Milan. Among digital projections, colossal set pieces
and live horses, Ildar Abdrazakov will play Attila, Natalie Aroyan is Odabella, Diego Torre is Foresto and Marco Vratogna is Ezio.
Sydney Opera House, October 29 – November 5, 2022
HANDA OPERA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR
LLOYD-WEBBER: The Phantom of the Opera | Conductor Guy Simpson | Director Simon Phillips
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour once again returns to the cultural calendar, this time by special arrangement with The Really Useful Group, with a brand new version of The Phantom of the Opera making its debut on the over-water stage. Famous melodies will float over Sydney Harbour and spectacular moments will be made out of the chandelier, the journey to the Phantom’s lair and more in this story about a mysterious masked man and his obsession with a beautiful young singer who becomes his muse.
Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, March 25 – April 24, 2022
OPERA ON COCKATOO ISLAND
BIZET: Carmen | Conductor Tahu Matheson | Director Liesel Badorrek
Liesel Badorrek will create an edgy new production of Carmen at a new venue for Opera Australia; on the historical UNESCO World Heritage site of Sydney Harbour’s Cockatoo Island, with choreographer Shannon Burns, lighting designer John Rayment and set and costume designer Mark Thompson. Recognisable tunes will soar, fireworks will light the sky and guests will wine and dine under the stars, with the chance to sleep over on the island or book a mooring to watch the live performance from their own boat.
Cockatoo Island, November 25 – December 18, 2022
LLOYD-WEBBER: The Phantom of the Opera
One of the most successful musicals of all time, The Phantom of the Opera, will bring hit after hit from its musical score to the Sydney Opera House for the first time. Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary show makes its Australian debut, with new direction, scenic design, lighting, sound and choreography with the original Tony- Award-winning costume designs.
Sydney Opera House, August 19 – October 16, 2022
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
The Australian premiere of Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella spins a contemporary take on the classic tale. The lush production features incredible orchestrations, jaw-dropping transformations and all of the beloved moments – the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball
and more – plus some surprising new twists.
Sydney Lyric Theatre, October 23 – December 30, 2022
NATIONAL TOUR 2022
ROSSINI: The Barber of Seville | Director Priscilla Jackman
Priscilla Jackman makes her OA national tour directorial debut with a new production of The Barber of Seville. The tour will travel across New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, and Tasmania, bringing a world-class standard of opera to regional communities. This production will include a Regional Children’s Chorus,
giving young singers from each community a chance to perform onstage alongside industry-leading opera singers.