Opera Australia (OA) has announced the highly anticipated inaugural season by incoming Artistic Director Jo Davies, marking an exciting new chapter for the country’s largest performing arts company.
Davies says she’s excited to introduce a season comprising new Australian works and exhilarating renditions of audience favourites presented by some extraordinary creative teams and casts, featuring some of the world’s best artists.
“I’m particularly delighted to be presenting new repertoire and stories by some brilliantly talented Australian composers and teams, who are creating exciting new opportunities for opera to engage and form new connections as well as, of course, entertaining our existing audiences with productions that haven’t been seen before in these theatres,” says Davies.
In the 2024 Sydney Winter Season, Davies has curated an exciting lineup for OA. Some of the notable performances include the widely celebrated production of Hamlet composed by Brett Dean and starring British tenor Allan Clayton. Additionally, there is Neil Armfield’s Watershed and Kip Williams’ interpretation of Gilgamesh, along with new renditions of Tosca and Il Trittico.
Notably, Il Trittico will highlight the talents of local directors Constantine Costi, Imara Savage, and Shaun Rennie. The season will feature renowned singers such as Stacey Alleaume, Pelham Andrews, Kanen Breen, Lauren Fagan, Warwick Fyfe, Lorina Gore, Simon Meadows, Mark Oates, Alexandra Oomens, and Helen Sherman. Gilgamesh will showcase a cast of contemporary opera specialists.
Davies’ commitment to promoting gender equality is evident in her collaboration with various female creatives. This includes Francesca Zambello directing West Side Story on Sydney Harbour, Fotini Dimitou contributing her design expertise to Tosca, and Imara Savage teaming up with lighting designer Verity Hampson for Il Trittico. Lidiya Yankovskaya and Zoe Zeniodi will conduct the Opera Australia Orchestra for Il Trittico and Così fan tutte respectively.
OA will present several new works in partnership with local arts organisations including Carriageworks and the Sydney Opera House as well as the Australian String Quartet and Ensemble Offspring. Moreover, the collaboration with Sydney Chamber Opera marks a significant step in the realm of contemporary opera.
The lineup for Opera Australia’s 2024 season also includes the return of the popular Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of West Side Story, a nationwide tour of La Bohème, and a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard starring Sarah Brightman.
Davies’ season follows the successful 2024 Sydney Summer Season, which was curated by guest Creative Director Lindy Hume and featured five productions making their Sydney Opera House premieres: La Traviata, Orpheus & Eurydice, The Magic Flute, Idomeneo, and Theodora in Concert.