In an exciting announcement today for Victorians, Jo Davies, the incoming Artistic Director of Opera Australia, revealed plans for a grand production of Puccini’s beloved opera, Tosca. This epic performance is set to take place at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena in May of next year, making history as the venue’s first-ever opera production.

This announcement is significant as it commemorates the centenary of the renowned Italian composer’s passing. Tosca at Margaret Court Arena serves as the inaugural programming announcement under the leadership of Jo Davies, who officially assumes her role in November of this year.

This production underscores Opera Australia’s dedication to finding alternative venues for its Victorian season. This move is in response to the ongoing upgrade of its traditional home, the State Theatre at Arts Centre Melbourne, as part of the expansive Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project.

“I’m thrilled that my first announcement at Opera Australia is something bold, epic and a celebration of one of the most popular opera composers of all time, Giacomo Puccini,” says Ms Davies.

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“This classic 5-star production will be a very special event, bringing to life, in an exciting new setting, one of opera’s most thrilling scores, with raise-the-roof chorus scenes, haunting arias and an action-packed plot, all of which will feel at once both epic and intimate.

“I’m excited that I’ll soon be able to reveal the rest of the 2024 season in Victoria. Whilst the State Theatre is closed it’s a great opportunity for OA to spread its creative wings and think about opera outside of traditional theatre spaces. This also means looking beyond the city to regional areas and presenting opera in new venues in exciting, innovative ways.”

This hugely acclaimed production of Tosca, directed by Edward Dick for Opera North is brilliantly designed by the award-winning Tom Scutt to echo the grand stadium feel of Margaret Court Arena.

This production masterfully merges the rich tapestry of social and sexual dynamics within the captivating operatic thriller. It seamlessly harmonises elements of both the Renaissance era’s grandeur and the sophistication of modernity, brought to life through exquisite costumes crafted by the esteemed BAFTA-winning costume designer, Fotini Dimou.

This will be the first staging outside of the United Kingdom. 

In the roles of complex diva Tosca and her lover Cavaradossi, Karah Son and Diego Torre will reunite on stage, the pair recently wowed audiences in Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour. Torre will share the role with rising Korean tenor Young Woo Kim, and baritones Robert Hayward and Warwick Fyfe will perform the role of Scarpia.

Opera North Music Director and Chief Conductor Garry Walker will conduct Puccini’s sensational score, leading the internationally acclaimed Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Victoria through one of opera’s most tragic love stories.

Opera Australia will announce its full 2024 Season on 24 October 2023.