The line-up unveiled today will also feature the “lost opera” Voss (announced late last year), and a concert by baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, who will be joined by pianist Guy Noble for a performance in November of favourite arias and songs from shows ranging from South Pacific to Clancy of The Overflow.
First to take to the stage with be Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, at Her Majesty’s Theatre from September 11-18. Based on the 1898 gothic novel by Henry James and directed by State Opera artistic director Stuart Maunder, it will see Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin star as the naïve governess in an English country manor who is “brought undone by mysterious forces hellbent on her destruction”.
In contrast, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville – scheduled for Her Majesty’s Theatre in November – is a frivolous comic tale of love and trickery. The production presented by State Opera will be directed by Lindy Hume and feature a cast including Natasha Wilson as Rosina, John Longmuir as the lovesick Count and Morgan Pearse as Figaro, the barber with a cunning plan.
Barber had to be rescheduled after the pandemic shutdown forced its cancellation last year, with Maunder previously describing the opera buffa as “probably one of the most joyous experiences you’ll ever have in a theatre”.
Voss, part of State Opera’s “Lost Operas of Oz” series, will be presented as a staged concert for one night only on September 17 at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Composed by Richard Meale with a libretto by David Malouf, Voss is based on the Patrick White novel inspired by the life of 19th-century outback explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. It premiered in 1986 as part of the Adelaide Festival, with the revival said to be the result of a “passion project” by State Opera and Victorian Opera.
Although major artistic companies usually present their seasons at the end of the preceding year, State Opera decided to make a series of rolling announcements in 2021 due to the ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic.
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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.