Opera Australia comes to Brisbane in 2012

 If you see a fleet of semi-trailers circling the streets of Southbank early next year, don’t be alarmed! 

The Magic Flute - Image by Cory Weaver for Metropolitan OperaIf you see a fleet of semi-trailers circling the streets of Southbank early next year, don’t be alarmed! 
Opera Australia will be Brisbane-bound with the complete sets and costumes for two iconic productions direct from their Surry Hills workshop in Sydney.
According to Opera Australia, this will be no easy feat.
“Given the complexity of fully-staged opera and the vastness of our country, it is not always easy, but we are passionate about making opera available to the widest possible audience,” says Opera Australia Chief Executive, Adrian Collette.
And who is to host the inaugural 2012 Brisbane season? None other than the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), of course!
In May and June next year, The Magic Flute and A Midsummer Night’s Dream will captivate audiences at the Lyric Theatre.
Artistic Director of Opera Australia, Lyndon Terracini says, “The Magic Flute is like nothing you have ever seen. Giant puppets, sculptural costumes and dance convey the fantastic world of Mozart’s final opera.”
Directed by Julie Taymor, (best known for directing the Broadway musical The Lion King), Mozart’s The Magic Flute was originally created for New York’s Metropolitan Opera. 
The 100-minute opera showcases a fusion of Mozart’s music with the American poet, J. D. McClatchey’s English translation, George Tsypin’s designs and Taymor’s skills in visual art, puppetry, mime and dance.
Lost in an unknown world, Prince Tamino (Andrew Brunsdon) is approached by three ladies (Elisa Wilson, Sian Pendry, Tania Ferris) who ask him to rescue a beautiful young girl, Pamina (Taryn Fiebig) with the help of a magic flute. He agrees to be of service but soon realises the ladies and their ruler, The Queen of the Night (Milica Ilic) are not as altruistic as first thought.
“It’s a brilliant piece of theatre, and a brilliant example of what opera can be in the 21st century,” says Terracini.
Australian film and theatre director, Baz Luhrmann and designers Catherine Martin and Bill Marron created the fantastical interpretation of Shakespeare’s fairytale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in 1993.
After successful seasons in Sydney and Melbourne, Director, Julie Edwardson, and Conductor, Paul Kildea, will bring the opera to life on QPAC’s stage in June, 2012.
Luhrmann’s interpretation sees Shakespeare’s magical forest catapulted into India under the Raj. 
“Baz Luhrmann’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream breaks all the rules – Shakespeare’s masterpiece is transported to India, the orchestra is on the stage and Puck is a blue-faced Hindu god! We’ve assembled a dream cast and one of the world’s greatest authorities on Benjamin Britten, Paul Kildea, is conducting. It will be in a word, magical,” says Terricini.
The ensemble cast includes countertenor Tobias Cole as Oberon and Lorina Gore as Tytania. Two original cast members, Tyler Coppin and Conal Coad, join them in the playful roles of Puck and Bottom. Jud Arthur and Jacqueline Dark play Theseus and Hippolyta; and James Egglestone, Luke Gabbedy, Jane Parkin and Sian Pendry complete the cast playing the lovers.
The Magic Flute shows 26th May to 8 June and A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs from 1 – 9th June, 2012.
Tickets are now on sale for Brisbane’s 2012 season and are available through the QPAC Box Office. Tickets and packages range from $60 – $165.

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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