Opera Australia Blog

Weekly Round Up: Opera news at home and abroad

OA announce the cultural event of the year, Dame Kiri takes on a new role, a rarely performed opera opens in Victoria and the opera world farewells a legendary bass.

  • Opera Australia has announced the third Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour will be Madama Butterfly, directed by the creative powerhouse La Fura dels Baus. Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said the production will revolve around a theme of ‘Paradise Lost’, and will tap into the true tragedy of the story.

  • Richard Angas has passed away after collapsing during a rehearsal for Opera Noth’s Peter Grimes. Angas was a respected bass singer who made his name in Jonathan Miller’s The Mikado.
  • Bryn Terfel has given a revealing interview discussing the passion, success and sacrifice involved in life as an opera singer. Oddly headlined “Being an opera singer is easy”, Terfel says his career has made him a lot of money but stresses he has “worked [his] butt off for it”.

But now that he is singing Wagner, surely he must realise that he is successful. “How do you categorise success? Johnny Depp is successful – he’s an amazing actor. What is success? What is it? Do I sing at the Metropolitan Opera? Yes I do. Do I sing at Covent Garden? Yes I do.”

He laughs at himself, realising that he has answered his own question. “It feels so natural to do that though. Look,” he continues, “I can’t hide the fact that I make a good living out of it but I’ve worked my butt off for it.”

The Telegraph, written by Helena de Bertodano

  • Dame Kiri te Kanawa is set to add another string to her very full bow, going from stage legend to screen siren. Dame Kiri will play Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba in the fourth series of Downton Abbey. The soprano will sing two arias in the season, and has celebrated her casting by naming her dog “Abbey”.
  • Pittsburgh Opera has an unusual approach to raising funds: hosting an annual piano sale. Nearly 100 pianos will go on sale this weekend in what must be a fairly unique opera fundraising event.
  • The State Opera of South Australia will open the Helpmann Award Winning Opera Conference production of Salome on the weekend. Toi toi toi!
  • Victorian Opera have received strong praise for Maria de Buenos Aires, which opened on Wednesday and closes on Saturday night.
  • Live in Melbourne? Opera Australia and Exxon Mobil have partnered to present a free night at the opera. Don’t miss out on the free concert in the Williamstown Town Hall on Monday, August 26th.
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