Opera Australia Blog

Weekly roundup: Opera news at home and abroad

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour's Carmen opens in US cinemas this month. Pictured: Kate Wormald, Photo by James Morgan

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s Carmen opens in US cinemas this month. Pictured: Kate Wormald, Photo by James Morgan

A star pulls out before opening night, fundraising takes a different turn and Opera on Sydney Harbour reaches the American silver screen.

  • Deborah Voigt has made a brave call to withdraw from Washington National Opera’s Tristan & Isolde a week before the opening night, saying she may remove the role from her repertoire.

“Returning to a role that I love but haven’t sung in a number of seasons, and encountering its unique challenges, has caused me to reconsider keeping it in my repertoire. I’m very disappointed that I feel compelled to withdraw from this production, but am very happy to continue my association with WNO both this season and into the future.” – Deborah Voigt

The production of Tristan & Isolde is from Opera Australia, and Neil Armfield travelled briefly to Washington between the two periods of Ring cycle rehearsals to revive the production he directed for OA in 2001.

  • The Coen brothers have dropped a hint that their next movie will revolve around an opera singer
  • Opera Queensland has announced its 2014 season, offering a mixed bag of classics and more unusual pieces, including the Southern Hemisphere première of Phillip Glass’ newest opera, The Perfect American, which muses on the life of Walt Disney

“So you could spend a couple of hundred bucks to see the Stones and you’d know all the songs, probably enjoy most of them, and see one guy working his ass off while five other guys just stand there playing. They’d hit most of the notes, and maybe you’d get lucky and the sound in the sports stadium wouldn’t be too muddy. Or you could buy yourself a ticket for the opera and get state-of-the-art sound, a whole cast of singers working their butts off, a great orchestra, a world-class conductor and music that has stood the test of time. Not to mention everyone behind the scenes.” – via The Huffington Post

  • Opera on Sydney Harbour’s Carmen will screen in cinemas across America from September 22. Its star, Rinat Shaham, has this to say about the opera that made her famous:

“Carmen could be the best ever written. It speaks to the masses. The story is one you know from your hometown. You believe in fate. It’s urgent, it’s alive.” – Rinat Shaham

  • Online fundraising campaigns are gaining momentum in the arts world. Sydney opera company Harbour City Opera is running a Pozible campaign inviting punters to “Sponsor a nun” to assist the boutique company to present Puccini’s one-act Suor Angelica towards the end of the month. Meanwhile,
  • New York City Opera has made a last ditch effort to save the company from extinction, launching a Kickstarter campaign to dig itself out of a dire financial situation
  • And lastly, Opera Australia has been recognised in the Creative Partnerships Awards, taking out the 2013 Creative Partnerships Australia Victorian Award for Arts Access for the work of the Oz Opera Victorian Schools company, who in association with Deaf Children Australia have been offering shadow-interpreted performances.

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