By Francisco Salazar
The Victorian Opera has announced its 2021 season celebrating local talent and Australian opera.
Among the 10 productions set to be showcased, the company is set to world premiere four new operas by local composers.
The season opens with “The Sleeping Beauty” at the Palais Theatre, St Kilda. The work, composed by Ottorino Respighi, will be conducted by Phoebe Briggs and directed Nancy Black.
Performance Dates: Feb. 20-26, 2021
“Echo and Narcissus” and “Cassandra” will be performed at the Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse. Composer Kevin March and librettist Jane Montgomery Griffiths explore “Echo and Narcissus,” while “Cassandra” is composed by Simon Bruckard with a libretto by Constantine Costi. Award-winning director Sam Strong makes his Victorian Opera debut and Simon Bruckard conducts.
Performance Dates: March 17-20, 2021
Kathryn Radcliffe, Carlos Bárcenas, Stephen Marsh, and Teddy Tahu Rhodes star in Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” at Arts Centre Melbourne, Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Richard Mills conducts Orchestra Victoria with Elizabeth Hill-Cooper directing a semi-staged concert,
Performance Date: April 23, 2021
Victorian Opera premieres “Parrwang Lifts the Sky,” a new opera by Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham AO. The opera will be sung in English and Wadawurrung language.
Performance Date: June 12, 2021
“Lorelei” is set to star Ali McGregor, Antoinette Halloran and Dimity Shepherd with Phoebe Briggs conducting Sarah Giles’ production.
Performance Dates: June 29-July 2, 2021
Richard Mills conducts the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in a semi-staged concert of Richard Meale’s “Voss.“ Directed by Stuart Maunder, the production stars Samuel Dundas and Emma Pearson as Voss and Laura.
Performance Date: August 4, 2021
“The Who’s Tommy” makes its Australian premiere in a production directed by Roger Hodgman and starring Mat Verevis, Amy Lehpamer, Paul Capsis, and Kanen Breen.
Performance Dates: August 13 – 21, 2021
Richard Mills and Joel Tan’s “The Butterfly Lovers” is set to premiere in a collaboration with the Singaporean Theatre Company.
Performance Dates: Nov. 13-16, 2021
Schubert’s “The Friends of Salamanca” receives its Australian premiere as Victorian Opera’s annual Youth Opera. Fabian Russell conducts a production directed by Elizabeth Hill- Cooper.
Performance Dates: Nov. 19 & 20, 2021
Nicolai’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is set to be performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall with Johannes Fritzsch conducting Ensemble Q in a semi-staged concert directed and adapted by Heather Fairbairn.
Performance Dates: Dec. 3 & 4, 2021