The Perfect American imagines the final months of Walt Disney’s life, including mythical imaginings of Abraham Lincoln and Andy Warhol. This visually spectacular production designed by Dan Potra and directed by esteemed international theatre director Phelim McDermott, includes a stunning international and Australian cast, led by conductor Gareth Jones. Featuring British baritone Christopher Purves as Walt Disney, Cheryl Barker as Hazel, Douglas McNicol as Roy Disney, Donald Kaasch as Dantine, Marie McLaughlin as Lillian Disney and Kanen Breen as Andy Warhol alongside the Opera Queensland Chorus and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. All photographs by Dan Swinbourne
On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.
The King and I is one of Rogers and Hammerstein's most loved musicals, and Opera Australia's sumptuous, triple Helpmann Award-winning staging, including the gong for Best Musical, opens this evening at the Sydney Opera House. Set in Siam (now Thailand) in 1862, it tells the story of Anna Leonowens (portrayed by Lisa McCune), a strong-willed, widowed schoolteacher who is summoned to Bangkok to teach the many children of the King (played in the Sydney leg of the OA tour by Teddy Tahu Rhodes). The initial challenges and isolation of living within the Siamese palace and the King's apparently inflexibility and hostility almost drive Anna, and her young son, away from the court.
However after a confrontation, Anna sees the King in a more vulnerable and human light and helps the King to plan for the arrival of a British envoy, who are considering taking over Siam as a protectorate. With Anna's help the British envoy decide that the Siam court is not the barbaric threat they had feared and decide to leave the country under its own control. Anna and the King become close, but though their bond is strong the differences between their two cultures create a barrier between them that they cannot overcome. Only on his death-bed can the King and Anna's friendship be saved.
Presented by J.P Morgan and John Frost, directed by Christopher Renshaw, The King and I runs at the Sydney Opera House until October 30. For tickets visit www.opera.org.au
Medea is a wife and a mother. For the sake of her husband, Jason, she’s left her home and borne two sons in exile. But when he abandons his family for a new life, Medea faces banishment and separation from her children. Cornered, she begs for one day’s grace. It’s time enough. She exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear. Helen McCrory takes the title role in Euripides’ powerful tragedy, in a new version by Ben Power, directed by Carrie Cracknell, with music written by Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp. Photography by Richard Hubert Smith.
Demonstrating their incredible versatility and depth of talent, the American Ballet Theatre's triple bill showcases ballets by three of the world’s leading contemporary choreographers: Twyla Tharp (Bach Partita); Alexei Ratmansky (Seven Sonatas); and Jerome Robbins (Fancy Free). Photography by Darren Thomas.
DESH is a new full-length contemporary solo and the most personal work to date from celebrated choreographer and performer, Akram Khan. DESH meaning 'homeland' in Bengali, draws multiple tales of land, nation, resistance and convergence into the body and voice of one man trying to find his balance in an unstable world. All photographs by Richard Haughton.
Bewitched and eventually betrayed, the Swan Princess Odette is at the heart of Kevin McKenzie's production of sorcery and enchantment, mystery and magic. Set around a fabled lake and in rich court surroundings, and brought to life by some exquisite traditional choreography, Swan Lake is probably the world’s most loved ballet. Photography for Darren Thomas.
Anne-Louise Sarks makes theatre from theatre. Her stunning reworking of Medea at Belvoir in 2012 swept up awards everywhere and set a new standard for rethinking classics. Now Sarks begins her tenure as Resident Director with a show about power and freedom. All photos by Brett Boardman.
Donizetti’s 1832 romantic comedy may not be his most sophisticated score but in the right directorial hands, and with a lick of fresh paint, its simple yet clever plot can come over with bags of charm. That lick of fresh paint is just what Simon Phillips and his team has given it. Add a smart cast of Opera Australia stalwarts and you’ve got a pleasure potion as heady as anything Dulcamara might be peddling.
Tartuffe is not your run of the mill, garden-variety con artist; he’s a slimy hypocrite of the highest order. Your wallet, your wife, even your daughter: nothing and no one is safe from the prying eyes and wandering hands of this scammer. Bell Shakespeare's production stars Kate Mulvany, Geraldine Hakewill, Charlie Garber, Sean O’Shea, Helen Dallimore, Jennifer Hagan, Robert Jago and Leon Ford. All photographs by Lisa Tomasetti.