Opera Australia has announced its 2021 Sydney Winter Season, which will feature the return of Otello, Aida and Attila, along with a brand new production of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, directed by Damiano Michieletto and starring Australian soprano Jessica Pratt. Pratt returns to the Joan Sutherland Theatre following her acclaimed Lucia in 2018. The production will be a multiple role debut for the soprano, who will play four roles, Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta, Stella, following in the footsteps of Dame Joan Sutherland.
Natalie Aroyan in Opera Australia’s Attila. Photo © Prudence Upton
The new production of The Tales of Hoffmann is the first co-production with the Royal Opera House that Opera Australia will build and create in its Surry Hills workshop, and perform the premiere season. “I’m thrilled we’ve been able to secure this deal to build and present the premiere of Michieletto’s Hoffmann,” said OA Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini. “It’s another fantastic opportunity for OA’s creative teams, builders, designers and artisans to work with such a celebrated director, and to be the first in the world to present this brand new production in 2021.”
The Winter season will also see the return of Harry Kupfer’s production of Otello from 2002, with Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee making his debut in the infamous title role, alongside Karah Son’s Desdemona (another role debut). Marco Vratogna – who recently gave us a menacing Scarpia – plays Iago. Andrea Battistoni conducts.
The season will also feature two recent Davide Livermore productions. Aida – the first of OA’s productions to use the company’s moving LED screens – will star American soprano Leah Crocetto as the Ethiopian princess, alongside Elena Gabouri, who returns as Amneris. Elena Guseva and Agnieszka Rehlis will take on the roles of Aida and Amneris respectively from 22 July. Stefano La Colla and Najmiddin Mavlyanov will both make their role debuts as Radamès. Warwick Fyfe and Michael Honeyman play Amonasro, while Daniel Sumegi and David Parkin play Ramfis. Lorenzo Passerini and Tahu Matheson conduct.
Livermoore’s Attila was cut short by the COVID-19 shutdowns after only two performances, but returns this year with Russian bass Alexander Vinogradov in the title role. Natalia Aroyan and Diego Torre reprise their roles as Odabella and Foresto, while Marco Vratogna is Ezio, with Italian conductor Renato Palumbo leading the Opera Australia Orchestra.