Jessica Pratt’s sleepwalker gets a free outing on the European opera streaming website, in a first for an Australian company.

Audiences worldwide have the opportunity to stream Victorian Opera’s recent concert performance of La Sonnambula starring Jessica Pratt for free courtesy of opera streaming website The Opera Platform. Bellini’s opera marks the first Australian production to be showcased on the site, which typically features works by European companies. Victorian Opera is also the first Australian company to join the streaming site, the most recent step by the organisation to increase audience accessibility through digital engagement. It is also the first time the company has made one of their performances digitally available to the general public for free.

Conducted by Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills, La Sonnambula “has given the Melbourne public vocal artistry of the highest level in music of a composer whose marriage of text and music is sublime.”

“For me, the performance represented a lively example of company building, both in terms of the senior artists leading the younger singers by both example and generous practical help, and giving the many very talented members of our chorus an insight into the possibilities of great bel canto singing and style”, Mills said.

La Sonnambula saw star soprano Jessica Pratt in the fiendishly difficult title role, Amina, as well as the Australian debut of Italian bass Paolo Pecchioli as Count Rodolfo, Carlos E. Bárcenas as Elvino, and the Victorian Opera debut of Greta Bradman in the role of Lisa. The performance received five stars from Limelight reviewer Ben Wilkie, who wrote “Jessica Pratt could bring the house down in her sleep”.

“[Pratt] captivated from the moment she appeared on stage,” Wilkie wrote. “It seemed improbable that she might surpass her rousing opening aria, Care compagne, yet as the evening progressed the audience grew increasingly rapturous, and Pratt led the opera to a spectacular close, reaching phenomenal heights in the final sections of Ah! non giunge uman pensiero. There is little more to say about Pratt that has not already been said many times before, and so I simply note that the rumours are true: her voice is exquisite, and Victorian Opera put on a damned good show.”

Audiences around the world can stream La Sonnambula from July 10 – October 31.