Verdi’s atmospheric take on Macbeth looks to be the hot ticket in West Australian Opera’s 2019 season. One of the master’s early works, it calls for two distinguished singing actors as the Macbeths, and in baritone James Clayton and soprano Antoinette Halloran, it’s got them. Bass Jud Arthur takes on the role of the ill-fated Banquo, while tenor Paul O’Neill is Macduff. Conducted by Artistic Director Brad Cohen, Verdi’s thrilling adaptation of the Scottish Play will be seen in a new co-production between WA Opera and State Opera of South Australia. Macbeth will be directed by SOSA’s Artistic Director, Stuart Maunder.

James Clayton as Macbeth. Photo supplied 

Another Verdi work kicks off the season in February. Perennial favourite La Traviata will be performed in the Supreme Court Gardens as City of Perth’s Opera in the Park, a concert presentation that aims to get more families interested in the art form. After her warmly received Mimì for last year’s Opera in the Park performance of La Bohème, soprano Elena Perroni returns to take on Violetta Valéry, while Paul O’Neill is her lover Alfredo and James Clayton his repressive father, Giorgio Germont. Brad Cohen conducts.

Ben Mingay as Sweeney Todd. Photo supplied 

Then in July, the company mounts Sondheim’s beloved, grisly musical Sweeney Todd in Stuart Maunder’s staging. Brett Weymark conducts a cast that includes Ben Mingay as Sweeney, Antoinette Halloran as Mrs Lovett, James Clayton as Judge Turpin, Matt Reuben James Ward as Beadle Bamford, Paul O’Neill as Adolfo Pirelli, Nathan Stark as Anthony Hope and Emma Pettemerides as Johanna Baker. Halloran made a particular impression in the production when it was put on by Victorian Opera in 2015, with Limelight praising her “perfectly judged combination of bright-eyed wit, cunning opportunism and lusty humour.”

The company is also teaming up with Perth Festival in February for Barrie Kosky and 1927’s visually thrilling, animated production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Drawing inspiration from the silent film, Weimar cabaret, and German expressionism, this internationally acclaimed staging is not to be missed.

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