Tristan and Isolde
Roberto Devereux
HMS Pinafore
Anna Bolena (Anne Boleyn)
The Abduction from the Seraglio
Mary Stuart (Maria Stuarda)
Der Freischütz
Madame Butterfly
La Traviata
Cosi Fan Tutte
La Boheme
The Merry Widow
The Barber of Seville

Forthcoming productions:
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier August 2018
Rossini: Otello October 2018

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Tristan and Isolde review -Opera Chaser

An accomplished Tristan and Isolde makes its mark from an increasingly ambitious Melbourne Opera

The determination and ambitiousness that percolates within an increasingly confident Melbourne Opera came in the form of a musically secure, vocally accomplished and exciting production of Tristan and Isolde at the Palais Theatre Monday night. Apart from a minor technical hitch that saw temporary loss of surtitles and background projections, not even the disastrous cancellation of Friday night’s opening (due to an indisposed Isolde) impeded the quality of professionalism on display.

Tristan and Isolde review - Timeout

Melbourne Opera punches well above its weight with a Wagnerian epic

Tristan and Isolde review - Classic Melbourne

Tackling increasingly difficult Wagner operas with notable success, Melbourne Opera braved the so-called “Tristan Curse” and, although not unscathed, produced a memorable performance of opera’s most iconic love story. Just as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra had to replace an ailing Stuart Skelton for their concert performances of Tristan and Isolde in 2013, so illness plagued Melbourne Opera’s leading singers, resulting in the postponement of the opening night to the second scheduled performance to enable Lee Abrahmsen to recover from a chest infection.

Tristan and Isolde review - Stage Whispers

I attended what should have been the second performance of Tristan and Isolde after the first was cancelled due to a virus affecting the lead soprano and several other cast members. Fortunately Lee Abrahmsen seemed to have fully recovered.

Isolde is a mammoth role and she sang with power and beauty. She was well matched by English heldentenor, Neal Cooper. They made a very credible couple.

Sarah Sweeting was a sympathetic Brangäne, Michael Lampard a strong Kurwenal and Steven Gallop a powerful King Marke. The amateur male chorus did well.

Tristan and Isolde review - ConcertoNet

The immensity of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde cannot be underestimated. Its expansive emotional palette, the sweeping journey across sea and land, the astonishingly huge singing role of Isolde in particular and not least, the sheer length of the score all make for a heavy-duty opera which tests the inventiveness of the cast and creative team as well as the stamina of the audience. Melbourne Opera’s delayed first night – the indisposition of the soprano forcing a re-schedule – was well up to task and was enthusiastically received by a large audience.

Tristan and Isolde review - ABR

Tristan und Isolde, the opera in which Richard Wagner really took art in a new direction, is often described as the most important musical work of the nineteenth century. No lesser authority than Kobbé calls it the most influential opera in all musical history, while the great Wagner conductor Christian Thielemann says it is ‘the peak of operatic art, the opera of operas, the incunabulum, the key work. Tristan is the sum of everything and the exception to it’.

Tristan and Isolde review - Simon Parris

The delayed opening night of Tristan and Isolde proved well worth the wait, an evening of musical splendour that will live in the hearts and minds of those lucky enough to be there.

Having dipped their toes in the waters of Wagner with large scale productions of Tannhäuser and Lohengrin, Melbourne Opera completes a trilogy, of sorts, with an epic presentation of Wagner’s most distinguished stand-alone work. Given the radiantly immaculate quality of this production, there is little to say but to celebrate those who contributed to the magic.

Roberto Devereux review - ConcertoNet

Full stage productions of Roberto Devereux are rare and rarer still are full “cycles” of Donizetti’s three Tudor operas. That it falls to the small, unsubsidised company of Melbourne Opera to premier two of the three operas in Australia and consequently premier the complete trio is something of a minor miracle. Not only have Melbourne Opera lived up to their charter to provide a wider choice of repertoire for the opera-going public, but they have done so in style and with considerable success.

Roberto Devereux review - The Australian

Melbourne Opera’s crowning achievement

With Roberto Devereux, Melbourne Opera completes its Australian premiere of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy.

None of these three tragedies is in the same popular league as his Lucia di Lammermoor or Don Pasquale. But Roberto Devereux emerged from Donizetti at the pinnacle of his acclaim, authority and audacity: the overture opens to the tune of God Save the Queen.

Roberto Devereux review - Theatre People

Settling into the ornately decorated Athenaeum Theatre, the audience is shocked to attention with a booming, jolted chord from the orchestra pit. Greg Hocking, conductor and producer of Roberto Devereux, initiates us into an evening of whimsical, musical mastery with a tongue in cheek rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’ that transports the pomp and stuff of early 17th Century England into a balmy 21st Century Melbourne evening. The playful composition of this god-and-crown fearing number signals that what is to come is sure to be a rollicking delight.

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