The Coopers Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre , 25—27 October
Gregor is a broken man, exhausted by eternal work and an ungrateful family. Until one morning, he awakes, and is not a man at all. Kafka’s grotesque tragedy of a man turned insect is an engrossing story. Music adds an edgy intensity: Metamorphosis as opera is riveting, shattering, morbidly fascinating theatre.
Brian Howard’s score is percussive, inventive and courageous. Twelve musicians and six singers ratchet up the horror and pathos of this work: a story of social alienation in a modern, inhuman world. Director Tama Matheson and designer Mark Thompson combine their creative talents for a chamber opera at The Coopers Malthouse. Simon Lobelson performs the demanding role of Gregor and Paul Fitzsimon conducts.
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 7—24 November
The way that first love grabs hold and floods you with something you've never felt before. The fire that burns the first time jealousy flares. The growing up you do in the instant that you realise love can't last forever. Puccini takes these achingly human feelings and sets them to music — music that soars with the ecstasy of love, crackles with the pain of jealousy and cries with the agony of loss.
Some human emotions are too big for words alone, and for that, we have music. La Bohème exposes your soul to the feelings that only music can express. Gale Edwards’ glittering production is set among the fishnets and fairy lights of 1930s bohemian Berlin.
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 13—22 November
Exclusive to Melbourne
Wagner’s beloved comedy takes a joyful look at the art of music itself: what is wrong, what is right, and who decides. The mastersingers are holding a high-stakes singing competition, and Walther needs to win. He’s an outsider, an upstart, and he doesn’t know the rules. But to win the hand of his beloved Eva, he must sing the greatest song ever made.
Enter Hans Sachs: mastersinger, cobbler, and the beating human heart of this opera. He offers the newcomer all his warmth and wisdom, knowing it will cost his own chance at love. Wagner’s score demands a huge cast of exciting voices. Stefan Vinke performs as the upstart Walther, alongside Natalie Aroyan as Eva and Warwick Fyfe in the wonderful role of Sixtus Beckmesser.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 5 December—27 January
With more than 20 major awards to its credit, the original Broadway and West End production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical Evita will open at the Sydney Opera House in September 2018, directed by legendary Broadway director Hal Prince.
Evita charts the story of Eva Perón, wife of Argentine dictator Juan Perón, from her humble beginnings through to the extraordinary wealth, power and status which ultimately led her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation' by the Argentine people.
Evita features some of the best loved songs in musical theatre, including 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', 'On This Night of a Thousand Stars', 'Oh What a Circus', 'You Must Love Me', and 'Another Suitcase in Another Hall'.
Melbourne Recital Centre, 7 December
One of the world’s great mezzo-sopranos, Vivica Genaux, joins an ensemble of Australia’s finest early music musicians, led by the Helpmann Award winning Erin Helyard, for a jaw-dropping evening of Handel, Hasse, Vivaldi and other baroque contemporaries.
Melbourne Recital Centre, 6 April
Pinchgut Opera presents a stellar line-up to perform Bach's Easter Oratorio as a masterly celebration of Eastertide joy. Alongside Bach's jewel, Pinchgut Opera presents Telemann's Thunder Ode, a masterpiece never before performed in Australia.
Opera Australia & GWB Enterainment present the BB Group production of
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 6—28 April
Hailed as the greatest Broadway musical of all time, the genius of West Side Story is unquestioned. Bernstein’s world-famous score features unforgettable songs including ‘Maria’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Somewhere’, ‘America’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’, that have been universally adored for generations; proving this iconic dance musical remains one of the most poignant stage works of the twentieth century.
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 11—29 May
Elijah Moshinsky’s much-loved production of Rigoletto returns to the Arts Centre Melbourne stage, complete with its glamorous La Dolce Vita-inspired sets and costumes, and scene-stealing car. The revolving dollhouse style set gives a cinematic detail to each scene.
Andrea Licata returns to conduct an exciting cast of international and homegrown stars. Melbourne soprano Stacey Alleaume makes her debut as Gilda with Mongolian baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat, who won the Audience Prize at the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, as Rigoletto, and remarkable young Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan sings the Duke of Mantua.
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 14—25 May
Mozart’s opera about testing fidelity is an intriguing story set to music of impossible beauty. Two men disguise themselves as Albanians and attempt to seduce each other’s lover in an elaborate ruse to win a bet, at the urging of the cynical old philosopher Don Alfonso.
Acclaimed director Sir David McVicar sets this bittersweet romantic comedy in the early 1900s, just before WWI changed the world forever. Moritz Junge’s ravishing costumes and sun-bathed set designs add to the beauty on stage. Leading maestra Keri-Lynn Wilson makes her Australian debut.
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 24 May—1 June
If Rossini made a showreel of his best work, it would sound like Il Viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Reims). In Damiano Michieletto’s playful take, the eccentric cast of characters find themselves in a gallery filled with the master works of art history. It’s a surreal world, where artworks step out of the frame and come to life the moment the lights go out.
Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall, 13 August
Superstar tenor Jonas Kaufmann returns to Australia in one of his most celebrated roles. A concert performance of Andrea Chénier offers the perfect showcase for his “dark, liquid tone, which soars through the music with refined ease and intensity” (The Guardian).
The Coopers Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre , 25—28 September
Aribert Reimann’s 1984 opera is a haunting and evocative chamber work, exploring Strindberg’s moody text with complex rhythms and other-worldly tones. Director Greg Eldridge creates a chilling picture of Strindberg’s Stockholm in this new staging at the The Coopers Malthouse.
Strauss, Offenbach, Lehár and more
Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse, 7—10 November
All of your favourite operetta waltzes, polkas and songs by Strauss, Offenbach, Lehár and Kálmán come together in this raucous musical comedy created by Robert Andrew Greene after some of the biggest names in operetta. Some of Australia’s hottest young talents join musical theatre stalwarts John Bolton Wood and Geraldine Turner in this frivolous farce.
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 19 November—6 December
Turandot is a fantasy opera of poetry and myth, set in an exotic world where fear and love go hand in hand and death is always just around the corner. ‘Nessun dorma’ is just one of its magnificent moments. Renowned conductor Christian Badea returns to Australia to conduct a thrilling cast: Lise Lindstrom as the ice princess, Walter Fraccaro as the man determined to win her heart and Karah Son as his devoted servant, Liù.
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre, 27 November—7 December
Faust intends to win his heart’s desires, even if it costs him his soul. Led into temptation by the charming Méphistophélès, the ageing academic swaps moral restraint for a salacious journey through life’s earthly pleasures. But as the lives around him start to unravel, the devil, it seems, is in the detail. French maestro Guillaume Tourniaire leads an exciting cast. Saimir Pirgu sings the title role with the impossibly young Kazakh soprano, Maria Mudryak, as Marguerite. Teddy Tahu Rhodes is dazzling as Méphistophélès.