I have been a little quiet on this blog for a while, because I’ve been working hard on publicity and sponsorship, German coaching, translation assistance, dramaturgy, and surtitles for young opera artists company Operantics!
This April, Operantics proudly presents Strauss’ beloved operetta Die Fledermaus. We open tonight – Thursday 20th April at the Independent Theatre. It is a cracker of a show: sexy, hilarious and sophisticated, with a new libretto and setting, transated and transposed by director Ian Warwick from 1870s Vienna to multicultural, decadent 1920s Manhattan.
Fledermaus is proudly sponsored by Yarra Burn Wines. A complimentary refreshment will be served to guests at the Thursday and Friday performances. As Strauss’ unforgettable chorus number sings: Cheers for the King of all wines, King Champagne the First!
Tickets are available here or at the door one hour before the performance. Free parking is available near the Independent Theatre, or the North Sydney train station is only 15 mins walk away. With only four performances (Thursday 20th, Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and a matinee on Sunday 23rd April) make sure you don’t miss this wonderful show!
Tosca (Ainhoa Arteta) retreats in fear and disgust while Scarpia (Lucio Gallo) advances on her. Image credit: Prudence Upton
I was in a cynical and grumpy mood. It was a wet and windy Wednesday evening, I had spent my day at work and then become lost and stuck in Sydney’s endless roadworks and lack of parking. I had blisters on my feet and I was running late. I had taken a free ticket to see the powerhouse Spanish soprano Ainhoa Arteta in a public interview with Victor Ugarte at the Institutio Cervantes, Sydney’s main Spanish language learning centre.
While I was curious to see and hear Arteta up close, I felt so much more mundane than I had the previous Friday, when I had zipped my Golf into SOH’s ample underground parking space and strutted up the stairs in my heels to see Arteta star in John Bell and Christian Badea’s wonderfully dark production of Tosca for Opera Australia. That evening, what is probably my favourite opera had swept me away on a tide of emotional intensity, and the glittering lights on the harbour and the fancy champagne had seemed almost magical.
Opera done differently…
“Sempre Libera” was proudly presented in May 2015 by Shh Centre 4 Hybrid Arts for the Parramatta Anywhere Festival
Watch the final aria here (approx. 2 min)
A cynical and cheeky post-operatic version of Act I of Verdi’s classic opera La Traviata… mashed up with jazz standards, guitar/percussion improvisation, something very familiar from the millennials’ childhoods, and of course metal.
Above: Sarah Toth (Violetta) and Damien Noyce (Alfredo) in rehearsal
Watch the full video here (approx. 30 min)
DirectION: Michal Imielski
Music Direction + Keys: Holly Champion
choreography: Cloe Fournier
Violetta: Sarah Toth (soprano)
Alfredo: Damien Noyce (tenor)
Guitar + metal vocals: Joss Separovic
Percussion: Kaylie dunstan
Concept by Peter Maple + Michal Imielski
Several years of determined struggle came to an end this year and I was notified that I would receive my PhD in April 2016. Due to my parents being away, I moved the graduation date from June to November. My PhD thesis is now available online via UNSW Library: Dramaturgical Analysis of Opera Performance: Four recent productions of Dido and Aeneas
Thank you to all those who helped me on this long journey!
How does a PhD differ from an undergraduate degree? Some may think that there is little difference between writing an undergraduate thesis and writing a PhD thesis, but they would be wrong. Beginning a PhD journey is embarking on a journey of self-discovery as much as of the creation of new knowledge, and nothing can truly prepare you for what you will experience. However, here are some points to bear in mind.