First performed 21 years ago, it’s title was The Eighth Wonder. This year it is being revived under a cumbersome title, Sydney Opera House – The Opera: The Eighth Wonder. When we presented it first in 1995 The Eighth Wonder was a great success and was revived within a couple of years. Now it is being given a new life.
Set in the 1960s it concerns a character known as The Architect struggling to get the Opera House built; a secondary story tells of a young singer dreaming of making her career. The story follows the current doctrine of the Architect as a secular saint struggling against the forces of darkness represented by the Government minister. Given this over-simplification, the words by Dennis Watkins and music by Alan John tell the opera story effectively and engagingly.
In the Opera Theatre, the staging was dominated by a great fight of steps, like those outside. Now the performance moves outside to take place on those steps with the sails of the House as the backdrop. The audience is seated on the Forecourt looking at the action on the steps, listening to the opera through headphones, ‘cocooned in a world of pure sound’, which may solve the problems of amplified sound outdoors.
This production will be directed by David Freeman, conducted by Anthony Legge. Danish tenor Adam Frandsen will play The Architect, a role created by David Hobson, for five performances from October 28.
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