These days, you’d need to be as game as Ned Kelly to run an opera company. It’s a chancy enough business at the best of times but the effects of the pandemic threw up a whole lot of variables not previously experienced.
There are opera companies closing all over the world but Opera Australia is battling on. Of course, Australia is fortunate compared with anywhere else in this regard but impacts and risks are cumulative. For a start, there were no performances for nine months, so no income. Then there were limits on audience numbers (now lifted) and the absence of international tourists.
Last year the company completely lost Opera on the Harbour which was launched in 2012 with remarkable entrepreneurial flair by Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini. It must have taken considerable courage to bring it back this year but La Traviata is playing on the harbour right now until 25 April. It’s a big, glamorous production designed by the masterly Brian Thomson with quality singers directed by Constantine Costi. The three principal parts are shared with Stacey Alleaume and Jessica Nuccio alternating as Violetta, Rame Lahaj and Paul O’Neill as Alfredo, and Michael Honeyman and José Carbó as Alfredo’s father.
Opera on the Harbour is a special experience. La Traviata is in many ways a perfect opera. On a tragic note: our thoughts are with the family of the much-loved arts lover Carla Zampatti, RIP.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10