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TELLING STORIES

Mary-Attracta Connolly

The Pearl Fishers - 2016 It was a treat to perform current Artistic Director, Brad Cohen’s edition in Michael Gow’s production of The Pearl Fishers in 2016.  Due to illness, there was a change of tenor to sing the role of Nadir in the last week of rehearsals which led to the General Rehearsal being Jonathan Abernethy’s first and last rehearsal as Nadir prior to Opening Night.  When Nadir [...]

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Mary-Attracta Connolly

Falstaff – 2011   As for fish, fowl and fruit in Simon Phillips’ production of Falstaff in 2011 – how could I ever forget the market scene when the Ladies of the Chorus had to move between stalls in a synchronised and stylised manner – my dance background came in handy here as I recall rehearsing that particular scene at home, much as I would have a dance routine, until it was perfect.  O [...]

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Mary-Attracta Connolly

Batavia - 2004 An opera closer to home, in 2004, it was an absolute pleasure to perform in Batavia composed and conducted by then Artistic Director, Richard Mills, and based on the very dark real life story of the Batavia shipwreck at the Abrolhos Islands off the coast of Western Australia near Geraldton.  Although an emotionally taxing storyline, Batavia was exhilarating to perform in wi [...]

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Mary-Attracta Connolly

Fledermaus - 1996 Lindy Hume’s production of Die Fledermaus set in 1930’s Manhattan was designed by Angus Strathie - yes, the same Angus Strathie who, together with Catherine Martin, won an Oscar for the costume design of the Baz Luhrmann movie, Moulin Rouge!  With this production debuting in Perth it was a treat to have Angus costume fittings where I recall him staying, with words to the [...]

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Mary-Attracta Connolly

Alcina – 1996   In 1996, I performed as one of the Ensemble Chorus of four for Handel’s Alcina, a co-production between West Australian Opera and Perth International Arts Festival, staged at the Octagon Theatre.  The Cast were all Western Australian and the costumes were designed by WA’s own, Aurelio Costarella.  The stunning Lisa Harper-Brown sang the title role and, one night, when wait [...]

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Mary-Attracta Connolly

The Magic Flute - 1994 I received the best birthday present ever in 1993 when Terry Craig, then General Manager of WAO, called and offered me the role of Second Spirit in Lindy Hume’s 1994 production of The Magic Flute with Sara McLiver as First Spirit and Helen Searle as Third Spirit.  I recall Lindy wanted me to play the part as a girl, however, I asked if I could play the Second Spirit [...]

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Mary-Attracta Connolly

Madama Butterfly - 1993 & 2015 I’ll never forget a Saturday morning production rehearsal of Andrew Sinclair’s Monet inspired production of Madama Butterfly in 1993 when, with glorious sunlight streaming in through the Edwardian rehearsal studio windows at The Maj, the Ladies of the Chorus were singing the music for Cio-cio-san’s stage entrance.  We had not met Nancy Yuen, singing the [...]

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Mary-Attracta Connolly

Congratulations to West Australian Opera on 50 fabulous years of presenting Opera in WA! The Mikado - 1988 My first performance with WAO was as a member of the Chorus in Lindy Hume’s 1988 production of The Mikado at His Majesty’s Theatre - I recall tenor, David Hobson, made his singing debut in the role of Nanki-poo in this G&S favourite.  Every costume for the Ladies of the Chorus [...]

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MARTIN CLARE

The story of Martin Clare in the W.A.O.C. I  joined the Opera Company in 1970. This followed an appearance on Channel 7’s “New Faces.” An adjudicator was Harry Bluck who was in involved with the Opera Company. He suggested that I had a good voice and should take singing lessons and join the opera company. I found a Giuseppe Bertinazzo as a teacher and of course he was the founder membe [...]

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TONY COCKBAIN

Tuning up In the mid 1970\'s or early 1980\'s I saw The Merry Widow at His Majesty’s—one of the first operas I ever saw. I was an experienced concert goer, attending the WASO series nearly every year. What surprised me at the Maj was the length of time the orchestra took to tune up, and how loud the tuning up process was; quite a contrast to what I had been used to at the Concert Hall. [...]

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Telling Stories