West Australian Opera announces 2024 season
In 2024 West Australian Opera presents a year reflecting love, loss, and longing with ancient stories, myths, and legends.
Artistic Director Chris van Tuinen said that “opera, at its heart, is great storytelling through music. And what speaks better to the human condition than a story shared, enjoyed, reflected on, and cherished. It’s this love of connection, of coming together through great art that drives us at West Australian Opera to explore the repertoire, commission new works, travel to the corners of the state and deliver performances of the highest standard.”
The season opens with the Wesfarmers Arts Commission, Wundig wer Wilura, by award-winning songwriters and storytellers Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse. Sung in Noongar, this striking new production premieres in the Perth Festival from 9 – 15 February at His Majesty’s Theatre.
An ancient Noongar story, the young couple Wundig and Wilura break the bonds of lore and custom, and their souls are forever banished to Wongborel (Mount Brown) and Walwalling (Mount Bakewell) in York, Western Australia. The production is directed by Matt Reuben James Ward (La bohème, Koolbardi wer Wardong), conducted by Aaron Wyatt (Speechless), and stars Jarred Wall (Koolbardi wer Wardong) as Wundig and Jess Hitchcock (The Visitors) as Wilura.
In addition to opening Perth Festival with Wundig wer Wilura, the West Australian Opera Chorus will feature in Sir Jonathan Mills’ opera Eucalyptus in Perth Concert Hall on 22 February. Eucalyptus is an adaptation of Murray Bail’s Miles Franklin Award-winning novel.
From 9 – 12 May, West Australian Opera returns to Government House Ballroom with an exclusive long-table-styled dinner and performance of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. The production is conducted by Chris van Tuinen (La bohème), directed by Humphrey Bower (The Duel), and stars Ashlyn Tymms (Carmen) and Lachlann Lawton (La bohème) as Dido and Aeneas. West Australian Opera is proud to present this season in association with the University of Western Australia’s Conservatorium of Music, featuring members of the UWA Chamber Orchestra and the Conservatorium’s Voice students.
A grand-scale new production of Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka is presented from 18 – 27 July at His Majesty’s Theatre. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Little Mermaid, Rusalka shimmers with magic and transformation before the final echoes of tragedy. Blending soaring romantic melody and charming Czech folk music, Rusalka is the most intoxicating fairytale opera, best loved for the dreamlike beauty of the exquisite aria ‘Song to the Moon’.
Elena Perroni (La bohème) stars in the title role opposite Paul O’Neill (La bohème) as the Prince and Naomi Johns (Otello) as the Foreign Princess in a new Opera Conference work directed by Sarah Giles (La traviata), set design by Charles Davis (La bohème), costume design by Renee Mulder (The Importance of Being Earnest), and lit by Paul Jackson (La traviata). Chris van Tuinen conducts.
Thrilling acrobatics and striking video design combine to take audiences to hell and back in Circa’s award-winning production of Orpheus and Eurydice, presented at His Majesty’s Theatre from 24 October to 2 November. The production stars Russell Harcourt as Orpheus (Oreste) and Prudence Sanders (Into the Woods) as Eurydice with Chris van Tuinen conducting the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Across 2024, West Australian Opera collaborates with Perth-based classical music ensemble Australian Baroque in a recital series at WA Museum Boola Bardip's Hackett Hall.
West Australian Opera is proud to announce the Wesfarmers Arts Young Artists for 2024 are Jessica Blunt (soprano), Benjamin Del Borello (baritone), Ruth Burke (mezzo-soprano), Kohsei Gilkes (baritone), and Brett Peart (baritone).
Executive Director Carolyn Chard AM said: “Our dream is to speak to the heart through the human voice. We share the joy of music through opera and the powerful stories opera tells. We are uniquely and proudly Western Australian and we bring audiences and artists together to celebrate sung stories that are relevant to our people, time, and places. We are proud to be resident in His Majesty’s Theatre and we acknowledge this beautiful theatre’s milestone birthday turning 120 in 2024.”
Subscriptions are available from 9 am on Wednesday 8 November. Single tickets are on sale at 9 am on Wednesday 22 December. To learn more, visit: waopera.asn.au
Daniele Foti-Cuzzola, West Australian Opera, Media Consultant
E: [email protected] M: 0434 354 867