Opera Queensland Season 2019


Opera Queensland have declared This Is Opera, unveiling not only a season of thrilling mainstage productions but also a modern, cinematic rebranding and renewed direction and vision to lead a change in opera, under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan and Executive Director Sandra Willis.

In addition to returning to a season of three mainstage productions thanks to an uplift in government funding, Queensland’s flagship opera company will continue to deliver opera across the state through their education programs, as well as regional and touring works and an exciting first-time collaboration with Gold Coast’s Bleach* Festival. Read the full season breakdown below.

“There is an intimacy to both our re-brand and Season 2019. I want to bring people closer to the work we do, to reveal the threads that connect us. Our humanity, our fragility and our extraordinary abilities. Putting the artform front and centre - celebrating the music and artists of Opera,” said Mr Nolan.

“There is a tangible thread of love, death and ritual woven through our season 2019 programming…it is our aim that the new-look Opera Queensland and Season 2019 present this magnificent art form in a way our audiences want to connect with in today’s world.”

“Central to Opera Queensland and all that we produce is our audience; we can’t make our art or know its impact without the presence of living, breathing warm blooded people. It is my hope that audiences both new and current will join us for Season 2019 and experience all that Opera Queensland has to offer; celebrating the classics and looking to the future,” said Mr Nolan.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Opera Queensland’s program has state wide reach.

“In 2019 Opera Queensland will continue its strong tradition of creating new musical experiences, vibrant engagement opportunities, and memorable productions,” Minister Enoch said. “Opera Queensland’s programs continue to engage the whole state, connecting with regional and remote centres through performances and workshops, and providing valuable performance opportunities for local artists.”  

Subscriptions are now available via the Opera Queensland website, and single tickets are on sale from 1 February 2019.


Opera Queensland – Season 2019

Imagery courtesy of Opera Queensland

A Flowering Tree by John Adams
2 – 6 April 2019
Concert Hall, QPAC

The 2019 season will open with a bang, with the Brisbane premiere of Patrick Nolan’s Helpmann® Award winning work, A Flowering Tree. This enchanting work is based on folktale from the Kannada language of Southern India and is a beautiful story about magic, transformation and the dawning of moral awareness.

Commissioned to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, A Flowering Tree is inspired by Mozart’s The Magic Flute and is composed by John Adams, one of the world's leading contemporary composers. The 10th Anniversary season will be conducted by Natalie Murray Beale, an Adams specialist and Opera Queensland Artist in Residence.

Along with the grand symphonic score, this work features minimal staging giving way to a 12-metre-high video screen upon which Queensland-born and internationally revered video designer, Mic Gruchy mixes projections of pre-recorded imagery exploring the themes and ideas of the story with the live action of the orchestra. Starring Brisbane’s Lyric Soprano Eva Kong, Tenor Adrian Dwyer, and Baritone Craig Colclough along with a large chorus and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, this is opera for a new world.

“This is opera that takes us to a place of wonder. This is opera for those who are willing to give all to the ones they love,” said Mr Nolan.

Imagery courtesy of Opera Queensland

Verdi Requiem
A co-production with Bleach* Festival
27 April 2019
Home of the Arts (HOTA), Gold Coast

A special event and the company’s first co-production with Bleach*, Patrick Nolan will direct Verdi Requiem, at HOTA on the Gold Coast in April 2019.

Sometimes referred to as "an opera in ecclesiastical vestments", Verdi's gift for dramatic writing will be on full display in this remarkable score for almost a hundred musicians and a chorus of more than 60 singers. 

Set in a ceremonial space, designed by Alex Podger (Dark Mofo and Woodford Folk Festival), with video and lighting by Mark Howett and conducted by Opera Queensland Artist in Residence Natalie Murray-Beale, Verdi Requiem askes the grand questions of life, taking the audience on an intense musical journey from the depths of profound despair to ecstatic hope. 

Starring soloists Natalie Aroyan, Milijan Nikolajic, Rosario La Spina and Andrew Collis alongside an Opera Queensland Chorus complimented with singers from Queensland Conservatorium and the
Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, Verdi Requiem is a transcendent work, once experienced never forgotten.

Imagery courtesy of Opera Queensland
Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
13 – 22 June 2019
Lyric Theatre, QPAC

Tosca, composed by Giacomo Puccini, is one of the great female characters within opera; a strong woman in an entirely male world, refusing to submit to the patriarchal system. One of the world’s best-known operas, Tosca, will transform the Lyric Theatre, QPAC in June 2019, directed by Patrick Nolan, for the first time in his career.

“This is an opera for a world where women fight for their right to be equal,” said Mr Nolan.

Two internationally based Australian artists return home to star in Tosca; Rachelle Durkin makes her role debut as Tosca alongside Angms Wood as Cavradossi, and also starring Jose Carbo as Scarpia, the Opera Queensland Season 2019 production will shine a light on power and how it oppresses and controls but also its vulnerability.

The work will be conducted by Oliver von Dohnanyi, Principal Conductor of Ekaterinburg Opera and one of the world's leading opera conductors, with design by Genevieve Blanchett and lighting by Mark Howett.

Imagery courtesy of Opera Queensland
Orpheus and Eurydice (Orfeo ed Eurydice) by Christoph Willibald Gluck
24 October – 9 November 2019
Playhouse Theatre, QPAC

Based on the myth of Orpheus and set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi, Opera Queensland’s third mainstage production of the year is the underworld story of Orpheus and Eurydice, which belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing.

Starring Owen Willetts as Orpheus and Natalie Christie Peluso as Eurydice, alongside the Opera Queensland chorus and the Circa ensemble, simplicity is at the heart of this production. With a focus on the body as the site of desire, pain and renewal, this work will see Lifschitz using his troupe of phenomenal acrobats as the creators of the physical world that Orpheus has to navigate.

With a long history of being directed by leading choreographers due to the number of dance and movement scenes - the most famous directed by Pina Bausch – the Season 2019 work for Opera Queensland will be directed by Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz. With Natalie Murray Beale conducting, costumes designed by Libby McDonnell, and video by Boris Baggatini, this is opera raw, physical and sublime.

“This unique collaboration with Circa – Opera Queensland’s first ever – is opera like you have never seen before,” said Mr Nolan.

Nicole Car
11 August 2019
Concert Hall, QPAC

Nicole Car, one of the truly remarkable Australian opera singers of recent years, joins her husband, internationally acclaimed baritone, Etienne Dupuis and pianist Jayson Gillham for one performance only. Featuring romantic French and Spanish songs and popular arias and duets, this is an opportunity not to be missed. 

Imagery courtesy of Opera Queensland
Alexandra Flood and Alex Raineri
15 & 16 November 2019
Opera Queensland Studio

One of the rising stars on the Australian and international opera stage, soprano Alexandra Flood makes her Opera Queensland debut in 2019. Alexandra has performed leading roles in some of the most significant opera houses in Germany, Austria, and the USA; now it is Brisbane’s turn to experience her sensational talent in the intimate setting of Opera Queensland’s studio space. Partnering with Alexandra is Brisbane’s own piano wunderkind, Alex Raineri, described by Limelight Magazine as a pianist of “superb virtuosic skill and musicality”. Together they will present a concert of songs by Schubert, Strauss, Debussy and Fauré.

Opera at Jimbour
Saturday 27 July 2019
10.00am – 4.00pm (Show commences at 2.00pm)

Opera Queensland and the Queensland Music Festival present a spectacular outdoor experience, offering a day of fun for the whole family located on the grounds of the breathtaking Jimbour House in Queensland’s Western Downs region. Stroll through the market stalls, pack a picnic or enjoy the food and wine on offer from the local region.

Presented by the Queensland Music Festival, Western Downs Regional Council, Opera Queensland, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and Russell Pastoral.

Imagery courtesy of Opera Queensland

Hansel & Gretel
Presented in collaboration with shake & stir theatre company
Primary Schools Tour, Term 3 & 4