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2019 season signals new era for State Opera of South Australia

BY State Opera of South Australia | 28-Sep-2018
The State Opera of South Australia’s 2019 season boasts the most powerful and impressive program in recent times thanks to a new artistic and executive leadership for the company.
Cunning Little Vixen by Leos Janacek is among the productions being presented by the State Opera of South Australia in 2019.
In the first program for the company by recently appointed Artistic Director Stuart Maunder AM, the 2019 season is headlined by a summer outdoor spectacular, Carmen in the Square, on March 23.

This one night only event signals a year full of imaginative firsts, a new series shining the spotlight on Australia’s ‘lost’ operas and a rejuvenated education program to take opera out of the theatre and into the community.

State Opera Executive Director Yarmila Alfonzetti said the 2019 season truly belongs to the people.

“Stuart and I have strived to deliver on one of the simplest but most profound of arts aspirations – more opera for more people. From large scale family-friendly events such as Carmen and the magical world of Cunning Little Vixen, right through to intimate offerings in a diverse range of South Australian venues and an education program for all ages. We are very excited for what lies ahead!”

State Opera Artistic Director Stuart Maunder AM believes the season has all the ingredients to connect deeply with South Australians.

“There is nothing like the power of opera to move, to exalt, to thrill, to go straight to one’s soul. The ability of opera to make people feel something more deeply and strongly within themselves is the reason we do what we do.”

Opera returns to the Festival Theatre later in the year with two new productions: Puccini’s sublime Madama Butterfly and a glorious contemporary romp through Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.

State Opera is also proud to announce the first in a series of re-evaluations of some very important Australian works. The Lost Operas of Oz shines a spotlight on three fine Australian works in 2019. Martin Wesley-Smith’s Boojum! – originally premiered by State Opera in 1986 – receives its second Australian performance at the Dunstan Playhouse in July and has the company’s new Winter School for secondary and tertiary students running alongside. The two others will be performed in the Queen’s Theatre – Christina’s World by Ross Edwards and Madeleine Lee by John Haddock.

“Creating new opera is very important to State Opera, but often in the push to produce new work, many great works only receive one outing,” Mr Maunder said.

“In 2019, State Opera will be leading the charge to showcase existing Australian opera. Not only are we dedicated to creating more opera, but we are reflecting on history and creating an opportunity for audiences to engage with these fantastic pieces.”

State Opera’s 2019 season also sees the rebirth of its education series with activities ranging from a primary schools tour of Elixir of Love, adult education programs with the renowned Graham Abbott at the Opera Studio and even the opportunity to sing in some Pop-Up Chorus weekends.

State Opera is also announcing an incredible new opportunity for opera directors through the Helpmann Academy Emerging Director’s Fellowship which supports and mentors an outstanding early career director.

“Our program champions the extraordinary art form of Opera in all its forms, and presents it in beloved and surprising venues all across the city. We are proud to bring so many Australians home to sing for you and invite you to take a seat and watch extraordinary things happen,” Mr Maunder said.

For more information on State Opera’s 2019 season, please visit www.saopera.sa.gov.au.