Single tickets go on sale today for one of Sydney’s most spectacular outdoor events: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Aida. The fourth year of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is set to be the biggest yet with more than 700 people needed to bring the spectacle to life. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Aida will run from 27 March to 26 April 2015.
Director Gale Edwards (who received rapturous acclaim for Carmen in 2013) and Designer Mark Thompson are now well into the creative process for the event, working on concept, set and costume designs that will bring this magnificent story to life in this unique setting.
The harbour stage is unlike any other Australian stage. With no sidestage, backstage and rigs, and being almost two and half times larger than any theatre stage, it presents a mighty task for designer Mark Thompson.
“The real challenge for a production on this scale”, said Mr Thompson, “is to retain the tiny, private and intimate exchanges between lovers, as well as saturating the senses during the Triumphal March, and finally, to wrench as much emotion as possible from the finale.”
Like previous years, the entire pop-up site will be designed to complement the opera, with bars and multiple dining options, all reflecting the grand nature of Aida.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner said, “Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour astounds audiences with each new production, and Aida promises to be nothing short of spectacular in 2015.”
“The NSW Government, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, has committed to supporting Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour until 2017, ensuring this wonderful event continues to attract thousands of visitors from overseas and interstate to Sydney each year. I encourage people to secure tickets now for another memorable evening on Sydney Harbour,” Mr Stoner said.
Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia said “Aida is the ultimate grand opera, and one that many people will know. The wide appeal of this opera, and a spectacular new production with glorious set and costume designs, will no doubt delight visitors in 2015. With an extended season of four weeks this time, we hope to attract more than 50,000 people from Sydney, NSW, interstate and overseas. There is simply no better way to experience this harbour side city!”
Essentially, Aida is a love story set against a world at war and in turmoil.
The cast includes American soprano Latonia Moore as the captured Aida in a foreign land. Ms Moore is a regular performer at The Met in New York, and has performed the title role of Aida to vast acclaim across the globe (including Sydney Opera House in 2012). Alternating in the role is Italian Daria Masiero, who is well known to Sydney audiences from her performances in Turandot (2012), Il Trovatore (2013) and Carmen (2014).
Serbian/Australian Milijana Nikolic, who dazzled in the role of Carmen for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour in 2013, will make a welcome return to the water-top stage in the mezzo soprano role of the Princess Amneris. Helpmann Award-winning singer Jacqueline Dark alternates in the role, bringing her own unique depth and dynamism to the character. Statuesque and dramatic, Ms Nikolic and Ms Dark’s magnetic stage presence will bring heightened drama to the love triangle at the centre of Aida. Two renowned international tenors share the role of the Radamès, the Captain of the Guard: Italian Roberto Aronica and American Arnold Rawls (Il Trovatore, 2013).
This stellar line-up of Australian and International talent will be joined on stage by the Opera Australia Chorus and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (secreted under the stage), presenting a timeless epic of passion, spectacle, triumph and loss.