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Step through the door, anything can happen

A series of operatic masterpieces, vibrant new productions and a one-night-only open-air spectacular feature in State Opera South Australia’s 2020 season, which launched today.

Following a phenomenal 2019 and a new era of leadership that delivered more opera to more people in South Australia, State Opera’s 2020 season promises to build on this success with an exciting and engaging program of works.

“The thing that thrills me the most is how this season showcases just what singers can do – captivate, move and inspire. Best of all, it’s all homegrown talent,” said State Opera’s Artistic Director Stuart Maunder.

Off the back of the sell-out smash hit Carmen in the Square in 2019, State Opera serves up an open-air performance to mark the beginning of the 2020 season, with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana taking centre court at Memorial Drive Park on 28 March.

The music of Carmina Burana has underscored countless movies and iconic advertisements – making it some of the most recognisable music of the 20th Century, and the most performed choral work worldwide. Conducted by Benjamin Northey, this one-night-only choral spectacular features the State Opera Chorus, Young Adelaide Voices, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the newly renovated Memorial Drive.

Opera lovers are invited to fall “head over heels” in May, with a vibrant and vivacious new production of Rossini’s comic masterpiece The Barber of Seville, directed by Lindy Hume, at the Festival Theatre. If blood, thunder, and Game of Thrones-style plots are more to your taste, then Verdi’s Macbeth, brought to the Adelaide stage for the first time in over 25 years, promises to be a gripping new production at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Thrilling drama is central to the 2020 season, and what better musical masterpiece than Sweeney Todd to send shivers down the spine. Starring Australian actor and singer Ben Mingay as Sweeney Todd, and award-winning soprano Antoinette Halloran as Mrs Lovett – its Director Stuart Maunder describes it as “without a doubt – one of the most delicious and dramatic horror tales ever set to music.”

Continuing its commitment to uniquely Australian stories – State Opera is proud to present Jimmy Chi’s coming-of-age-musical Bran Nue Dae in August. The first-ever Aboriginal musical – a feel-good mash-up of rock-and-roll, gospel, country and blues music – was a sparkling success when it premiered in 1990 and went on to inspire a hit movie. This new production is set to take Australia by storm once more.

This is followed by Richard Mills and Peter Goldsworthy’s chamber opera Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Based on the iconic 1953 Australian play – it is a powerful examination of lost youth. Presented as part of State Opera’s Lost Operas of Oz project.

Maunder said State Opera’s 2020 program was made for a broad audience, and had powerful moments for seasoned and first-time opera goers.

“We did exactly what we set out to do this year,” he said. “We’ve successfully built audiences, pushed the boundaries by taking opera out of the theatre and presented exceptional pieces of music and repertoire for everyone to enjoy.”

“In 2020, it’s all about getting out there and making sure State Opera is a major player in the arts, in South Australia and nationally, and bringing as many people into the opera space as we can. See you at the opera!”