Opera Australia to tour Mozart makeover in regional Australia

Opera Australia gives Mozart’s The Magic Flute a makeover, and embarks on a two-year tour, which will head to Geraldton this August. 

The Magic Flute is getting a makeover by Opera Australia, and will become an Indiana Jones-inspired tale of adventure in its two-year tour of regional Australia, which will appear in Geraldton on Saturday 22nd August 2015

The much-loved opera will retain the music and storyline of Mozart’s original, but director/designer team Michael Gow and Robert Kemp have transformed the setting of The Magic Flute to make it fresh and fun. The Opera Australia regional tour production (formerly known as Oz Opera) is designed to entertain people of all ages, during its tour across 30 regional centres in Victoria, NSW, ACT, and Tasmania in 2014. 

Not only will each town have the opportunity to enjoy the performances of this new Magic Flute, but their younger residents will also have the chance to perform in the show! New to Opera Australia’s regional tour program is the Regional Children’s Chorus. The Geraldton leg of the tour will see St Lawrence’s Primary learn to sing songs, taught by local music teacher Julie Hart,  from The Magic Flute ahead of the opera arriving in Geraldton. They’ll then rehearse with the professional cast, and join them on stage as part of the performance. The Children’s Choruses will be coordinated by professional conductor Alex Pringle, and he will visit each town in advance of the cast arrivals, to rehearse with the local kids. 

Talented secondary school singers will also have an opportunity to audition with Alex Pringle, for the chance to win one of four new Student Scholarships. Winners will spend a week with Opera Australia in January 2015, participating in vocal workshops and opera coaching’s, watching professional rehearsals and then performing for OA’s Artistic Director. These new and unique opportunities promise to inspire a new generation of opera goers and even future performers. 

The cast of The Magic Flute includes twelve Principal Artists from Opera Australia, plus a live touring orchestra of nine under the baton of conductors Simon Kenway and Paul Fitzsimon.  Director Michael Gow and designer Robert Kemp describe The Magic Flute as a timeless story of a hero in search of adventure. “It’s a sort of classic quest, really,” says Gow. “We have a young man who wants to find enlightenment and true love. But he’s got it all the wrong way around, and has to deal with his own ego. So much of this opera is about letting go of what you want, and finding a way to meet people halfway.” Unlike traditional productions, however, theirs is full of references to movies like The Mummy and Indiana Jones

Lyndon Terracini, Opera Australia’s Artistic Director is on a mission to make people fall in love with opera, and he believes it’s vital to reinvent productions regularly to make them contemporary and engaging for different kinds of settings. “Australians love a good show” he says, “and we have to make opera just as entertaining for them as going to the football or watching movies. I think audiences are going to really enjoy this new touring production of The Magic Flute. It’s funny, it’s original and it’s unexpected! The cast is terrific too, starring some of our best singers. If you’ve never hear The Queen of the Night’s aria sung live by a really good singer, that’s worth buying a ticket for in itself! But the entire show will be really good fun. Michael Gow and Robert Kemp are masters of storytelling, and they are creating a version of The Magic Flute that will be unforgettable.”