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Con Opera Productions
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Opera School has produced fully-staged opera since 1934, under the initial direction of Dr Edgar Bainton.
Opera Australia’s production of The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder
The ancient tombs of the Pharaohs hide many secrets. Will Tamino the daring archaeologist find them? Will it be Papageno, the zany ornithologist? Or will the forces of evil crack the code, find the treasure and get the girl? We present a ripping yarn for all the family.
The Magic Flute is a quest for wisdom and true love. Taking inspiration from the movies, director Michael Gow and designer Robert Kemp set this production of Mozart’s final work for the stage as a rollicking adventure in 1930s Egypt. There will be mummies, hieroglyphic puzzles and a good few laughs along the way, but is it opera? Mozart didn’t care and nor should you. He was far more concerned with firing his audience’s imagination through the power of music. Which is why you’ll find something for everyone in there, from the Queen of the Night’s demented showstoppers, to achingly beautiful arias, to simple ballads that wrap you up in warmth and charm.
Original production: conceived and directed by Michael Gow
Designer: Robert Kemp
Original Lighting Designer: Matt Scott
English Translation: Michael Gow with Anthony Legge (additional material by Roger Press)
Sydney Conservatorium of Music Production directed by Roger Press, based on the original conception and production of Michael Gow
Musical Director: Dr Stephen Mould
Revival Lighting Designer: Peter Rubie
La Calisto by Francesco Cavalli, Libretto by Giovanni Faustini
For nearly 300 years, this work lay hidden from lovers of music and drama, but this heady score was rediscovered in the 20th century. The poetic libretto and rich score charts the relationships between gods, men and women.
La Calisto wickedly winds Ovid’s Metamorphoses myth of the beautiful nymph Calisto, a follower of the chaste goddess Diana, and the tricks played on her by Jove and his followers. The trials and pleasures of love are explored in Faustini’s hilarious subplots that inspired some of Cavalli’s most lyrical and inventive music. Brazen, ornate, sly, trilling, and loaded with panache, La Calisto is a nuanced study of desire packaged as a sensuous Baroque romp among the Roman gods.
Cosi fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Based on a medieval farce of mistaken identity, Mozart’s comic opera is a tale of love, deception and forgiveness. Two pairs of lovers declare their love for each other, but at the first sign of flattery from other suitors, fidelity is forgotten.
The Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell
The poetic libretto and Purcell’s rich score relate subtly and metaphorically to William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Written as a masque or semi-opera, this Restoration Spectacular is reshaped by director Elsie Edgerton-Till. Pivoting out from the Fairy Queen’s desire, love and loss, this production weaves a world of magic and mystery. As the sun sets, natural order and the logic of love give way to a forest at night. As midsummer madness descends, drunk poets, Fairy Kings and Queens even Night and Day become tangled in the sweet torment of Love.
Sung in English, and supported by the Early Music Ensemble, conducted by Associate Professor Neal Peres Da Costa.
English Eccentrics by Malcolm Williamson
Through its sharp wit English Eccentrics takes a sideways look at a collection of quirky characters from English society. Bonkers and barking mad, each character more bizarre than the last, the opera introduces us to a weird and wonderful palette of aristocracy, tradesmen, maids and clergy and the eccentricities that lie within.
Sung in English, conducted by Dr Stephen Mould.
MASS by Leonard Bernstein
On the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s 100th Birthday on Wednesday 6 May, we celebrated with a unique event at the Sydney Opera House. Over 400 students, staff and alumni of the Con and the Con High School, and guest performers from Sydney Children’s Choir, all under the baton of Maestro Eduardo Diazmuñoz, Chair of Conducting performed the epic MASS by Leonard Bernstein. Still controversial four decades after its conception, MASS explores the debate around religious beliefs through a young man’s crisis of faith.
Sung in English, conducted by Maestro Eduardo Diazmuñoz.
Performance Dates: Wednesday 6 May.