Marlis Petersen, Ali McGregor & Vida Miknevičiūtė Lead Victorian Opera’s 2020 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

Victorian Opera has announced its 2020 season.

A new production of Richard Strauss’ “Salome,” directed by Cameron Menzies, will be staged at Palais Theatre, St. Kilda. The cast will include soprano Vida Miknevičiūtė, tenor Ian Storey, contralto Liane Keegan, bass-baritone Daniel Sumegi, and tenor James Egglestone. Artistic Director Richard Mills will conduct Orchestra Victoria. “‘Salome’ offers a theatrical experience which explores ‘the very north of humanness’ in a bloody confrontation which releases the spirit and makes us gasp with wonder,” remarks Mills in the press release.

Performance Dates: Feb. 22 – 27, 2020

Ali McGregor will star in the musical biography “Yma Sumac: The Peruvian Songbird.” The intimate cabaret celebrates the unique 1950s-era singer famous for her “five-octave range and vocal flexibility.”

Performance Dates: June 18 – 20, 2020

The world premiere of “Three Tales” will set the unique styles of three composers to words by Daniel Keene in an adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s book. “A Simple Heart,” which tells the story of devoted maid Felicité (performed by Katie Noonan), is realized by Zac Hurren. Dermot Tutty explores the world of “The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller,” which follows “a man’s transformation from conqueror to compassionate hermit,” and Stefan Cassomenos tells the story of Salome and John the Baptist in “Herodias.” The local ensemble Plexus will be featured. Jane Davidson will direct, and Richard Mills will lead the orchestra.

Performance Dates: June 26 & 27, 2020

Six performances of the Tony Award-winning musical “The Who’s Tommy,” “an adaptation of The Who’s legendary 1969 rock opera album ‘Tommy,'” will be held at Palais Theatre, St. Kilda. Roger Hodgman will direct and Laura Tipoli will conduct. Casting details are TBA.

Performance Dates: Aug. 14 – 21, 2020

Victorian Opera will present Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s “Die Tote Stadt” (“The Dead City“) in concert at the Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall. Featured performers will include soprano Marlis Petersen and tenor Michael Schade alongside acclaimed local artists, the Australian Boys Choir, and Victorian Opera Chorus. Simone Young will lead the Australian National Academy of Music Orchestra.

Performance Date: Aug. 21, 2020

Doug Macleod and Yuri Worontschak’s “Margaret Fulton: The Musical” will celebrate Australia’s first culinary queen. Casting details are TBA.

Performance Dates: Sept. 15 – 19, 2020

Elizabeth Hill-Cooper will direct Franz Schubert’s romantic comedy “Die Freunde von Salamanka” (“The Friends of Salamanca“), which will have its Australian premiere as the company’s annual Youth Opera at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse. The cast includes emerging singers aged 13 – 25, featuring members of the Victorian Opera Youth Chorus Ensemble. Fabian Russell will conduct the Victorian Opera Youth Orchestra.

Performance Dates: Sept. 25 & 26, 2020