Renée Fleming, Nicole Car & Étienne Dupuis Highlight Opera Australia’s Sydney 2020 Season

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Australia has announced its its 2020 Sydney season, presenting an exciting program of rare gems and some of the greatest operas.

Sydney Summer Season

The season opens with Puccini’s “La Bohème” with conductor Carlo Goldstein leading Gale Edwards’ production. The opera stars soprano Karah Son in the role of Mimì and tenor Kang Wang making his Opera Australia debut in the role of Rodolfo.The cast will also include soprano Valeria Seppe making her OA debut, Julie Lea Goodwin, Samuel Dundas and Richard Anderson.

Performance Dates: Dec. 31, 2019 – Jan. 30, 2020

Bizet’s “Carmen” returns to the stage with Christian Badea and Tahu Matherson alternating at the pit. The work will star Veronica Simeoni in her OA debut sharing the title role with Sian Sharp and Carmen Topciu. The role of Micaëla will be sung by Claudia Pavone and Simona Mihai, while Roberto Aronica will sing Don José and Lukasz Golinski will perform Escamillo.

Performance Dates: Jan. 11 – March 26, 2020

Zhong Xu and Dane Lam conduct Sir David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” Luca Micheletti sings the title role with Eleanor Lyons making her OA debut in the role of Donna Anna. The cast is rounded out by Jane Ede, Anna Dowsley, Shane Lowrencev, and Richard Anderson.

Performance Dates: Jan. 24 – Feb. 27, 2020

Ivan Magri sings the title role in Gounod’s “Faust” with soprano Irina Lungu as Marguerite and Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Mephistopheles. Michael Honeyman, Anna Dowsley, Sian Sharp, and Richard Anderson round out the cast. Lorenzo Passerini conducts the acclaimed production by Sir David McVicar.

Performance Dates: Feb. 10 – March 11, 2020

Verdi’s “Attila” will make its Australia premiere in Davide Livermore’s production with Andrea Licata conducting a cast that includes Taras Berezhansky as Attila, Natalie Aroyan as Odabella, Diego Torre as Foresto and Simone Piazzzola as Ezio.

Performance Dates:  March 12 – 28, 2020

The Opera Conference presents this 30th Anniversary revival of the hit musical “Bran Nue Dae.” Written by the Jimmy Chi in collaboration with the band Kuckles, the work was recognized as the world’s first Aboriginal stage musical. Director Andrew Ross takes on the work.

Performance Dates: Jan. 17 – Feb. 1, 2020

Sydney Winter 2020

Leah Crocetto and Elea Guseva share the title role of Verdi’s “Aida” in a production by Davide Livermore. The work is set to be conducted by Giampaolo Bisanti.

Performance Dates: June 25 – August 10, 2020

Jennifer Rowley is set to make her Australian Opera in Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux” as Elisabetta. Paolo Carignani conducts the production by Davide Livermore. This will be the company premiere of the Donizetti opera.

Performance Dates: June 30 – July 16, 2020

Halevy’s “La Juive” gets its Australian premiere with Guillaume Tourniaire conducting Oliver Py’s production. The new production will showcase a cast that includes Natalia Aroyan, Stacey Alleaume, Shanul Sharma and Richard Anderson.

Performance Dates: July 14 – July 18

Married opera stars Nicole Car and Étienne Dupuis perform together in an opera for the first time in Australia in Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” Carlo Montanaro conducts the production by Kasper Holten.

Performance Dates: July 25 – August 8, 2020

Renée Fleming stars in “The Light in the Piazza” directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner Daniel Evans with conductor Kimberly Grigsby.

Performance Dates: August 14-22, 2020

The company is set to give the first revival of this 2009 chamber opera “Rembrandt’s Wife” by the ABC’s The Music Show host Andrew Ford and playwright Sue Smith. The work directed by Tabatha McFadden will feature a nine-piece ensemble and stars Richard Anderson as Rembrandt, Taryn Fiebig as Saskia as well as Rembrandt’s maid and muse, Hendrickje, along with Agnes Sarkis and Benjamin Rasheed.

Performance Dates: Sept. 16-19, 2020

Handa Opera On Sydney Harbor 2020

Stacey Alleaume makes her role debut as Violetta in Verdi’s masterpiece “La Traviata” in Francesca Zambello’s production. She is joined by a cast that includes Rame Lahaj as Alfredo and Michael Honeyman as Giorgio. Brian Castlesa-Onion conducts.

Performance Dates: March 27 – April 26, 2020


“Fiddler on the Roof” gets a production by Joel Grey sung entirely in Yiddish.

Performance Dates: Sept. 10 – Oct. 31, 2020

“The Secret Garden” is set to be directed by Susan H. Schulman and choreographed by Michael Lichtefeld.

Performance Dates: August 4 – Sept. 6, 2020

In Concert

Jessica Pratt sings the title role of Donizetti’s “Lucrezia Borgia” with Carlo Montanaro conducting a cast that includes Varduhi Abrahamyan singing Maffio Orsini, Giuseppe Gipali as Gennaro, Michael Honeyman as Duke Alfonso and Virgilio Marino as Rustighello.

Performance Date: Oct. 10, 2020

National Tour 2020

Carmen tours across Victoria, New South Wales, Canberra, and Tasmania in a  production that will include Regional Children’s Chorus, giving 24 young singers from each community a chance to perform onstage. Matthew Barclay makes his directorial debut with a vibrant new production of Carmen in OA’s 25th anniversary tour.

Mazda Opera in the Domain

Mazda Opera in the Domain gives a chance for opera lovers to hear Australia’s finest singers and musicians perform some of opera’s greatest hits under the stars.

Performance Date: Jan. 19, 2020

The Ring Cycle Brisbane 2020

Opera Australia, in partnership with the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council, will present a brand new, fully digital production of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in November 2020. More info right here.