La Traviata on the harbour

July 3, 2019 by Arts Editor
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Opera Australia has announced that Verdi’s much loved work La Traviata will return to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stage in 2020.

Nine years ago La Traviata, the inaugural Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production, was launched to great fanfare and success, marking the beginning of an annual event that has grown bigger and better every year.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini is thrilled to be presenting this iconic opera in an arena that has established a firm reputation as one of the world’s greatest outdoor theatrical experiences.

“Bringing back La Traviata has a sense of nostalgia. This event has come so far in the last nine years and has successfully brought the art of opera to so many new audiences. We are proud of what we haveaccomplished,” Mr Terracini said.

Director Constantine Costi will take the reins for the first time in 2020 to present a production based on celebrated director Francesca Zambello’s original production.

Daring set designer Brian Thomson returns to conjure a new vision of Verdi’s classic but has confirmed he will be keeping the breathtaking 9 metre high chandelier with its glistening 10,000 crystals.

The show-stopping aria ‘Sempre Libera’ and the legendary drinking song ‘Brindisi’ will be elegantly performed, conducted by acclaimed maestro Brian Castles-Onion who will be making a welcome return to the overwater stage.

The Parisian nightlight of the 1950s is brought to life by Tess Schofield’s original bright and playful costumes, from pink champagne suits to Mardi-Gras themed outfits for the masked ball in Act II, which sees guests arriving by motorboat. Shannon Burns, who danced in the original production in 2012, now returns as choreographer.

Attracting more than 400,000 attendees from around Australia and across the globe since its inception, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is considered a signature not-to-be-missed event for Sydney locals and visitors. It brings together internationally celebrated singers, musicians and creative talent to an open stage set against the stunning sunset backdrop of Sydney’s skyline. Hailed as the perfect night out, the custom-built site includes an impressive range of themed dining and drinking options that make the most of the magnificent harbour views.

For the first time, guests can purchase dinner and show packages as soon as tickets go on sale to the public later this month. An Italian-inspired menu will be on offering at the Travel Associates Platinum Club, the finest pop-up harbourside dining venue in town.

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour continues to go from strength to strength.

“This event is like no other – combining world-class performances, colourful costumes, majestic sets and exhilarating fireworks with the unbeatable backdrop of Sydney Harbour,” Mr Ayres said.

“More than 62,000 tickets were sold for the 2019 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of West Side Story, which is an incredible result.

“It is clear why Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is regarded as a must-see event on our State’s cultural calendar, as it continues to attract audiences from every corner of the globe. I have no doubt the return of the quintessential opera La Traviata will be bigger and better than ever before.”

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and Dr Haruhisa Handa through the International Foundation for Arts and Culture.

27 March – 26 April 2020
Excluding Good Friday on 10 April.

Tickets on sale from July 16


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