Baroque Returns To The Opera Theatre As Pinchgut Collaborates With Opera Australia

In an exciting new collaboration, Pinchgut Opera joins forces with Opera Australia for their Sydney Opera House debut in a pioneering and inventive move which restores baroque performance to the Joan Sutherland Opera Theatre. 

Pinchgut Opera will revisit its celebrated 2016 production of Handel’s Theodora in a concert production conducted by Pinchgut’s artistic director Erin Helyard, which also marks the debut of Pinchgut Opera at the Sydney Opera House. This co-production of Handel’s brilliant oratorio will form part of OA’s 2024 Summer Season, created by guest Creative Director Lindy Hume, who directed Pinchgut’s staged production of Theodora for Pinchgut in 2016.

Theodora in Concert stars acclaimed American countertenor Christopher Lowrey returning to reprise the role of Didymus. Joining him for her Pinchgut debut is Samantha Clarke as Theodora, along with Pinchgut favourites Helen Sherman, Michael Petruccelli and David Greco. 

After a decade or so of valued baroque productions lost to the stage of the Sydney Opera House with productions like Giulio Cesare, Alcina, Rinaldo, Acis and Galatea, Dido and Aeneas and Partenope, off the menu, Theodora in Concert hopefully flags the return of this genre to a proscenium theatre with an orchestra pit, and the required staging facilities.  

Theodora was Handel’s penultimate oratorio and by all accounts, his favourite work. A succession of lyrical arias and rich choruses, Theodora is set in ancient Rome, and follows the plight of a courageous woman and bold young soldier who risk everything in the face of a tyrannical power. Pinchgut’s staged opera production was first performed at City Recital Hall in December 2016 to a very warm reception. 

The artists: Samantha Clarke–Theodora/ Christopher Lowrey–Didymus/ Helen Sherman–Irene/ Michael Petruccelli–Septimius/ David Greco–Valens/ Cantillation Chorus Orchestra of the Antipodes / Erin Helyard conductor

Theodora in Concert will have two performances at the Joan Sutherland Theatre,8and 9 February in 2024.


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