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Opera Australia’s Satyagraha

May 13, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

It could well be worth a trip to Melbourne for Opera Australia’s one-night-only, presentation of Philip Glass’ hypnotic masterpiece, Satyagraha. Performed in its original Sanskrit, in concert form, this operatic depiction of Mahatma Gandhi’s early years of nonviolent protest in South Africa is set to the mesmerising minimalist compositions for which Glass is renowned.

Making his debut in the challenging role of Gandhi, is Indian-born tenor Shanul Sharma, who began his musical career as a heavy metal vocalist before making an unusual transition into the world of opera. Sharma debuted with Opera Australia in 2014, and in his premiere performance with the company as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, became the first Indian-born Australian to perform as a principal artist in any Australian opera company.

Helpmann-nominated Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin will portray Gandhi’s secretary Mrs Schlesen, reprising a role which she performed to great acclaim with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Australian soprano Olivia Cranwell will make
her role debut in this production as will Iranian-born mezzo soprano Agnes Sarkis as Kasturbai, Gandhi’s wife.

Completing the leading cast are Opera Australia principals Andrew Moran, Richard Anderson, Sian Sharp and Alexander Sefton, all of whom will be making role debuts in this unique piece. Directed by Andy Morton and conducted by Opera Australia Head of Music, Tahu Matheson, the Opera Australia Chorus, is joined by the string and woodwind players of Orchestra Victoria, the brass and percussion instruments omitted to highlight the central theme of peace and nonviolence in this piece.

Creatives: Conductor Tahu Matheson/Director Andy Morton/ Lighting Designer Jason Morphett
Cast: M K Gandhi Shanul Sharma/ Mrs Schlesen Rachelle Durkin/Mrs Naidoo Olivia Cranwell/Kasturbai Agnes Sarkis/Mr Kallenbach Andrew Moran/ Parsi Rustomji/Lord Krishna Richard Anderson/Mrs Alexander Sian Sharp/Prince Arujna Alexander Sefton/ Opera Australia Chorus/Orchestra Victoria

Read our interview with Shanul Sharma prior to his appearance at the Festival Lirica in Vicenza in 2021.

Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes including one interval
Performed in Sanskrit with English surtitles
Adult tickets from $99 (fees may apply)


Hamer Hall
100 St Kilda Rd
Southbank, VIC 3004 Australia
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