What’s On: A Flowering Tree (Opera Queensland)

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Opera Queensland’s 2019 season will open with the Brisbane premiere of Patrick Nolan’s Helpmann® Award winning work, A Flowering Tree. This enchanting work is based on folktale from the Kannada language of Southern India and is a contemporary love story about magic, metamorphosis and the dawning of moral awareness, sung in English and Spanish.

The opera recounts the story of Kumudha, a beautiful, young peasant woman with the magical ability to transform herself into a tree covered in exquisite flowers. A Prince sees Kamudha’s transformation and, infatuated by her beauty and magic, convinces her to marry him. But arrogance, jealousy, and family rivalries drive a wedge between the couple with catastrophic results.

The company’s staging of the breakthrough work marks not only the first performance of A Flowering Tree in Australia since its 2009 Perth Festival debut but also Opera Queensland’s first mainstage work directed by Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan.

Commissioned to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, A Flowering Tree is inspired by Mozart’s The Magic Flute and is composed by John Adams, one of the world’s leading contemporary composers. The 10th Anniversary season will be conducted by Natalie Murray Beale, an Adams specialist and Opera Queensland Artist in Residence.

Along with the grand symphonic score, this work features minimal staging giving way to a 12-metre-high video screen, upon which Queensland-born and internationally revered video designer Mic Gruchy mixes projections of pre-recorded imagery exploring the themes and ideas of the story with the live action of the orchestra. Starring Brisbane’s Lyric Soprano Eva Kong, Tenor Adrian Dwyer, and Baritone Craig Colclough along with a large chorus and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, this is opera for a new world.

“This is opera that takes us to a place of wonder. This is opera for those who are willing to give all to the ones they love,” said Mr Nolan.

A Flowering Tree will be performed in QPAC’s Concert Hall on 2, 4 & 6 April, 2019. For ticketing and further information, visit Opera Queensland’s website.

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