Opera Queensland Season 2020

Victorian Opera’s 2018 Lorelei, photographed by Pia Johnson. Imagery provided by Opera Queensland.

A new Australian opera cabaret, a great Australian musical, a story of profound love and a visually dazzling classic are the centrepiece of Opera Queensland’s Season 2020. The vibrant program is anchored by four main stage productions, complemented by a new Concert Series, a regional tour of 2019’s hit production of Tosca and expanded education and community engagement.

“Season 2020 develops and extends everything Opera Queensland has achieved in 2019,” said Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan.

“We are presenting contemporary works, written by living composers; works that tell great Australian stories; works that are among the most significant in the operatic canon; and with Aida, one of history’s grandest operas. Our contemporary approach to staging opera will continue throughout 2020 because we believe great productions are borne of the marriage between music-making of the highest quality and great theatre. Every element of every production is designed to enthral and engage Opera Queensland’s audiences.”

Opera Queensland’s 2020 Concert Series spotlights a strong local flavour among six of the seven artists participating. “All of the Australian artists in this series have a deep connection to Queensland – whether they grew up here, were trained at the Queensland Conservatorium or live here now – and this Concert Series is a showcase of the extraordinary opera talent we have in this state,” Mr Nolan said.

Opera Queensland continues its commitment to community engagement with adult and youth vocal workshops, pre-performance talks, the continuation of its quarterly Sing Sing Sing social events, and an educational program that tours The Frog Prince and Puccini’s La bohème, the latter responding to popular demand to take opera into Queensland high schools for the first time.

Opera Queensland’s 2020 mainstage season will include:

  • Lorelei
  • Bran Nue Dae
  • Tristan und Isolde
  • Aida
  • Tosca (Regional Tour)

See below for a more detailed outline of this exciting season!

For ticketing, including subscription packages, please visit the Opera Queensland website or call 136 246.

Opera Queensland – Season 2020

Victorian Opera’s 2018 Lorelei, photographed by Pia Johnson. Imagery provided by Opera Queensland.


27 March – 4 April 2020

Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University’s Conservatorium Theatre

A playful new Australian opera cabaret that centres on the Lorelei, a trio of Sirens who sit atop the cliffs of Germany’s Rhine River singing sailors to their watery graves.

Ancient myth meets modern woman in the boundary-breaking new work created by Julian Langdon, Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff covering musical territory across tango, pop and classical.

Lorelei subverts the traditional Siren’s tale,” Mr Nolan said of the production, which made its world premiere with a sold-out season in Melbourne in November 2018. “We encounter three different versions of the Siren, each questioning the assumptions of their mythic status, changing their tune and their sense of identity in the process. The result is part-cabaret, part-opera, all seduction.”

The production is 75 minutes long and sung in English, presented in the Conservatorium Theatre as part of a new partnership between Opera Queensland and Griffith University.

This production contains coarse language and adult themes. Recommended for ages 15+.

Bran Nue Dae Hero Artwork
Imagery provided by Opera Queensland.

Bran Nue Dae

24 July – 2 August 2020

Playhouse Theatre, QPAC

The high-spirited, Australian coming-of-age story will be presented in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Written by the late Jimmy Chi with the band Kuckles and first performed in 1990, Bran Nue Dae was lauded as “the great Australian musical” when it premièred.

“We are committed to telling Australian stories. Bran Nue Dae is a loving and joyous celebration of Indigenous culture,” Mr Nolan said. “This is a story about hope and the power of learning from the past. Revisiting it after 30 years allows us to reflect again on its message of ‘we are all one under the sun’.”


Woman underwater
Imagery provided by Opera Queensland.

Tristan und Isolde

28 & 31 October 2020

Concert Hall, QPAC

Richard Wagner’s sweeping saga of forbidden love.

The semi-staged production will be conducted by one of the world’s greatest interpreters of Wagner, Pietari Inkinen, fresh from conducting The Ring Cycle in Bayreuth, the home of Wagnerian opera.

“There are very few people on the planet who can sing Tristan und Isolde and we worked in collaboration with Pietari to cast world-acclaimed New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neil and American soprano Megan Miller,” Mr Nolan said.

Tristan und Isolde is one of the most powerful operas you will ever hear and by including it in Season 2020, Opera Queensland highlights how glorious operatic storytelling can be. We chose to stage this in the Concert Hall as Wagner’s music is rich and lush and in placing the orchestra on stage, audiences can be completely immersed in his musical world.”

Gold background
Imagery provided by Opera Queensland.


17 November – 4 December 2020

Lyric Theatre, QPAC

 Opera Queensland’s main stage season ends with Verdi’s blockbuster opera Aida, a co-production with Opera Australia.

Starring Australian soprano Natalie Aroyan in the title role, Aida’s set is defined by 10 automated mobile screens that transform the space through visuals and light. The production played to sold out houses in Sydney, wowing audiences with the quality of music and wonder of its visuals.

“There is an energy to this production of Aida audiences won’t have encountered before,” Mr Nolan said. “It is a very dynamic and highly-visual experience, a beautiful expression of the music and a spectacular way to explore Verdi’s blockbuster opera.”

Imagery provided by Opera Queensland.

Regional Tour – Tosca

Puccini’s Tosca, the critically acclaimed production of Opera Queensland’s Season 2019, hits the road on a regional tour in 2020, playing to seven Queensland regional centres. Building upon their highly regarded community chorus program, the company will draw upon the wealth of Queensland’s vocal talent to form choruses whose members appear in the performance in their regional centre.

For ticketing, including subscription packages, please visit the Opera Queensland website or call 136 246.

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