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Our Calendar of Events and listings of events, festivals, markets, etc on various pages are usually updated several times a day and there is usually a new newsletter every week. Pages added or substantially altered since 1st December 2014:

Events, attractions & activities added (or details altered) in the week beginning 8th December 2014:

These listings can be found on various pages throughout the White Hat web site.

Iphigénie en Tauride

Whitehat rarely awards 5 hats for an opera production (although Opera Australia often scores 4 hats) so we would urge anyone interested in the development of opera to make your way to Pinchgut Opera's production of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride

Caitlin Hulcup, Grant Doyle, Christopher Saunders, Margaret Plummer, Christopher Richardson, The Orchestra of the Antipodes on period instruments and Cantillation conducted by Antony Walker.  Artistic Director of Opera Queensland, Lindy Hume, together with set designer, Tony Assness and costume designer, Alistair Trung.

Our rating - 5 Hats

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3, 5, 7 & 9 December 2014

City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney -

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Great Opera Hits

Stroll down to the Sydney Opera House and join the stars of Opera Australia for a concert of the greatest hits of opera. These relaxed concerts take place on summer afternoons as the sun sets across Sydney Harbour, and last around 90 minutes.  Listen to famous arias from Bizet, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi performed by some of Opera Australia’s finest opera singers.

Highlights include:

Puccini Excerpts from La bohème

Rossini ‘Largo al factotum’ from The Barber of Seville

Bizet Excerpts from Carmen

Offenbach Trio from The Tales of Hoffmann

Delibes ‘Flower Duet’ from Lakmé

Bizet ‘Au fond du temple saint’ duet from The Pearlfishers

Verdi Brindisi from La Traviata

Dec 26, 28 & 30 2014; Jan 1, 11, 15 & 25; Feb 8 & 15; March 1, 8, 15 & 22 2015

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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The Magic Flute

If you go down to the woods today, you might find a pure-hearted prince and his feathered sidekick en route to rescue a damsel in distress, a queen atop her starry throne; mysterious temples, dancing bears and a levitating picnic. If in danger, just follow the sound of the flute.

In today’s technology-soaked world, it’s rare that anything off-screen entrances a child for more than a few minutes. But look around at a performance of Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, and you’ll see children captivated. Utterly still, utterly silent (this is, when they’re not chortling with laughter or gasping with surprise). That’s because The Magic Flute is like nothing they’ve ever seen before. The stage is alive with colour and movement, the music is enchanting, the movement is magical. From Monostatos’ grotesque nose to the Queen of the Night’s shimmering wings, everyone and everything that appears on stage is larger than life.

As in a Pixar film, this production brilliantly balances visual stimulation with amusing dialogue in a charming English translation. The result is a pantomime of brilliant colour, set to Mozart’s timeless music. Don’t miss the incomparable Emma Matthews in her role as the Queen of the Night. Perhaps all you need to fire a child’s imagination is a little old-fashioned theatrical magic.

Pamina - Taryn Fiebig** & Jane Ede, TaminoJohn Longmuir** & Jonathan Abernethy, Papageno - Samuel Dundas** & Luke Gabbedy, Queen of the Night - Emma Matthews** & Hannah Dahlenburg, Sarastro - Daniel Sumegi* & Richard Anderson, 1st Lady - Jane Ede** & Leah Thomas, 2nd Lady - Sian Pendry 3rd Lady - Dominica Matthews, Papagena - Katherine Wiles, Monostatos - Kanen Breen, Speaker - Richard Anderson* & Adrian Tamburini, 1st Priest -  Malcolm Ede, 2nd Priest - Benjamin Rasheed, 1st Armoured Man - Dean Bassett, 2nd Armoured Man - Adrian Tamburini* & Clifford Plumpton with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Anthony Legge. Directed by Matthew Barclay.
(* all performances except January 3, 10, 15, 17; ** all performances except January 3, 10, 23)

Running time: approximately 2 hours, including one 20-minute interval. Performed in English with surtitles. Presented by Opera Australia

Jan 2, 3(m), 7, 9, 10(m), 16 (see below), 17(m), 23, 24, 28 & 30 2015
The preformance on Jan 15 is a relaxed performance is a family-friendly and accessible event and is suitable for individuals on the autism spectrum.

The Magic Flute is suitable for children aged 8+. Running time: approximately 2 hours, including one 20-minute interval. Performed in English with surtitles.

Sydney Opera House -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Faust

McVicar’s startling production of Gounod's Faust for Covent Garden and re-presented by Opera Australia puts the opera in the composer’s own time: the decadence and debauchery of 1870s Paris. Between towering cathedral columns and the crumbling proscenium arch of the theatre, Faust’s terrible pact plays out in all of its sinister splendor.

The images are at once delightful and disturbing, a reminder that given the chance, any one of us might stumble down Faust’s road. Behind all this is the resounding beauty of Gounod’s music, including the famous ‘Soldier’s Chorus’. Nicole Car sings the ‘Jewel Song’ in her role debut as Marguerite, opposite Teddy Tahu Rhodes in his debut as the devilish Méphistophélès and thrilling young American tenor Michael Fabiano in the title role. After his triumph as Rigoletto in Sydney, Giorgio Caoduro sings the role of Valentin under the baton of Guillaume Tourniaire.

Faust - Michael Fabiano, Marguerite - Nicole Car, Méphistophélès - Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Valentin - Giorgio Caoduro, Marthe - Dominica Matthews, Siébel - Anna Dowsley, Wagner - Richard Anderson with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Guillaume Tourniaire (until 28 Feb) & Anthony Legge. Directed by David McVicar.

February 17, 19, 21, 24 & 28(m); March 4, 7(m) &13 2015

Running time: approximately 3 hours & 35 minutes, including one 35-minute interval. Performed in French with English surtitles.

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake

The Australian Ballet’s most popular work returns.  Graeme Murphy’s modern-day classic is a Swan Lake for the 21st century, charged with sensuality and heartbreak set to Tchaikovsy's soaring score for Swan Lake. The Australian Ballet’s most performed and most successful work has swept the world, reaping standing ovations and storms of tears in London, Paris, Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles. After a sell-out season in Melbourne in 2013, this powerful production returns to Sydney for the first time since 2008. The romance of Odette and Prince Siegfried is updated (and complicated) to a contemporary love triangle with the addition of the Baroness von Rothbart, a slinky mistress who has no intention of releasing her freshly married lover. Murphy’s breathtaking pas de deux and massed swans are framed by legendary designer Kristian Fredrikson’s darkly sparkling lake, contrasted with the glittering magnificence of regal weddings and ballrooms.

Choreography - Graeme Murphy;  Performed with Orchestra Victoria.

Our rating - 5 Hats

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Mon to Sat, 20th to 28th Feb 2015

Capitol Theatre, 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket -

Book tickets from The Australian Ballet

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Australian Ballet - Giselle

The Australian Ballet presents Giselle. Since its premiere in 1841, Giselle, with its score by Adam, has become a favourite ballet lovers.

 The Australian Ballet

Melbourne; March 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 & 23; 2015; Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre; with Orchestra Victoria
Sydney; April 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21 & 22; 2015; Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House; with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Canberra; May 21, 22, 23, 25 & 26; 2015; Canberra Theatre Centre: with Canberra Symphony Orchestra
Adelaide; July 2, 3, 4 & 6 ; 2015; Adelaide Festival Centre

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Book tickets from The Australian Ballet

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Aida - Opera on Sydney Harbour

In Aida, the masterful Verdi puts the intimate affairs of the heart against the grandeur of the universe: where kingdoms rise and fall and the sands of time grind onwards.

What grander setting could there be for such an opera than Sydney Harbour itself: awash with the light of the city and the Sydney Opera House silhouetted against the setting sun?

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has become a huge part of the cultural landscape, combining all of the things Sydney does best: world-class opera, champagne and fine dining, sunsets and spectacle on the harbour's edge. It's a monumental undertaking, with a team of more than 700 people involved in the project before a single note is heard over the harbour.

Aida is the biggest opera Opera Australia has ever performed on the opera stage. But amid all of the spectacle, the famous 'Triumphal March', battle scenes and ancient temples, there's an emotional heart.

Long after the fireworks have faded from the sky and Amneris sings her quiet, concluding prayer, you'll see the true mastery of this opera: it is at once an historic epic and an utterly relatable human tragedy.

 Aida - Latonia MooreDaria Masiero, Radames - Roberto Aronica & Arnold Rawls, Amneris - Milijana Nikolic & Jacqueline Dark, Amonasro - Michael Honeyman  & Warwick Fyfe, Ramfis - David Parkin & Conal Coad, The King -  Gennadi Dubinsky, Hish Priestess - Eva Kong , Messenger - Benjamin Rasheed with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Brian Castles-Onion. Directed by Gale Edwards.

March 27, 28, 29, 31; April 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 & 26 2015

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 45 minutes, including one 35-minute interval. Performed in Italian with English translations.

Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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The Australian Ballet - The Dream

This triple bill presented by The Australian Ballet celebrates Frederick Ashton, one of the greatest influences on 20th-century ballet and the epitome of the English classical style.

The Dream (1964) Choreography Frederick Ashton; Music Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream orchestrated by John Lanchbery

Monotones II (1965) Choreography Frederick Ashton; Music Erik Satie orchestrated by Claude Debussy and Alexis Roland-Manuel

Symphonic Variations (1946) Choreography Frederick Ashton; Directed, supervised and staged by Wendy Ellis Somes and Malin Thoors; Music César Franck Symphonic Variations

Sydney: with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra; April 29 & 30; May 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16; 2015; Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Melbourne: with Orchestra Victoria; June 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 &13; 2015; Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre
Adelaide: with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; July 8 & 9; 2015; Adelaide Festival Centre, Festival Theatre

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Book tickets from The Australian Ballet

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Turandot

Opera Australia's permonace of Puccini's Turandot - a fantasy opera of poetry and myth, set in an exotic world where fear and love go hand in hand and death is always just around the corner. ‘Nessun dorma’ is just one of its magnificent moments. After astounding audiences in last year’s Tosca, Yonghoon Lee will sing that glorious aria as Calaf, with Lise Lindstrom, the most famous Turandot of our time.

Turandot - Lise Lindstrom (until 31 July) & Zara Barrett, Calaf - Yonghoon Lee (until 31 July) & Rosario La Spina, Liù - Hyeseoung Kwon (until 31 July) & Daria Masiero, Timur - Jud Arthur (until 31 July) & Pelham Andrews, Ping - Luke Gabbedy, Pang - Graeme Macfarlane, Pong - John Longmuir, Mandarin - Gennadi Dubinsky, Emperor - Benjamin Rasheed, Handmaiden 1 - Leah Thomas, Handmaiden 2 - Katherine Wiles, Prince of Persia - Jin Tea Kim with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Christian Badea (until 31 July) Benjamin Northey. Directed by Graeme Murphy.

JuJune 24, 27 & 30; July 4, 10, 15, 18, 25(m), 28 & 31; August 5, 8(m), 12, 16(m), 19, 22, 25 & 28 2015

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 40 minutes, including two 20-minute intervals. Performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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La Traviata

For a modern audience, La Traviata offers everything we think of when we think of the opera: a consumptive heroine, velvet dresses and heaving bosoms, lavish party scenes and touching intimate moments. The music is rousing, the stage crowded, the story at once romantic and tragic — a perfect escape from our own lives.

Yet the story of La Traviata, so exotic and literary for us, was devastatingly close to Verdi’s own life. Shortly after the death of his young wife and children, Verdi took up with his own “traviata”, or fallen woman — a celebrated soprano who daringly defied convention in favour of freedom and a life of luxury. When Verdi gives Violetta that flying aria celebrating a life of liberty, was he thinking of his brave and beautiful mistress? When the proud Germont sings of his love for his beautiful daughter, was the composer thinking of his own children? When Violetta lies in her bare apartment, overcome by her relentless disease, was Verdi thinking of his late young wife?

Whatever the composer dwelt upon as he wrote the stirring music of La Traviata, it was a powerful muse. When La Traviata premiered, the show stopped four times in Act 1 alone — a rapturous audience demanding Verdi take the stage and bow for the beauty he had brought to the stage.

Violetta - Lorina Gore, Alfredo Germont - Rame Lahaj, Giorgio Germont - José Carbó, Flora Bervoix - Dominica Matthews, Gastone - John Longmuir, Baron Douphol - Pelham Andrews, Marquis d'Obigny -  Luke Gabbedy, Dr Grenvil - Gennadi Dubinsky, Annina - Natalie Aroyan, Giuseppe - Jin Tea Kim, Messenger Jonathan McCauley and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Opera Australia Chorus conducted by Renato Palumbo. Directed by Elijah Moshinsky.

July 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18(m), 20 & 22 2015

Running time: approximately 2 hours & 50 minutes, including two 20-minute intervals. Performed in Italian with English surtitles.

July 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18(m), 20 & 22 2015

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House -

Purchase tickets from Opera Australia
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Bajazet

Pinchgut Opera present Vivaldi’s passionate and powerful Bajazet  (Verona, 1735). Weaving together arias by his colleagues and his own freshly composed numbers, Vivaldi has fashioned a sublime tragedy with amazing virtuosic arias, heartfelt lyricism, defeat, betrayal, love, lust and poison.

BajazetHadleigh Adams, Tamerlano - Christopher Lowrey, Irene - Helen Sherman, Asteria - Emily Edmonds, Andronicus - Russell Harcourt with conductor Erin Helyard and director Thomas de Mallet Burgess 

4, 5, 7 and 8 July, 2015

City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney -

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Australian Ballet - 2015 20:21

Experience the physical extremes of modern ballet The best of the 20th century, the freshest of the 21st: this electrifying triple bill showcases two giants of the New York dance scene and The Australian Ballet's newest resident choreographer. George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements is inspired by the revolutionary music of Igor Stravinsky, his friend and muse. This provocative piece kicks off with a line of chic dancers haughtily tossing their ponytails and blends the rigour of ballet with the vigour of jazz. Twyla Tharp’s pulse-pounding In the Upper Room sets the stage alight with scarlet pointe shoes and sneakers, the driving music of Philip Glass and a bracing blend of classical and contemporary technique. It’s described by Tharp as “the only piece I’ve done that generates a standing ovation at almost every performance”. Be there for the unveiling of Resident Choreographer Tim Harbour’s newest ballet – a stripped-down work set to a contemporary electronic score, featuring set designs by cutting-edge architect Kelvin Ho.

Symphony In Three Movements (1946); Choreography George Balanchine ©The George Balanchine Trust; Music Igor Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements

In The Upper Room (1986); Choreography Twyla Tharp, Music Philip Glass

New Work (2015); Choreography Tim Harbour; Set design Kelvin Ho, Akin Creative

Melbourne: with Orchestra Victoria; Mon to Sat, 27th Aug to 5th Sept 2015; Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre
Sydney: with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra; Mon to Sat, 5th to 21st Nov 2015; Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

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Australian Ballet - The Sleeping Beauty

Fairies, bluebirds, a gilded court and a spell-shattering kiss: the world’s most extravagant ballet is awakened to new life by The Australian Ballet's Artistic Director David McAllister. The Sleeping Beauty, with its Rose Adage, its grand pas de deux, its charming variations and its enchanting Tchaikovsky score, is the zenith of ballet’s golden age. Keeping true to the spirit of the traditional Beauty, David McAllister will direct a production that gives thrilling rein to the talents of the entire company. Lavish sets and costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, whose work for ballet, opera and theatre includes the much-lauded designs for Love Never Dies, will evoke the splendour of the Imperial court and the magic of fairies, nymphs and visions.

Melbourne: with Orchestra Victoria; Sept 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 & 26; 2015; Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre
Perth: with West Australian Symphony Orchestra; Oct 7, 8, 9 & 10: 2015; Crown Theatre Perth, Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood
Sydney: with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra; Nov 27, 28 &30; Dec 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 & 16; 2015; Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

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Book tickets from The Australian Ballet

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The Rabbits - World Premiere

John Marsden and Shaun Tan's haunting picture book tells a story we all know: a story of colonisation, civilisation and progress — a story about displacement, destruction and culture clash. And in that landscape, it tells a story of hope taking root. It's a story for young people, it's a story for old people, it's a story for all of us.

Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company have assembled some of Australia's foremost creative talents to collaborate on a new opera for children and families. Gabriela Tylesova's kooky sets and costumes realise Tan's pictures in all of their mystical wonder, while Lally Katz has turned Marsden's spare poetry into an enchanting libretto. To write the score, Kate Miller Heidke: the butterfly-voiced, classically-trained indie-pop singer who is as at home on the charts as she is performing at the Met. As well as composing The Rabbits, Kate will perform in this production.

Running time: approximately 60 minutes, without interval.

Oct 9, 10(m), 10, 11(m), 11, 12 & 13 2015

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse -

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L’Amant Jaloux

Pinchgut Opera present Grétry’s brilliant comic masterpiece L’Amant Jaloux (The Jealous Lover), first performed in Versailles in 1778. This hugely successful opera, heard and admired by Mozart during his sojourn in France, began a new kind of French musical drama. Glorious orchestral colours and wickedly witty ensemble pieces reveal striking musical and dramatic ideas, embracing the daring new ideals of the Enlightenment, while laying bare the innermost thoughts and feelings of the characters in a way that would inspire Mozart’s  partnership with his librettist da Ponte. Mistaken identity, mysterious strangers, duels and a happy ending.

Don Alonze - Ed Lyon, LéonoreCeleste Lazarenko, Isabelle - Jacqueline Porter, Florival - Andrew Goodwin, LopezDavid Greco JacinteMargaret Plummer with conductor Erin Helyard and director Chas Rader-Shieber

3, 5, 6 and 8 December, 2015

City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney -

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