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Victorian Opera

Victorian Opera returns in 2023 with a stellar line-up of shows

It will be artistic director Richard Mills' final season, and these eight shows will ensure he goes out with a bang

Written by
Sanam Goodman

The 2023 season program of the Victorian Opera is finally here. Across the eight shows set to take to the stage, the upcoming season will feature two world premiere works, a new Mozart staging, a stack of international guests and some of the best homegrown and fledgling talent. 

Next year will also mark the departure of Richard Mills after more than a decade as artistic director of the Victorian Opera. For his final performance, he has put together a colourful line-up of boundary-pushing shows, including a First Nations work titled The Visitors and he has even conducted and composed his own opera, Galileo.

Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola will open the season at the Melbourne Recital Hall on March 10, with a reimagination of the Cinderella story. 

Vladimir Mass and Mikhail Chervinsky’s Cheremushki is fitting for the Melbourne audience, exploring themes of housing affordability through a Soviet-era style apartment complex at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse from March 22-25.

The Grumpiest Boy in the World will trace Zachary's magical journey into the world of giants and hairy creatures, with a score from Bluey musical director Joseph Twist. Bring the kids along to the Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse on June 24 or to the relaxed session on June 23.

Mozart’s Idomeneo will be revived at the Palais Theatre on July 4, 6 and 8, where the mythic tale of the King of Crete will be reimaged by Emma Muir-Smith set to the tune of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. 

Richard Strauss’ enigmatic Capriccio will be staged at the Palais Theatre on August 31, with an anticipated collaboration between soprano Vida Miknevičiūtė and the Australian National Academy of Music fusing the words and music of opera. 

World-renowned opera star Jessica Pratt will return to Melbourne for an exclusive one-night-only concert at the Palais Theatre on September 2, showcasing the heroes and heroines of Bel Canto. 

Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse will play host to the world premiere production of The Visitors from October 18-21, a commission directed by Queensland Theatre Associate Artist and Noongarman, Isaac Drandic. Featuring First Nation composer Christopher Sainsbury and libretto by original playwright and Muruwari woman Jane Harrison, it tells the story of the early days of colonialism and its impacts on the First Peoples.

Finally, Galileo will wrap up the 2023 season at the Palais Theatre on December 20, 22 and 23 . A world-premiere work by Richard Mills, Galileo is a searching meditation on questions of faith in a violent, hostile and uncertain world.

“The alchemy of the marriage of words and music opens windows on the marvellous for our opera audiences in 2023," says Richard Mills. 

"The program celebrates great singing, new work, a commitment to developing artists and young people, and a commitment to diversity, reaching out to new audiences as well as to our friends and patrons who love traditional opera.”

Tickets to the 2023 program go on sale 11am on December 9 and can be purchased at the Victorian Opera website.

Can't get enough of the opera? Make sure to check out The Phantom of the Opera while it is in Melbourne.

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