Meet the ultimate Love Rat. Charming and unscrupulous, Don Giovanni has stolen kisses and broken hearts across the continent. And wouldn’t you fall for a man who looks into your eyes and sings a melting Mozart serenade ?
Caught in flagrante, on the run from an ex, and wanted for murder, life is getting complicated, but the Don cannot resist another quick affair. Has opera’s great Casanova gone a step too far ? Find out as Mozart makes the simplest of melodies reveal the most profound truths.
Joshua Bloom is Leporello, Rachelle Durkin and Kate Ladner play Donna Anna and Catherine Carby is Donna Elvira. As the Don, we welcome Hungarian Gabor Bretz, fresh from appearances in Budapest, Salzburg and La Scala, Milan, for his Australian debut.
Gabor Bretz – Don Giovanni (until Aug 9)
Gabor Bretz was born in 1974. In 1997 — 1999 he studied at the Vocal Soloist Department of the Bela Bartok Conservatory in Budapest, Hungary.
Then he continued at the Ferenz Liszt Academy of Music, where he studied at both Soloist and Opera Departments. He has taken master courses with J. Hamari and E. Marton in Budapest and with R. Doring in Baden, Austria.
In 2004 he received the Diplomas of Opera Singer, Solo Singer and Teacher. After graduation from the academy Gabor worked at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, and since 2005 — at the Komische Oper in Berlin.
Gabor Bretz is a prize-winner of numerous singing competitions held in Hungary, Austria, Germany and Italy. His crowning success came to him in 2005 when he won the prestigious « Maria Callas Grand Prix » in Athens, Greece.
Andrew Schroeder – Don Giovanni
Most recent engagements for Andrew Schroeder have included Tarquinius in the Rape of Lucretia at the TEATRO REAL , Barak in Strauss’ Frau Ohne Schatten as well as Mandryka in Strauss’ Arabella at the THEATRE DU CAPITOLE in Toulouse, Enrico in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with the SCOTTISH OPERA, Kovalyov in Shostakovitch’s Le Nez in Lisbon, Lord Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux at the TEATRO DONIZETTI in Bergamo, Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte in Marseille, Figaro in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the WELSH NATIONAL OPERA, the title role in Chausson’s Le Roi Arthus at LA MONNAIE in Brussels, The Captain in J. Adams’ Death of Klinghoffer at the EDINBRUGH FESTIVAL, Germont in La Traviata, Nello in Pia de’ Tolomei and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia all with LA FENICE, Oreste in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride at the WELSH NATIONAL OPERA, Kovalyov in Shostakovitch’s Le Nez with OPERA NANTES / ANGERS, Morris Townsend in Damase’s L’Héritière and Prosdocimo in Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia with OPERA MARSEILLE, Falke in Die Fledermaus at the OPÉRA BASTILLE, the title role Nixon in China with OPERA BOSTON, Junius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with the NEW YORK CITY OPERA, Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde staged by Christopher Alden with the EOS ENSEMBLE of New York, Ambrosio in the Weber/Mahler Die Drei Pintos with the AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Marcello in Puccini’s LA Bohème with the WEST AUSTRALIAN OPERA, Valentin in Gounod’s Faust with OPERA AUSTRALIA and in concert, the Faure Requiem with the Opera du Rhin and selections from Des Knaben Wunderhorn and the Rueckert Lieder with the AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.
Future invitations include among others ; Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Thesee in Enescu’s King Oedipus as well as Valentin in Gounod’s Faust at the THEATRE DU CAPITOLE in Toulouse, Yoshio in Toshio Hosokawa’s opera Hanjo at the OPERA DE LYON, Agamennon in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide with the OPERA DU RHIN, La Monnaie – Brussels and Theater An der Wien, as well as the title role in Don Giovanni at the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE.
In previous seasons Andrew Schroeder has performed the title role in Britten’s Billy Budd with the THEATRE DU CAPITOLE, Oreste in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride with the NEW YORK CITY OPERA and the SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA, Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen in Hamburg ; Claudio in a co-production of Berlioz’s Beatrice et Benedict with the GRAND THÉÂTRE DE TOURS and the THEATRE DE NANCY ET LORRAINE, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the GRAND THEATRE DE GENIEVE, Figaro in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the CANTURBURY OPERA in New Zealand, Escamillo in Carmen with the BERKSHIRE OPERA, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with UTAH OPERA, title role of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the THEATRE DU CAPITOLE and the ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA, the title role of Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg at the SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA, Escamillo in Carmen and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the TEATRO CARLO FELICE in Genoa, Valentin in Faust and Guglielmo in Cosi fan Tutte with the VANCOUVER OPERA, Kovalyov in Shostakovitch’s Le Nez with the OPERA MUNICIPALE DE LAUSANNE, Guglielmo in Cosi fan Tutte with OPERA PACIFIC, WASHINGTON OPERA at the Kennedy Centre and the BOSTON BAROQUE ENSEMBLE. Mr Schroeder has also performed the role of Jesus in Jonathan Miller’s staged version of Bach’s St Matthew Passion at BAM in New York.
Rachelle Durkin – Donna Anna (until Jul 31)
Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin is one of opera’s most striking young artists performing at major houses worldwide to critical acclaim. After winning the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Durkin joined the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindeman Young Artists Development Program. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the First Handmaiden in Sly and has subsequently appeared as Clorinda in Cenerentola, Young Girl and Naked Virgin in Moses und Aaron, Barena in Jenufa,Benvenuto Cellini, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Masha in Pique Dame, Elvira in L’Italiana in Algeri, and First Flower Maiden in Parsifal, which she performed at the Salzburg Festival as part of the Met tour with Maestro Levine. In recent seasons, Ms. Durkin performed a variety of repertoire including Armida in Rinaldo and Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Australia, Cunegonde in Candide with the Bellingham Festival of Music and her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah.
Other acclaimed portrayals include Corinna in Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Il Viaggio a Reims, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in Brisbane, Perth and San Antonio and a Gala Concert with Jose Carreras in Perth entitled Opera Under the Stars. Ms. Durkin is also a distinguished oratorio artist with repertoire ranging from the early works of Handel, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to the more recent works of Bernstein, Gershwin and Sondheim. She has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New Choral Society of Central Westchester, Auckland Philharmonia, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.
In 2007 and 2008, she sings Gilda (Rigoletto) in Spain and Adelaide, the title role in Alcina in Sydney and Melbourne, Angelica (Orlando) and Donna Anna in Sydney and returns to the Metropolitan as Miss Schlesen in Satyagraha and Frasquita in Carmen.
Kate Ladner – Donna Anna
Kate Ladner was born in Adelaide, Australia and studied singing at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. In 1992/93, Kate was a principal young artist with two major Australian opera companies and in 1994, she won the Australian Opera Trust prize. In 1995, Kate moved to London to begin her European career ; performing throughout England, Ireland, Germany and Austria. She continues to be a regular guest artist in Australia and New Zealand. In 1998, Kate made her debut with Staatstheater Stuttgart as Blonde (Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail), a guest contract which continued into 2004. For this role, Kate was nominated as Best New Artist by Opern Welt Magazine.
Kate’s career has been dominated by Mozart’s operas. Highlights include Zerlina for Opera New Zealand in which Kiri Te Kanawa played Donna Elvira ; Blonde in Stuttgart ; A ‘Green Room’ Nomination for her Susanna for Opera Australia ; Contessa for Opera Holland Park ; A debut at the Sydney Opera House in the role of Donna Anna in 2005 ; and more recently, performances there of Vitellia in Clemenza di Tito.
Other roles include : Juliette (Romeo et Juliette) for West Australian Opera and the State Opera of South Australia ; Manon (Manon) for English Touring Opera ; Nanetta (Falstaff), Elvira (L’Italiana in Algeri) for Garsington Opera ; Marzelline (Fidelio) for opera Northern Ireland ; Vivetta (L’Arlesiana), Lisa (La Sonnambula) for Opera Holland Park ; Frasquita (Carmen) Royal Albert Hall, Violetta (La Traviata) for Opera Australia, Sydney, State Opera of South Australia and English Touring Opera ; Eleanor of Aquitane (King) for Stephen Barlow’s premiere opera at Canterbury Cathedral ; and Micaela (Carmen) for Graz Oper. Kate has performed in both Australian productions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 1998 singing Der Waldvogel, Woglinde, and in 2004, Freia, Helmwige and third Norn . This latter production, conducted by Asher Fisch, and released by Melba Recordings, has received exceptional international reviews.
Amy Wilkinson – Zerlina
A resident of Brisbane since her childhood, Amy Wilkinson was born in Fremantle, Western Australia. Having begun vocal training while still in her teens, she currently studies with Dr. Margreta Elkins in Brisbane as well as with Ruth Falcon in New York and Professor Soutrios Papulkas in Germany. In 2004, she graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree. Whilst studying, she performed Rose in Ruddigore, Elsie in The Yeomen of the Guard and Yum-Yum in The Mikado for Queensland Musical Theatre.
Amy Wilkinson has participated in Master Classes with several distinguished teachers including Sarah Walker (at the Australian National Academy of Music) and Sir Donald McIntyre. She has also undertaken courses in French and Italian at the University of Queensland and in German at the Moreton Institute.
As a Young Artist with Opera Queensland in 2003, she appeared as soloist in a variety of concert programmes including Opera in the Rainforest, Music Beneath the Stars and Moonlight and Mozart and the Movies. A highlight of 2003 was a Proms concert with The Queensland Orchestra under the baton of Michael Christie. She has also performed two recitals for 4MBS – Jane Austen : The Music of her Time and a Schubertiade in their Festival of Classics series. Other appearances include a concert with the Australian Army Band – Music at Midday and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.
In 2004, Amy Wilkinson made her role debut as Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music as part of the Brisbane Festival. As a result of winning the Metropolitan Opera Auditions Award at the Sydney Opera House in 2004, she completed three months of study at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. In 2005, she sang the title role in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha along with Haydn’s Seasons for the Queensland Choir and performed Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro for Opera Queensland.
Amy Wilkinson won the Australian Singing Competition’s Opera Awards in 2006 ; 2007 saw her performing Gretel in Hansel and Gretel for Opera Queensland, Oberto in Alcina for Opera Australia, Micaela in OzOpera’s national tour of Carmen and Handel’s Messiah for the Queensland Orchestra. In 2008, she will sing Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Frasquita in Carmen for Opera Australia.
Henry Choo – Don Ottavio (until Aug 9)
A former member of the Australian Boys Choir, Henry Choo attained an Associate Diploma in Singing in 1997 under the tutelage of Noel Ancell, and furthered his vocal and operatic studies at the Melba Conservatorium of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music, as well as the Young Artist Program of Opera Queensland, and the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Development Program of Australia’s national opera company, Opera Australia.
For Opera Australia, Henry has also performed the roles of Nemorino in L’elisir D’amore, Gerald in Lakmé, Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Oronte in Alcina, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Hotel Porter in Death in Venice, The Defendant in Trial By Jury, Faninal Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Herald in Rinaldo, as well as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Reqiuem and excerpts from Mitridate re di Ponto. His other roles include the premiere of Russell in Busking Hugs for Oz Opera, Borsa in RigolettoHMS Pinafore, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, and Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. Henry’s understudy work has included Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Tito (La Clemenza di Tito), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Tybalt (Romeo et Juliet), Remendado (Carmen), and 1st Jew (Salome).
Henry has performed soloist in many oratorio works including Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Samson, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Bach’s St John Passion, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solemnelle, and has sung recitals for various groups including the Opera Society of Victoria, Eastern Metropolitan Opera, The Australian Robert Stolz Society, and The Lieder Society of Victoria. He most recently performed Mendelsohn’s Elijah alongside baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes with Auckland Philharmonia.
In 2008 Henry will perform the roles of Don Ottavio in a new Opera Australia production of Don Giovanni, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, as well as concert work both locally and abroad.
Andrew Goodwin – Don Ottavio
Andrew Goodwin was born in Sydney, Australia. In 1999 Andrew moved to Russia where he studied voice at the St. Petersburg Conservatory under the direction of Professor Lev Morozov, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in June 2005.
While based in Russia, Andrew was a regular soloist with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. His concert engagements in Russia have taken him to many different cities and venues across the country.
Andrew’s opera performances include Fenton from Verdi’s Falstaff with Opera Australia and Lensky from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with the Bolshoi Opera, Moscow. He performed the role of Awwakum in the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s Boyarina Morozova and in July 2007 he returned to Opera Australia to perform Belmonte from The Abduction from the Seraglio.
During his studies Andrew has won a number of awards and scholarships. Recently the Tait Memorial Trust Scholarship. In 2005, 2nd place in the Yelena Obrastzova Singing Competition in St. Petersburg. In 2004 he received the Martin Bequest Travelling Scholarship, the Sir Robert Askin Operatic Travelling Scholarship, and the Australian Opera Auditions Committee “Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge” Scholarship.
The past year Andrew has been studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Dennis O’Neill and Ingrid Surgenor. Andrew is grateful for the support by the Australian Music Foundation and ARS Musica Australis.
Joshua Bloom – Leporello (until Aug 9)
Joshua Bloom studied at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (History) in 1996. He also holds an A.Mus.A diploma in Double-Bass from the A.M.E.B. In 2002 he was awarded the Opera Foundation Australia Wiener Staatsoper award, and has been a finalist in The Australian Singing Competition (Mathy Awards), Metropolitan Opera Awards (Australian Regional Finals), McDonald’s Operatic Aria, the Melbourne Herald-Sun Aria and the Italian Opera Award.
He made his Opera Australia debut as Figaro in an OzOpera production of The Barber of Seville. Further roles for OA have included Schaunard in La Bohéme, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress. He won Green Room Awards for his performances as Dandini (2003) and Nick Shadow (2006).
As the recipient of the Wiener Staatsoper Award, Joshua commenced at the Wiener Staatsoper for four months in January 2002. Here he performed Fiorello in Il Barbiere and the Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly.
During his engagement in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and then as an Adler Fellow, Joshua Bloom performed the following roles : title role in Gianni Schicchi, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Garibaldo in Rodelinda, Angelotti in Tosca, Marchese D’Obigny in La Traviata, The Black Politician in the US premiere of Le Grand Macabre and 1st Mate in Billy Budd.
2006 saw performances as Nick Shadow in Opera Australia’s The Rake’s Progress, Count Ribbing in Un Ballo in Maschera for San Francisco Opera and appearances in Salome and Die Zauberflöte for Santa Fe Opera ; Joshua also sang the bass solos in Verdi’s Requiem for the Melbourne Chorale in Handel’s Messiah for Sydney Philharmonia.
In 2007, he sang the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Australia’s Sydney season, performed Don Pedro in Beatrice et Benedict for Chicago Opera Theater, sang Christus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion for Sydney Philharmonia, the bass solos in the Messiah for the Royal Melbourne Philharmonia and was soloist with the West Australian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. He also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, New York covering Bryn Terfel as Mozart’s Figaro. In 2008, he returns to Opera Australia as Dandini, as well as singing Escamillo in Carmen and Leporello in Don Giovanni and makes his Metropolitan Opera debut as Masetto.