Il faut Otello pour que Lucia di Lammermoor… Opera Australia, du 18 juillet au 6 décembre 2008 (part. 2)

Otello, VerdiOtello – Verdi

Sydney Opera House : 18 Jul – 15 Aug
State Theatre, Arts Centre : 18 Nov – 6 Dec

Sha­kes­pea­re’s tra­gic sto­ry, Ver­di’s music and the soa­ring voices of Den­nis O’Neill, Che­ryl Bar­ker and Jona­than Sum­mers. Sparks will fly.

Otel­lo has trium­phed over the Turks, but his real ene­my lies at home. His ensi­gn Iago covets abso­lute power and sets out to play Otel­lo and his wife Des­de­mo­na in a dead­ly game of sex and politics.

Har­ry Kup­fer’s acclai­med pro­duc­tion sets Ver­di’s stor­my score in a war-torn palace where friends become foes and lovers become vic­tims. Den­nis O’Neill and Che­ryl Bar­ker, as Otel­lo and Des­de­mo­na, fling pas­sio­nate duets into the fur­thest reaches of the theatre, Jona­than Sum­mers is the dark and fas­ci­na­ting Iago and Simon Hewett conducts Ver­di’s exhi­la­ra­ting music, a giant of the roman­tic repertoire.

The role of Otel­lo is among Ver­di’s most deman­ding sin­ging and acting roles and so we were for­tu­nate to find Ame­ri­can tenor Fran­co Fari­na avai­lable to take Mr Shin’s place. Mr Fari­na’s repu­ta­tion as a Ver­di spe­cia­list is well known, par­ti­cu­lar­ly at the Metro­po­li­tan Ope­ra in New York where he has sung 11 lea­ding roles. The down­side of this last-minute cas­ting is that he is not avai­lable to sing on Thurs­day 11 Decem­ber and so our deci­sion was made to can­cel the per­for­mance that day.

Dennis OneillDennis O’Neill – Otello

Born in Wales of Irish and Welsh parents, Den­nis O’Neill CBE is one of the world’s lea­ding tenors and a spe­cia­list in the works of Verdi.

He has enjoyed a long asso­cia­tion with the Royal Ope­ra House, Covent Gar­den, where his many roles have inclu­ded Rodol­fo (La bohème), Duca (Rigo­let­to), Pin­ker­ton (Mada­ma But­ter­fly), Edgar­do (Lucia di Lam­mer­moor), Mac­duff (Mac­beth), Gus­ta­vo (Bal­lo in Masche­ra), Fores­to (Atti­la), Otel­lo, Don Car­los, Radames (Aida), Arol­do (in concert), Car­lo (Gio­van­na d’Ar­co), and Jaco­po (I due Fos­ca­ri).

For the Metro­po­li­tan Ope­ra he has appea­red as Alfre­do (La Tra­via­ta), Radames (Aida) — conduc­ted by Levine and Domin­go – La Bohème, Rigo­let­to Turid­du (Caval­le­ria Rus­ti­ca­na) and Canio (I Pagliac­ci). Other North Ame­ri­can enga­ge­ments have inclu­ded Chi­ca­go Lyric Ope­ra, San Fran­cis­co, San Die­go, Van­cou­ver Ope­ra and concerts with the Phi­la­del­phia, Cle­ve­land, Mon­treal, and Otta­wa Sym­pho­nies, and for the Cin­cin­na­ti Fes­ti­val. He has appea­red in Sà£o Pao­lo and Santiago.

A frequent guest at the Baye­rische Staat­so­per, Munich, his debut in Bal­lo in Masche­ra was fol­lo­wed by a new pro­duc­tion of Man­ri­co (Il Tro­va­tore), Der Rosen­ka­va­lier, Tos­ca, Lucia, Gabriele Ador­no (Simon Boc­ca­ne­gra), Aida and the title role in Otel­lo. Elsew­here in Europe he has visi­ted the ope­ra houses of Vien­na, Ber­lin, Bonn, Cologne, Ham­burg, Nice, Zurich, Paris, Oslo, Brus­sels, Bar­ce­lo­na, Ovie­do, the Are­na di Vero­na and Turin. He enjoys a close rela­tion­ship with Welsh Natio­nal Opera.

Den­nis O’Neill is also a very busy concert artist and is well known for his per­for­mances of Ver­di’s Requiem which he has tele­vi­sed no less than seven times, and has sung throu­ghout Europe with conduc­tors inclu­ding Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Sino­po­li, Simon Rat­tle and Sir John Prit­chard. Notable concert per­for­mances have inclu­ded Ido­me­neo with Sir Charles Mac­ker­ras at the BBC Proms, Ober­to at the Edin­burgh Fes­ti­val, Aida in Tel Aviv with Meh­ta, Le Dam­na­tion de Faust in Paris with Dutoit, Tos­ca in Cle­ve­land with Slat­kin and The Dream of Geron­tius in Lon­don with Svet­la­nov. He has given reci­tals at Covent Gar­den and La Mon­naie in Brussels.

Den­nis O’Neill’s own tele­vi­sion series for the BBC were enor­mous­ly popu­lar (the accom­pa­nying recor­ding went to the top of the clas­si­cal record charts) and he has sub­se­quent­ly com­ple­ted a tele­vi­sion film on Caru­so ano­ther fea­tu­ring famous movie themes. His many recor­dings include solo albums, videos of Der Rosen­ka­va­lier with Sol­ti, Die Fle­der­maus with Kiri te Kana­wa conduc­ted by Domin­go, Mac­beth with Sino­po­li, and Mefis­to­fele from San Fran­cis­co. Recent releases include La fan­ciul­la del West with Slat­kin and Ver­di’s Requiem with Sir Colin Davis, both for BMG/RCA ; Tos­ca, La bohème, Caval­le­ria Rus­ti­ca­na, I Pagliac­ci, Aida and Turan­dot, and a solo disc of ope­ra­tic arias, all for Chan­dos. His antho­lo­gy of Ita­lian Song fea­tu­ring songs by Bel­li­ni, Doni­zet­ti, and Ver­di is short­ly to be relea­sed on Naxos.

He has recent­ly sung per­for­mances Cav and Pag, Tos­ca and Il tro­va­tore for Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia and Cav and Pag in Perth, Aus­tra­lia, Otel­lo in Ham­burg and Munich, Lucia di Lam­mer­moor in Munich, Aida in Munich and Dres­den, Bal­lo in Lis­bon and Munich, La Gio­con­da in concert for ENO, Turan­dot at the Met and Covent Gar­den, Bal­lo in Rome, Aida in Munich and Cata­nia, Nor­ma in Bar­ce­lo­na and I Pagliac­ci at Covent Gar­den ; a tour of Ver­di Requiem with La Sca­la and Muti, and The Dream of Geron­tius in Munich with Meh­ta and in Lon­don with Elder. Recent com­mit­ments include Tos­ca for Welsh Natio­nal Ope­ra, Otel­lo in Bra­zil, Turan­dot for Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia, Leo­pold Halé­vy’s La Juive for Covent Gar­den, and Canio for Nether­lands Ope­ra, as well as concerts throu­ghout Europe.

Cheryl Barker
Cheryl Barker – Desdemona

Che­ryl Bar­ker stu­died in Mel­bourne with Dame Joan Ham­mond and in Lon­don with David Harper.

She appears regu­lar­ly with Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia, where her roles have inclu­ded Ned­da in I pagliac­ci, the Coun­tess in Le nozze di Figa­ro, Mimଠin La bohème, Vio­let­ta in La tra­via­ta, Don­na Elvi­ra in Don Gio­van­ni, Tatya­na in Eugene One­gin and the title roles in Mada­ma But­ter­fly, Tos­ca and Jenu­fa. She has also sung Vio­let­ta for Ope­ra Queens­land, and Mada­ma But­ter­fly and Vio­let­ta for BTR New Zea­land Opera.

Inter­na­tio­nal­ly, Che­ryl Bar­ker is par­ti­cu­lar­ly noted for her per­for­mances of Mada­ma But­ter­fly, sin­ging this role for English Natio­nal Ope­ra, De Vlaamse Ope­ra, Ham­burg State Ope­ra, Deutsche Oper, Ber­lin, Nether­lands Ope­ra and Hous­ton Grand Ope­ra for whom she has also per­for­med Sarah in the world pre­miere of Jake Heg­gie’s The End of the Affair. Other inter­na­tio­nal appea­rances include Jeni­fer (A Mid­sum­mer Mar­riage) for the Royal Ope­ra, Covent Gar­den, Tatya­na and Adi­na (L’e­li­sir d’a­more) for Scot­tish Ope­ra, Oksa­na (Christ­mas Eve), Forei­gn Prin­cess (Rusal­ka), Gover­ness (The Turn of the Screw), Muset­ta (La bohème), Don­na Elvi­ra, Tos­ca, Salome and Emi­lia Mar­ty (The Makro­pou­los Case) for English Natio­nal Ope­ra ; the title role in Maria Stuar­da for Rei­sO­per ; Vio­let­ta for Ham­burg State Ope­ra and the Deutsche Oper ; Suor Ange­li­ca, Gior­get­ta (Il Tabarro),Mimi, Des­de­mo­na (Otel­lo) and Liu (Turan­dot) for De Vlaamse Ope­ra and Katya Kaba­no­va for Welsh Natio­nal Ope­ra and in Geneva.

On the concert plat­form, Che­ryl Bar­ker has appea­red at many pres­ti­gious venues inclu­ding Lon­don’s Bar­bi­can, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Eli­za­beth Hall, Wig­more Hall, St John’s Smith Square, and with the Halle Orches­tra. She has sung in the Edin­burgh, Spo­le­to and Mel­bourne Festivals.

Recent and for­th­co­ming enga­ge­ments include the title role in Rusal­ka, all three sopra­no roles in Il Trit­ti­co, her role debut as Ara­bel­la as well as Des­de­mo­na and Emi­lia Mar­ty for Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia, concerts with the Syd­ney Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra and Miss Jes­sel (The Turn of the Screw) for English Natio­nal Ope­ra. As a result of a high­ly suc­cess­ful natio­nal tour for Musi­ca Viva in 2005 she will tour again for them in 2008.

Jacqueline Dark
Jacqueline Dark – Emilia

Jac­que­line Lisa Dark (also Jac­que­line Moran) was born in Bal­la­rat, Vic­to­ria and atten­ded the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bal­la­rat from 1986 to 1988, recei­ving a Bache­lor of Science (Phy­sics) and a Gra­duate Diplo­ma of Edu­ca­tion in 1989.

A mez­zo-sopra­no, Dark trai­ned at the Vic­to­rian Col­lege of the Arts from where she recei­ved first class honours in the Gra­duate Diplo­ma of Ope­ra 1995. Jac­que­line has per­for­med with Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia, Vic­to­rian State Ope­ra, was young artist for Ope­ra Queens­land in 2000, Vien­na State Ope­ra (roles of Gio­van­na (Rigo­let­to), Grim­gerde (Die Walkà¼re), Anni­na (La Tra­via­ta), Mer­cedes (Car­men), and Il Pas­tore (she­pherd) in (Tos­ca) – Wie­ner Staat­so­per in 2001).

Jac­que­line Dark per­for­med the roles of Sal­ly Lowe in the world pre­miere of Lin­dy and the title role in Iolanthe for Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia, and cove­red the role of Pearl in the world pre­miere of Richard Mil­ls” Sum­mer of the Seven­teenth Doll. She has also appea­red as a soloist with groups inclu­ding the Mel­bourne Cho­rale, the Aus­tra­lian Ope­ra and Bal­let Orches­tra (concert series), Orches­tra Vic­to­ria, The Aus­tra­lian Natio­nal Aca­de­my of Music, The Royal Phil­har­mo­nic Socie­ty and Queens­land Sym­pho­ny Orchestra.

Among Jac­que­li­ne’s awards and major prizes are a Green Room Award for her role of in Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia’s La Cene­ren­to­la (2004), an Over­seas Stu­dy Grant, Aus­tra­lian Eli­za­be­than Theatre Trust (2001), the Vien­na State Ope­ra Award (2000), 3rd place in the Metro­po­li­tan Ope­ra finals (1999), as well as a fina­list in McDo­nald’s Ope­ra­tic Aria (1999, 2000), Herald Sun Aria (1998, 2000), Natio­nal Lie­der­fest (2000), Covent Gar­den Natio­nal Ope­ra Stu­dio Scho­lar­ship (1998). She has won the Ring­wood Aria 1997, Gee­long Aria (1997), Flet­cher Jones Memo­rial Aria (1994), Shell Aria (1993), Vic­to­rian Theatre Guild Award (Per­for­mance of Dis­tinc­tion) (1989), Encore Award for Per­for­mance of Excel­lence (1986).

Kanen Breen
Kanen Breen – Casio

Kanen Breen is a gra­duate in dra­ma and dance, of DEAKIN UNIVERSITY, in 1994, being the top ran­king gra­dua­ting student and lea­ding him to be accep­ted as an Asso­ciate Mem­ber of the AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF EDUCATORS.

His ear­ly ope­ra­tic rôles inclu­ded Remen­da­do in EASTERN METROPOLITAN OPE­RA’s sea­son of CARMEN and Fer­ran­do in FRANKSTON ARTS CEN­TRE’s sea­son of the COSI FAN TUTTE as well as the title rôle in Antho­ny Crow­ley’s VINCENT-AN ACAPELLA OPERA. Of his per­for­mances in this rôle, THE AUSTRALIAN wrote, Kanen Breen’s power­ful por­trayal of the tor­men­ted artist pro­vides a cen­tral core around which all else radiates. His is a grip­ping and dra­ma­ti­cal­ly astute rea­ding with superb vocal impact. He sang the rôle of Alma­vi­va for OPERA AUS­TRA­LIA’s OZ OPERA tou­ring pro­duc­tion of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE during 1999 appea­red in the MELBOURNE FES­TI­VAL’s pro­duc­tion of Jona­than Mil­ls” THE GHOSTWIFE, per­for­mances which he repea­ted at the ADELAIDE FESTIVAL in 2000, at the 2001 SYDNEY FESTIVAL and in Lon­don, during 2002, at the BAR­BI­CAN’s BITE festival.

Kanen Breen joi­ned OPERA QUEENS­LAND’s YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAM in 2001 as part of which com­mit­ment he appea­red as Nadir in per­for­mances of THE PEARLFISHERS and Mono­sta­tos in THE MAGIC FLUTE. For OPERA QUEENSLAND, during 2002, he sang Rami­ro in CENERENTOLA and crea­ted the rôle of Rory in OPERA AUS­TRA­LIA’s world pre­miere pro­duc­tion of Gra­bows­ky’s LOVE IN THE AGE OF THERAPY in the 2002 MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL, and again, in the SYDNEY FESTIVAL sea­son in 2003. In June 2003, he made his inter­na­tio­nal debut in the rôle of Rodol­fo, in Baz Luhr­man’s Broad­way pro­duc­tion of Puc­ci­ni’s La Boheme in New York.

Kanen Breen has been a contrac­ted prin­ciple artist for OPERA AUSTRALIA since 2004. His first enga­ge­ments inclu­ded Camille in THE MERRY WIDOW and Nan­ki Poo in THE MIKADO and, during 2005, Truf­fal­di­no in THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES, Flor­ville in IL SIGNOR BRUSCHINO, Alfred in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Mono­sta­tos in THE MAGIC FLUTE and Ralph Racks­traw in HMS PINAFORE.

Roles during 2006 for OPERA AUSTRALIA inclu­ded Sel­lem in THE RAKE’S PROGRESS, Mar­co Pal­mie­ri in THE GONDOLIERS, Dr. Caius in FALSTAFF and Pong in TURANDOT and during 2007 he has appea­red as, Andres/Cochenille/Pittinaccio/Frantz/Nathanael in THE TALES OF HOFFMANN, Pirel­li in SWEENEY TODD, Alma­vi­va in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, Rinuc­cio in GIANNI SCHICCHI, made a return to Mar­co Pal­mie­ri in THE GONDOLIERS and sang Nadir in the com­pa­ny’s per­for­mance in the MYER MUSIC BOWL in Mel­bourne, of The Pearl­fi­shers. During 2007 he has also made his debut for VICTORIAN OPERA in its pre­miere sea­son of THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.

His recent concert enga­ge­ments have inclu­ded OPERA UNDER THE STARS for the BRISBANE FESTIVAL and per­for­mances of CARMINA BURANA for the BRISBANE RIVERFESTIVAL, and at the TOWNSVILLE CIVIC THEATRE, for OZ OPE­RA’s ope­ra concert at OLYMPIC PARK in Syd­ney and in OPERA AUS­TRA­LIA’s gala fare­well concert for Maes­tro Car­lo Felice Cilario.

Andrew Brunsdon
Andrew Brunsdon – Roderigo

Brilliant young hel­den­te­nor Andrew Bruns­don com­ple­ted his Gra­duate Diplo­ma in Ope­ra at the Syd­ney Conser­va­to­rium, with a high dis­tinc­tion in per­for­mance in 1996. As a bari­tone, he per­for­med the roles of Spea­ker and Second Armed Man with Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia’s OzO­pe­ra tour of The Magic Flute (1997) and Figa­ro in their tour of The Bar­ber of Seville (1998).

Other achie­ve­ments inclu­ded the roles of Paco for the Syd­ney Fes­ti­val’s pre­sen­ta­tion of Manuel de Fal­la’s La Vida Breve (1997), Eumee for Aus­tra­lia Ensem­ble’s pro­duc­tion of Pene­lope (1997), Cas­san­dro in the Syd­ney Conser­va­to­rium’s pro­duc­tion of La Fin­ta Sem­plice (1996), the bass role in both Haydn’s Crea­tion and Mozart’s Requiem with Willough­by Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra, the bass in Oli­vert to Cal­ve­ry by Maun­der and a solo reci­tal of Schu­bert’s Swa­nen­ge­sang.

Mr Bruns­don was also a regu­lar com­pe­ti­tor in various scho­lar­ship com­pe­ti­tions. In 1997 and 1998, he was named as a fina­list in the Covent Gar­den Scho­lar­ship com­pe­ti­tion. In 1996 he rea­ched the finals of the McDo­nald’s Aria Competition.

In 2000, Mr Bruns­don sang Maset­to in Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia’s Don Gio­van­ni for the Olym­pic Arts Fes­ti­val and per­for­med the role of Chris­tus in Willough­by Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra’s St. John’s Pas­sion. He then suc­cess­ful­ly made the tran­si­tion to the tenor register.

2001 enga­ge­ments inclu­ded the role of The Cele­brant in Bern­stein’s Mass for the Inter­var­si­ty Cho­ral Fes­ti­val and the Ade­laide Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra, the role of Sieg­mund in the Tiro­ler Fest­spiele pro­duc­tion of Die Walkà¼re in Aus­tria (which he repea­ted in 2004) and Antho­ny Hope in Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia’s new pro­duc­tion of Swee­ney Todd. His roles since then for Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia have inclu­ded Stre­phon in Iolanthe, Mer­cu­ry in Orpheus in the Under­world, Nar­ra­both in Salome, The Steers­man in The Flying Dutch­man and Tenor Soloist in Bee­tho­ven’s 9th Sym­pho­ny. For State Ope­ra of South Aus­tra­lia, he has sung Father Gren­ville in Dead Man Wal­king and Froh in Das Rhein­gold (recor­ded and sub­se­quent­ly relea­sed by Mel­ba Recordings).

In 2005, Andrew Bruns­don sang Alfred in Die Fle­der­maus, Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette and Ralph Racks­traw in HMS Pina­fore for Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia and Sieg­mund and the title role in Oedi­pus Rex for the Tiro­ler Fest­spiele. In 2006, he appea­red in La Tra­via­ta, The Magic Flute, The Gon­do­liers and The Pirates of Pen­zance — all for Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia — and appea­red as soloist with the Mel­bourne Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra. He retur­ned to OA in 2007 for prin­ci­pal roles in Pirates, Tannhäu­ser and A Street­car Named Desire. In 2008, Andrew Bruns­don will sing Rodri­go in Otel­lo for OA and appear in concert with the Queens­land Orchestra.

Jonathon Summers
Jonathan Summers – Iago

Jona­than Sum­mers was born in Aus­tra­lia. His reper­toire includes the title roles in Simone Boc­ca­ne­gra, Mac­beth, Fal­staff (Ver­di) and Woz­zeck (Berg), Amo­nas­ro in Aida, Iago in Otel­lo (Ver­di), Scar­pia in Tos­ca (Puc­ci­ni), Kur­we­nal in Tris­tan und Isolde and Amfor­tas in Par­si­fal (Wag­ner).

He has per­for­med at the ROH Covent Gar­den, the English Natio­nal Ope­ra, the Metro­po­li­tan Ope­ra, Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia, and in the ope­ra houses of Munich, Frank­furt, Kôln, Chi­ca­go, Venice, Flo­rence, Hong Kong, Tokyo and others. At the Israe­li Ope­ra he has per­for­med Ger­mont in La tra­via­ta, the title role in Rigo­let­to and Rena­to in Un bal­lo in masche­ra (Ver­di).

OA reper­toire : Ger­mont in La tra­via­ta (debut 1981), di Luna in Il tro­va­tore, Anckars­troem in Un bal­lo in masche­ra, Iago in Otel­lo, the four vil­lains in Les contes d’Hoff­mann, Michele in Il tabar­ro, Bal­strode in Peter Grimes, Alfio in Caval­le­ria rus­ti­ca­na, Tonio in Pagliac­ci, Scar­pia in Tos­ca, Wol­fram in Tannhäu­ser and the title roles in Nabuc­co, Fal­staff, Rigo­let­to, Simon Boc­ca­ne­gra, Woz­zeck, Gian­ni Schicchi.

Other Com­pa­nies : He was a mem­ber of the Royal Ope­ra House Covent Gar­den 1976–1986, and now appears as a regu­lar guest. He sings with all the other Bri­tish ope­ra com­pa­nies ; all major Euro­pean ope­ra houses ; and in San Die­go, Chi­ca­go, New York, Hous­ton, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Recent enga­ge­ments : Gepet­to in Jona­than Dove’s new Pinoc­chio (Ope­ra North) and Bar­na­ba : La Gio­con­da (Israel Ope­ra). Future enga­ge­ments : Iago (Ope­ra Aus­tra­lia, Melbourne)

Otello, Verdi

Kanen Breen playing Cassio
and Andrew Bruns­don playing Roderigo

Otello, Verdi

À propos : Fabien

Après avoir travaillé le chant au Centre d'Arts Polyphoniques de Paris, il entre en 1995 au Conservatoire de Gagny où il est l'élève d'Evelyne Razimowsky en classe de Chant et de Jean-Louis Calvani en classe d'Art Lyrique. Il poursuit ensuite son perfectionnement avec Florence Montana au Conservatoire de Vincennes, puis au Conservatoire de Musique de Nouvelle Calédonie.

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