Opera

We launch our ‘Friends of the Opera’ scheme

11 Apr
by Into the Shimmer Heat, posted in Culture Australia, News, Opera   |  No Comments

become a friendRecently, we offered an opportunity for a lucky subscriber to win free tickets to see ‘…into the Shimmer Heat’ our dazzling new chamber opera in development, premièring in Perth, Western Australia, later this year. Many people subscribed to this blog and we thank you for keeping in touch with our blog posts by email.

We’ve set up a new page called ‘Become a friend’ which describes the many benefits becoming a friend can bring and you can go straight to the page here.

In order to become a friend, you have to send an email. We hope that you do as you will get a lot more than just having our blog posts drop into your in box.

David Pye, Phil Thomson and Lee Buddle

Sara Macliver shines in world premiere

10 Mar
by Into the Shimmer Heat, posted in Culture Australia, Music, Opera   |  No Comments

David Pye of the Nova Ensemble writes:

I was fortunate to be at the world premiere of Iain Grandage’s new song cycle – Life Stories – during the recent Perth International Arts Festival. It’s a significant addition to the repertoire, and Sara’s performance was immaculate.

sara macliver

Sara Macliver

Neville Cohn’s review in the West Australian is here

Sara’s understanding of music ranging from the baroque to contemporary is unparalleled in Perth – what an intelligent singer she is! I can’t wait to work with her in Nova Ensemble’s new opera into the SHIMMER HEAT in October at the new WA State Theatre Centre.

Puppets in Opera

16 Feb
by Into the Shimmer Heat, posted in Design, Opera, Puppetry, Theatre   |  No Comments

‘Into the Shimmer Heat’ isn’t the first opera that features puppets and puppetry.

Puppets have been used in Opera since the first recorded instance in Venice in 1679.

More recently the film director Antony Minghella worked with the UK’s Blind Summit Theatre to include puppetry in Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ for the English National Opera

Improbable Theatre‘s Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott used puppetry with their production of Phllip Glass’s all-Sanskrit opera for the New York Met about Gandhi’s early life, Satyagraha. Crouch and McDermott, better known as the guys behind  Shockheaded Peter made some extraordinary images using puppetry

satyagraha by the New York Metropolitan Opera

Satygraha for the Metropolitan Opera

The production of ‘Into the Shimmer Heat’ carries on this great tradition by bringing two of the finest puppet artists in Perth, Jo Foley and Ian Tregonning to work together to create moments of extraordinary puppetry for this chamber opera.

A camel is created and animated out of the wreckage of a hot air balloon to carry the mute girl into the shimmering heat of the outback.

opera camel

There are scale changes to show distance and insignificance in the face of the enormous Australian landscape

small opera puppets

Of course with two highly talented puppeteers and theatre makers on the creative team, this production will be a visual feast as well as an aural experience.

5 Must-See Shows in Perth in 2011

03 Jan
by Into the Shimmer Heat, posted in Culture Australia, Dance, Opera, Puppetry, Theatre   |  No Comments

If you’re into locally created original theatre and live performance, and you live in or visit Perth, Western Australia, here are my top 5 must see shows this year…

FEBRUARY: Waltzing the WilarraThu 3 Feb – Sun 6 Mar 2011
Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company (Australia)
By David Milroy
A teaming of two of Australia’s leading Indigenous theatre makers, David Milroy (Windmill Baby) and Wesley Enoch (The Sapphires), Waltzing the Wilarra is an original music theatre work featuring an all-star Indigenous cast.
MARCH: Tim Minchin vs The West Australian Symphony Orchestra – Fr1 4 Mar 2011  (Sold Out) – Sat 5 Mar 2011
Comedy rock superstar, Tim Minchin, is back on the road with his biggest live show ever. This show includes brand new songs as well as those much loved Minchin classics, but this time, as you’ve never heard them before – with the 55 piece West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
JUNE: Rising Water25th Jun 2011 – 17th Jul 2011
Black  Swan State Theatre Company
By Tim Winton
Full of the compassion and larrikin humour that are the trademark of Winton’s work, chronicling the lives of outsiders and fringe-dwellers in his unmistakably Western Australian voice
Into the Shimmer Heat
OCTOBER: Into the Shimmer Heat – October 8 – 22, 2011
Nova Ensemble
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc6YZJaamKU]
written and directed by Phil Thomson
DECEMBER: EARTH – December 1-11 2011
Resulting from a year-long process with the finest performing talent under 25 years old in Western Australia, EARTH is a performance that will speak with a contemporary and edgy youth voice. EARTH marks the first in the three year trilogy of originally devised youth theatre ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’

Baritone Robert Hofmann

16 Dec
by Into the Shimmer Heat, posted in Opera   |  No Comments

Robert Hofmann

Over two metres tall, Robert has an imposing stage presence perfect for his role as the powerful Explorer.

Robert has a Diploma of Opera from Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Bachelor of Music Education from University of Western Australia.

a fine comic touch, allied with a resonant voice
[Opera Britannia]

For the West Australian Opera his roles include Larkens/Billy in The Girl of the Golden West, Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love, Police Officer in The Barber of Seville, John Styx in Orpheus in the Underworld, High Priest of Baal in Nabucco, The Bonze and Imperial Commissioner in Madam Butterfly, Old Hebrew in Samson and Delilah, Judge/Tzar Ivan in Candide, Dottore Grenville and Commissionario in La Traviata, 2nd Armed Man in The Magic Flute.,  Hobson in Peter Grimes and Koko in The Mikado.

For other companies roles include Apprentice in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg for Opera Australia, Bobby in Mahagonny Songspiel (UWA), Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Chaplain in Dialogue of the Carmelites and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas (Sydney Conservatorium,) Tamino in The Magic Flute (Pacific Opera, Sydney), J. Strauss II in The Great Waltz (Rockdale Opera, Sydney)

Robert’s appearances as a concert soloist include Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B minor, Vaughan William’s Five Mystical Songs and Messiah for St Georges Cathedral; Carmina Burana for UWA Music and Collegium Symphonic Chorus; Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Rossini’s Messe Solennelle for Sydney Conservatorium; Berlioz’s The Childhood of Christ, Bach’s Mass in B minor, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation, Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio for UWA Choral Society. Robert is a versatile singer who also sings musical theatre numbers and enjoys crossing over to the great popular standards of the 20th Century.

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