Anything goes at Opera Australia? Rabbits!

Anything goes at Opera Australia? Rabbits!


norman lebrecht

August 11, 2014

Lyndon Terracini has announced his new season and it’s not a bad mix.

The veteran Elijah Moshinsky will return after a long absence to direct Verdi’s Don Carlos, seldom seen down under. David McVicar is back with a new Marriage of Figaro and his Covent Garden production of Gounod’s Faust, starring hot tenor Michael Fabiano. Aida will be done on the outdoor Sydney Harbour stage. All good stuff.

The eyebrows rise a little at Terracini’s operatic staging of Cole Porter’s musical Anything Goes, and a little higher at a brave new opera by Kate Miller-Heidke, called The Rabbits. Ms Miller Heidke, who will appear in her own opera, is mostly a pop singer. Rabbits belong mostly in Bugs Bunny.

What’s up, Doc?




  • Mikey says:

    I imagine cunning little vixens also belong in cartoons?
    why not give it a chance before taking pot shots at it?
    it might be an opera aimed at children.
    or it could actually be something quite experimental and innovative.
    or, as you imply, it might be pop dreck.

    but at least, let’s wait until we know more before stopping to name calling?

  • Natalie Peluso says:

    Kate Miller-Heidke is an intelligent and talented woman with operatic training. Yes she may be known more for her non-operatic music (and it’s certainly not pop) but I’ve worked with her enough to know she’s more than capable of singing on an opera stage. (Oh, she already has… with English National Opera. Oh, and she’s at the MET too later this year, if it’s still alive and kicking.) So chances are she’ll have written something singable and melodic for a start, which is always good for a new opera. I think she’ll be a breath of fresh air.

  • Nic says:

    “Ms Miller-Heidke” is actually classically trained and in the past has performed with Opera Queensland, which you could, of course, have known if you’d done a quick search. Just because she mostly sings pop these days doesn’t mean she can’t do anything else.

    And it’s hardly appropriate to be making judgements about artworks based solely on their titles.

  • Lucy Shorrocks says:

    I also understand Kate Miller-Heidke is classically trained and was a developing artist at Opera Queensland. I guess at that point she was mostly an opera singer who moved into pop.

    I’m sure the work will speak for itself.

  • Nick says:

    That has to be a cue of a bit of Barbiere à la Hanna Barbera – one of their best.

  • JB (Melbourne) says:

    I find “Anything Goes” more distressing than the new Miller-Heidke piece. Of the 6 operas programmed for Melbourne in 2015, one was presented here by OA two years ago (Butterfly), one was presented by Victorian Opera two years ago (Figaro), and one is a musical. While its well-known the company is not in the best shape financially, I think they’d do well to being Australian audiences “Two Boys” or some other fresh and exciting new repertoire instead of a 2-3 year cycle of the usual suspects.