The Classics: Opera

Opera in the Park

06 February 2016 - 06 February 2016

Next upcoming date: 7:30 PM - 9:30PM, 6 February 2016

Send off summer in style with a series of free outdoor concerts fit for cultural royalty. Held Saturdays throughout February, and featuring some of Australia’s most acclaimed music and vocal artists, the series opens with Opera in the Park in Prahran’s unique Victoria Gardens.

Enjoy Mozart’s Magic by Moonlight, featuring extracts from Mozart’s operas Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Cosi Fan TutteDon Giovanni and more, performed by a number of Australia’s finest opera singers.

A Note from Artistic Director Suzanne Chaundy 

Born in 1756 in Salzburg and dead by 1791, it is almost impossible to believe that Mozart created over 600 works in just 35 years. His operas endure as amongst the greatest of all time. To celebrate his genius, we are thrilled to present you with some of the finest moments from three of his most loved and popular operas: Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte and Don Giovanni; along with our artists’ favourite Mozart arias. In this program, Stonnington will be treated to Melbourne’s own leading soprano Antoinette Halloran, the brilliant Andrew Jones - fresh from his recent Mozart triumphs with Opera Australia, the hugely talented bass David Hibbard and Australian-born international mezzo-soprano Joslyn Rechter.  We also welcome the wonderfully talented young tenor Michael Petrucelli as our “young artist” in 2016.  Our chamber orchestra will play under the baton of the multi-talented Maestro Raymond Lawrence. Pour a glass of something nice, and be transported by the magic of Mozart by moonlight.


Antoinette-Halloran     Soprano                    Antoinette Halloran

Antoinette Halloran is one of Australia’s most accomplished and best-loved sopranos.  She performs regularly with all the major Australasian opera companies and symphony orchestras and appears frequently on national television and radio.

In 2015, Antoinette sang the title role in Madama Butterfly for Opera Australia and Mrs Lovett in a new production of Sweeney Todd for Victorian Opera.  She also appeared as soloist with the Sydney, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.  2016 sees her debut as Fata Morgana in The Love for Three Oranges with Opera Australia; she also sings Mrs Lovett in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for New Zealand Opera and leads a world-premiere cast in Banquet of Secrets for Victorian Opera.
Joslyn-Rechter     Mezzo Soprano        Joslyn Rechter  

Joslyn Rechter has been a contracted artist at Opera Australia and, in Germany, at the state operas in Cologne and currently, in Wuppertaler. Her hundreds of performances in leading mezzo-soprano roles include Cherubino in The Marriage Of Figaro, Idamante in Idomeneo,  the title roles of Handel’s Orlando and Siroe, Idamante in Idomeneo, Penelope in Monteverdi’s The Return Of Ullises, Tisbe in Cenerentola, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Dulcinée in Don Quichotte, the Valkeries in Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas and the premieres of many contemporary European operas. She has given concerts with the Tasmanian Symphony,  Estonian National Orchestra and the Cologne Philharmonic.
Andrew-Jones     Baritone                     Andrew Jones  

Andrew Jones attended the Victorian College of the Arts and has since built up an impressive list of credits with Australia’s leading performing organisations.

Most recently, he has starred as Papageno in Opera Australia’s new production of The Magic Flute in Sydney and Melbourne; he also sang Zurga in The Pearlfishers, Escamillo in Carmen and Ford in Falstaff for the national company and appeared as soloist with Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. 

2015 engagements included the title role in Le nozze di Figaro and Marcello in La bohème for Opera Australia. In 2016, he sings Marcello for Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne and Guglielmo in a new production of Cosi fan tutte.
David-Hibbard     Bass                           David Hibbard  

David Hibbard has been performing throughout Australia and the world for over thirty years. During this time he has had the pleasure of working with some great conductors such as Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, Alberto Erede, and some legendary singers, including Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Peter Pears, Heather Harper and Renata Scotto.

He has performed a large variety of music ranging from Monteverdi through to Jake Heggie. His favourite roles to perform are Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Padre Guardiano (La Forza del Destino), Sarastro (Zauberflöte) and Rocco (Fidelio). This year, he will perform Don Basilio with Opera Queensland. This concert marks his debut with Melbourne Opera.

Michael-Petruccelli     Tenor                          Michael Petruccelli

Michael has recently completed a Master of Music (Opera Performance) at the University of Melbourne whilst working as a developing artist with Victorian Opera.  He has performed the roles of Giuseppe in La Traviata, the Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel, and the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Opera Land. In the 2014 Melbourne Opera Bel Canto Masterclass, conducted by Maestro Richard Bonynge, he was awarded the Richard Bonynge Study Scholarship. In 2016, Michael has been engaged by Victorian Opera to perform Arturo, in Lucia di Lammermoor and Beppe in Pagliacci and will make his debut for Opera Australia performing Stephen Goldring in Sydney Opera House, The Opera in Sydney.  
Mairi-Nicolson     Host                            Mairi Nicolson

Mairi Nicolson has worked for both the ABC and the BBC for more than 30 years, most recently for ABC Classic FM and Radio National as a broadcaster and arts journalist. She is currently the producer and presenter of Afternoons on ABC Classic FM.

Mairi also hosts ABC Classic FM’s popular Opera Show and live broadcasts from Melbourne, and coaches singers and musicians in Media and Communications skills.


Suzanne-Chaundy     Artistic Director          Suzanne Chaundy

Trained at NIDA as a director, Suzanne’s career has spanned opera, text-based theatre and outdoor spectacle. Her opera direction credits include The Marriage of Figaro, Don Pasquale, La Boheme, Werther, Cosi fan tutte, La Traviata, Der Freischütz, Maria Stuarda and The Abduction from the Seraglio. Recent theatre successes include In Between Two for the 2016 Sydney Festival, and Beyond The Neck & The Maids. Suzanne directed The field, the spheres & flight for Australia’s internationally renowned outdoor performance troupe Strange Fruit. Her productions have been performed in over 300 international festivals and events in more than 40 different countries.

Music Director & Conductor        Raymond Lawrence  

Raymond graduated from Queensland Conservatorium of Music where he studied composition under Australian composer Gerard Brophy. Following his studies, he joined Opera Queensland's Young Artist Program as a repetiteur where he was also Music Director for their Moving Opera! Program and the company's touring schools production of Hansel and Gretel.

In 2011, Raymond relocated to Melbourne to take up the position of Head of Music and Chorus Master for Melbourne Opera. Raymond has also conducted performances of The Merry Widow, MO Verdi Gala, La Traviata, The Pearl Fishers and The Barber of Seville for Melbourne Opera. Since 2014, Raymond has been Musical Director of Opera Australia's Victorian Schools Tour.

Stage Designer          Christina Logan-Bell

Lighting Designer       Lucy Birkinshaw – Filament Design  


Orchestra Manager
  Christopher Raduly
Orchestra Leader 
Violin 1
  Ben Spiers
Violin 2         Felicite Heine
Viola         Deborah Wirsu
Bass     Louis Stevens
Flute   Vicki Stanko
Oboe       Andrew Jacobs
Clarinet 1     Kelli White  
Clarinet 2      Lisa Clarke  
Bassoon 1     Glen Taylor  
Bassoon 2      Sally Wickes  
Horn    Phoebe Smithies  
Hosted and organised by the City of Stonnington

Event Details

Victoria Gardens, Prahran VIC

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8290 1333


Free community event

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