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24 December, 2009

Australia's national "opera company". Is it a joke?

Dear Colleagues,

At last there is a ray of hope from our national opera company with the last minute engagement of Ms Kizart to sing the role of Tosca following the withdrawal of Cheryl Barker. Ms Kizart’s YouTube clip of ‘Tu che le vanita’ from Don Carlos is very impressive and she should make a fine Tosca in this new, updated production. John Wegner as Scarpia and Rosario La Spina as Cavaradossi should combine to make a marvellous first cast.

There seems to have been nothing but bad news from the national company in recent months and now, due to the expense of building the new Benedict Andrews production and the ‘financial risk’ involved, the company has regretfully decided to re-present the Neil Armfield production instead this season.

Lisa Gasteen, who was billed to sing Fanciulla del West, has also unfortunately withdrawn, as she did from last season’s Fidelio.

The impeccable Emma Matthews was unwell for much of the Sydney season of Montagues and Capulets but we look forward to hearing her again in Candide in the Parks Concert in January with David Hobson who is finally making a welcomed return to opera in Sydney with the national company. NOT TO BE MISSED! I hope it is televised.

Wishing all readers a safe and sound holiday season,

Andrew Byrne ..

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