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NEWS

2023 Roster

The Bendigo Ring Cycle - March/April 2023

Maria Stuarda - September 2023

Recent Awards

Winner of Outstanding Director - Operachaser Awards for Die Walküre

Winner of Best Production - Operachaser Awards for Die Walküre

Winner of Greenroom Award for Outstanding Ensemble for Die Walküre

Winner of Greenroom Award for Best Production - Das Rheingold

 

The reviews for The  Bendigo Ring Cycle are in and it has been a resounding success.

“The tetralogy unfolded steadily, naturally and almost as a single paragraph.”

“The two pillars of this Ring were its conductor, Anthony Negus and director Suzanne Chaundy. Together they fused what we heard and what we saw into something compelling and memorable.”

“Chaundy’s production brought the story alive … Almost everything specified in the score was there to see or sense. In addition, Chaundy’s adroit deployment of characters emphasized, as it should, the foibles of human nature and the stirring of inner emotions that are the bedrock of the Ring.”

“This … in a profound sense demonstrates how Wagner can focus the mind and the heart in equal measure. For all those who made the pilgrimage, the Bendigo Ring was something special that should live long in the memory. It certainly will in mine.”

(Michael Shmith - OPERA, June 2023)

https://bachtrack.com/review-rheingold-negus-chaundy-melbourne-opera-bendigo-march-2023

Four stars

https://bachtrack.com/review-walkure-negus-chaundy-melbourne-opera-bendigo-march-2023

Five stars

https://bachtrack.com/review-siegfried-negus-chaundy-melbourne-opera-bendigo-march-2023

Five stars

https://bachtrack.com/review-gotterdammerung-negus-chaundy-melbourne-opera-bendigo-april-2023

Five stars

Götterdämmerung triumphantly crowns the all-Australian Bendigo Ring
"In this culminating chapter of Melbourne Opera’s Ring Cycle in Bendigo, Suzanne Chaundy’s direction makes crystal clear the intricacies of the betrayals and delusions that bring about this Twilight of the Gods, in consort with the excellent singing and acting of the all-Australian cast." (Sandra Bowdler - BACHTRACK)
https://artsreview.com.au/melbourne-opera-das-rheingold-die-walkure-kicks-off-bendigo-ring-cycle/
https://artsreview.com.au/melbourne-opera-siegfried-and-gotterdammerung-continues-bendigo-ring-cycle/

“Like Berlin’s much loved, more than 30-year spanning and now retired Deutsche Oper Ring directed by Götz Friedrich and played out through a tunnel evoking a torus, or donut ring, and the more recent Metropolitan Opera Ring utilising a grinding levered machine throughout and directed by Robert Lepage, Chaundy’s concept rests upon an environment that squarely supports clear, character-focused storytelling. But Chaundy digs further at the roots. 

That it is accomplished with eye-catching minimalism and aesthetic strength is a credit to her surrounding creatives – Andrew Bailey’s inspired and thoughtfully scaled sets, Harriet Oxley’s relatable, character-distinctive costumes and Rob Sowinski’s moodily painted award winning lighting combine in stage pictures of meaningful, often piercing beauty. 

A giant stage-width drawbridge with a great circular cut-out demarcating worlds above,  below and viewed from – and likely including worlds in between when the epic continues next weekend with Siegfried and Götterdämmerung – makes an impressive and memorable mark. Through every scene change as it is gently manoeuvred into place it makes a believable space-creating device to serve the story’s various spheres of life.”

Wagner’s fantastical world of gods, demigods, giants, dwarfs, nymphs and mortals, vying for survival in a universe decaying from corruptive forces and conflicts between love and greed is timeless in its scope. Chaundy identifies those aspects marvellously. 

The work’s embedded generational shifts present a complex expanse to navigate but Chaundy provides Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, with a deep understanding of the characters and insight into the task of storytelling."

 (Paul Selar – AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW)

https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/arts-update/101-arts-update/10205-das-rheingold-and-die-walkuere-wagner-s-ring-begins-in-bendigo-by-peter-rose

https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/arts-update/101-arts-update/10219-siegfried-and-goetterdaemmerung-a-triumphant-end-to-the-bendigo-ring-by-peter-rose

“Suzanne Chaundy’s production is a triumph of lucidity, precision, and common sense. Nothing is extraneous or puerile; Chaundy avoids the extravagances that have diminished many Rings.  If something moves or lights up, there is a reason – not a directorial whim.”

“My colleague Michael Shmith, reviewing it for ABR, wrote:

In the event, the result, in visual and sonic terms, as a faithful realisation of Wagner’s vision of Gesamtkunstwerk: to meld music, text, and production values into a seamless entity … It is a hard opera to bring off … Instead, this was one of those rare nights when everything seemed right with the world. This triumphant performance must be regarded as a glory for Melbourne Opera.”

 

“here is a remarkable bond between singers, conductor, and director. In their daring, their passion, their intensity, some of these performances seem to transcend the limitations of conventional opera. It is a measure of what a true ensemble company – working together off and on for a number of years – can achieve.”

Hard it is to recall a more impassioned account of this scene, which can pass unnoticed in lesser hands. Humble, not holding back, brought out the fiery best in Halloran. This was grand singing and acting that shook the house – unforgettable theatre that once again, as so often in this production, seemed to transcend the form.

 

"let’s congratulate Melbourne Opera for what it has achieved – against the odds – and hope that it will revive this production in a few years’ time. Vocally and conceptually, it surely ranks as the finest modern Ring seen in Australia."

(Peter Rose - ABR)

https://limelightmagazine.com.au/reviews/das-rheingold-melbourne-opera-bendigo/

https://limelightmagazine.com.au/reviews/die-walkure-melbourne-opera-bendigo-ring/

https://limelightmagazine.com.au/reviews/siegfried-melbourne-opera-bendigo-ring/

https://deborahjones.me/2023/04/08/wagners-ring-melbourne-opera-march-24-april-2-2023/

 

“Chaundy’s careful, understated approach bore fruit time and again in her direction of singers…. The stunning reveal of Brünnhilde and Gunther when Brünnilde is forced to be his bride, the large projection of Erda’s face on her appearances and Chaundy’s use of dancers on sway poles to accompany scenes with the Rhinemaidens and Valkyrie were inspired” ….”MO has delivered an elegant, coherent and engrossing Ring with a wealth of fine singing and playing.” 

(Deborah Jones - LIMELIGHT)

https://classicmelbourne.com.au/melbourne-opera-das-rheingold-2/

https://classicmelbourne.com.au/melbourne-opera-die-walkure-2/

https://classicmelbourne.com.au/melbourne-opera-siegfried/

https://classicmelbourne.com.au/melbourne-opera-gotterdammerung/

 

“After re-mounting the first two operas of Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen with notable success, Melbourne Opera’s ambitious project of presenting all four operas in one season has taken a giant leap forward with Siegfried.”

 

"The prolonged standing ovation that greeted singers, conductor, orchestra, and creative team at the end of Götterdämmerung was as much an acknowledgment of what Melbourne Opera had achieved over the four days of Cycle 1 as for what was an intensely moving culmination of Wagner’s final work in his Der Ring des Nibelungen."

(Heather Leviston – CLASSIC MELBOURNE)

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