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Susannah is an opera in two acts by American composer Carlisle Floyd who adapted the story from the apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders.  It is one of the most widely performed American operas and Opera New England is delighted to be able to bring it to an Australian audience with our very talented cast.
The story focuses on 19-year-old Susannah Polk, an innocent girl who is targeted as a sinner in the small mountain town of New Hope Valley in the Southern American state of Tennessee. It has been speculated that the opera was inspired by McCarthyism, a period of intense fear of communism in America during the early 1950s. The opera also contains many feminist themes that had not been widely explored in popular culture at the time of the opera’s writing.  The opera has long been regarded as having some of the most glorious themes in the opera repertoire with a lush orchestral soundscape.  This is the largest chorus Opera New England has assembled and audiences will be delighted by the full choral sound produced.

Performances –  January 19th, 20th, 21st @ 7:30pm and Sun 22nd at  2:30pm

Cast
Susannah Polk Imogen – Faith Malfitano (Jan 19 & 21)
Jessie Wilson (Jan 20 & 22)
Olin Blitch Alex Sefton (Jan 19 & 21)
Timothy Newton (Jan 20 & 22)
Sam Polk Joshua Oxley
Little Bat McLean Christopher Bryg
Elder McLean Tristan Entwistle
Mrs McLean Barbara Jin
Elder Gleaton Jonathan Borg
Mrs Gleaton Caroline King
Elder Hayes Evan Kirby
Mrs Hayes Rachel Pines
Elder Ott Jeremy Dubé
Mrs Ott Victoria Hodgkinson
Old Susannah Deborah Hunter
Ensemble Katherine Allen, Elizabeth Cooper, Michaella Edelstein, Rebecca Hart, Michael Kallidis, Samanta Lestavel, Ellen McNeil, Daniel Ott, Olivia Oxley, Michael Padgett, Deepka Ratra, Elias Wilson.

Opera New England provides singers who may be on the verge of a professional career the opportunity to rehearse and perform fully staged opera over four public performances.  Singers are required to present fully prepared for their role for a period of intense rehearsal in Armidale and are responsible for their travel costs to and from Armidale.  Singers are not paid a fee however they are provided with a full living away from home package including full board including meals and lodging during the rehearsal and performance period.

An opera in English – Benjamin Britten (1960)
I believe passionately in the intelligibility of the words – opera being a fusion of music, acting, painting and poetry, of which the last named demands to be understood.  Because I do not speak Italian, it was not until I heard Mozart and Verdi opera sung in English that I realised to the full their fabulous subtlety, wit and dramatic aptitude.  I always encourage my works to be sung in the vernacular – even pieces like the Spring Symphony and the Nocturne, which contain some of the greatest English poetry.  Of course something is lost, but not a great deal when you substitute the gibberish which can result from singers using languages they do not understand and cannot pronounce.

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2 thoughts on “HOME

  1. Roslyn Tuxworth says:

    I am wanting to book tickets for my parents as a Christmas gift. Do you have wheelchair access? Mum is not actually in a wheelchair, but uses a walker. Thank you

    • balcombe2012 says:

      Yes we do have wheelchair access and we have wheelchair seating. If you would like to book a wheelchair seat you will see a specific wheelchair seat that you can select from the options in the theatre. They are on the sides in the first row. You don’t need to have a wheelchair as these seats can be placed or removed. Access to the venue is from the right side of the building (facing the Hoskin’s Centre). There is a side door with no steps. This door is often locked but just come in and ask one of the front of house helpers and they will open it for you. Otherwise it is a small number of steps into the building.
      Many thanks

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