top of page

up next:

This is our new Up Next Project Page where we share the context and background of our upcoming work.

Every project is informed and shaped by what has gone before - we're building on more than a decade of focused expertise and experience, measured risk-taking, the bold, intrepid spirit of our team, and commitment to our place, time and stories. 

 

We are almost ready to announce details and booking for our August - October projects:

sign up for announcements, follow us on social media or come back soon!

JUNE 26-28
WINDOW ON THE WORKINGS...

You're welcome to attend our 3-session ARIA INTENSIVE where singers who are preparing standard repertoire for arias and competitions are helped with various aspects of performance and presentation - with the goal of landing a job or prize in a very competitive 21st century professional environment!

From Monday June 26 to Wednesday June 28, you are welcome to slip in and out for a birds eye view of the lifelong quest of an opera singer for expert feedback, guidance and encouragement. 

Led by Artistic Director Linda Thompson, the demonstration of giving and receiving constructive advice to help reach a higher level of performance never fails to be fascinating, insightful and fun!  

If you have questions or need more info.; please contact e.burke@acoco.org.au

ACOCo at WORK

M    6pm - 9pm JUNE 26 

T     3pm - 9pm JUNE 27

W   6pm - 9pm JUNE 28 

110 GREY STREET, EAST MELBOURNE

(No charge / Donation appreciated)

90 Minutes and Two Martinis Later

An interactive autobiographical cabaret-opera, written and performed by US-based baritone, HADLEIGH ADAMS  Performance Dates TBA (Soon...)

From Carnegie Hall to Melbourne, ACOCo presents a rare opportunity for Australian audiences to experience and engage with this incredible artist, and his journey to the world stage.

Hadleigh Adams was in our very first intake of young artists in 2009 -  and the first recipient of our Gertrude Johnson Fellowship.  As an emerging artist, Hadleigh performed in multiple roles with ACOCo, including singing Papageno to Stacey Alleaume's Papagena in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Peter in HANSEL AND GRETEL, and in THE OLD MAN AND THE THIEF. Our second opera festival in Nagambie saw Hadleigh as a Guest Artist in 2016 performing in the Gala, and in the role of Sam in our award-winning production of TROUBLE IN TAHITI - directed by another ACOCo success story, stage director Greg Eldridge. Hadleigh was also featured in our 2020 online International Gala-at-Home.

From our 2016 Opera Festival, the clip below features Desiree Frahn (SA), Patrick MacDevitt (USA), Raphael Wong (VIC) with NZ born, USA based baritone Hadleigh Adams. Chamber Orchestra conducted by Matthew Toogood.

OCTOBER 2023 - details TBC

Australian Premiere: a contemporary - film - live performance opera

Linda Thompson (Artistic Director):

I have long been fascinated by the potential of film/video to meld with live operatic performance. 

 

In 2015 ACOCo started with abstract video projections led by award-winning designer/architect, Dr Peter Corrigan AM (1941-2016) for our production of Curlew River in 2015.   Peter took footage of abstract shapes and movement to bring the ideas, emotions, sunken orchestra, pillars and performers together, projecting onto every surface. The imagery created a sense of unsteady ground - an uncertain and ethereal landscape. It was a stunning design matched by a powerful production - with a contemporary message about difference, homelessness and tourism-worship that has not dated almost ten years later.  For our French mezzo soprano Agathe de Courcy, it was her first role sung in English, featured here with stalwart Adrian McEniery as the Ferryman.

leading the way - Flashback Video

The Handmaid's Tale - which won outstanding production, director and supporting artist by an independent company in 2018 - was our largest and most challenging works to stage to date.

 

Sir Poul Ruder's score is cinematic and vast - requiring a full orchestra - all up there were more than 100 artists and musicians involved in our Australian Premiere in 2019. Paul Bentley's libretto, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, was complex, with scenes veering backwards and forwards in time, and all based in memory. 

 

Working with award-winning Melbourne filmmaker Greta Nash, we spent a weekend filming scenes showing Offred's family life and traumatic events in black and white film, which was then interspersed with live staging to both clarify and enhance the narrative. I anticipated not everyone who attended had read the book, and wanted to create a connection to understanding using a medium that made the backstory clear, and also added a device of familiarity to connect with the new musical/theatrical material. The score, despite having some exceptionally moving and melodic moments, was not always 'pretty' - which is ultimately what made the opera searingly powerful and terrifying.

 

The video tool meant that we also provided a level of comfort and visual focus for an audience of people who were drawn to the opera because of the story.  We were fortunate to be joined at the last minute by US mezzo Sarah Heltzel who stepped in after an artist withdrawal - Sarah didn't just save the day as a consummate singing-actor and unanticipated cast replacement, she was a simply extraordinary Offred.

bottom of page