Canberra Opera’s Night of Nights – Icon Water Gala

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IN what the Canberra Symphony Orchestra is billing as “Opera’s Night of Nights”, rising stars, tenor James Egglestone and soprano Olivia Cranwell, join the orchestra next week to perform a program of opera selections in the newly-named Icon Water Gala.

Egglestone onstage In The Pearlfishers
Egglestone onstage In The Pearlfishers

Supported by Icon Water, the Gala has sold-out every performance for the past seven years, and this concert, themed “Puccini” can hardly fail to do the same.

Chief conductor and artistic director Nicholas Milton attributes the popularity of the annual event to Canberrans’ love of opera, and the world-class soloists he’s been able to attract to Canberra for the event.

“Each year audiences know to expect a real treat from the Gala, and this year is no different as we’re joined by two miraculous performers…I’m certain audiences will be enamoured.”

Soprano Olivia Cranwell, photo  Andrew Campbell
Soprano Olivia Cranwell, photo Andrew Campbell

They should be. Egglestone is a dual Helpmann Award-winner James and a graduate of both the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melba Conservatorium of Music. He has sung Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly” and Lysander in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Opera Australia.

Cranwell is a graduate of the Master of Music (Opera Performance) program run by Victorian Opera and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the Victorian College of the Arts and holds a BA from the University of Melbourne. She performed as soloist in Victorian Opera’s Gala Concerts in 2012 and 2013 and as Rapunzel in “Into the Woods” for the same company. This year she plays Hansel and Mother/Witch/Sand Fairy for Opera Australia’s Schools Tour of “Hansel and Gretel”.

The program is a crowd-pleaser, with Puccini’s greatest hits from “La Bohème”, “Tosca” and “Madama Butterfly”.

“I’m thrilled to be singing such emotive music filled with passion and power. It really tests you emotionally and vocally as it requires all of you” Egglestone says.

CSO’s Icon Water Gala (formerly ACTEW Grand Gala) at Llewellyn Hall, ANU Saturday, July 4, 7.30pm, bookings to for more information.

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