ENGLISH ECCENTRICS Comes to Victorian Opera This July

Performances run 4-6 July 2024.

By: Jun. 13, 2024
ENGLISH ECCENTRICS Comes to Victorian Opera This July
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Victorian Opera will present their latest production, English Eccentrics as part of the ongoing VO Emerges series this July, shining the spotlight on our rising stars as they take to the stage in the lively 1964 chamber opera written by esteemed Australian composer, Malcolm Williamson AO CBE.

Promising a vibrant collision of English wit and Australian larrikinism, English Eccentrics presents a whimsical glimpse into the eccentricities of thirty-nine eccentrics characters from English society. With a revolving door of aristocrats, tradesmen, maids and clergy, each character's quirks are laid bare, immersing you in a world that is joyous, heartfelt, and utterly zany.

Directed by artistic director Stuart Maunder, the performance is the third instalment in Victorian Opera’s VO Emerges series - a program launched in 2022 to champion rising stars and foster new talent. VO Emerges provides a platform for aspiring talents, offering the invaluable chance to contribute to Victorian Opera's mainstage productions while collaborating closely with industry experts providing learning pathways through mentoring, training, and development. Building upon the success of past editions, including acclaimed productions Il Mago Di Oz (2022) and Cheremushki (2023), VO Emerges continues to shape the future of the art form with unparalleled dedication and excellence.

Stuart Maunder said “English Eccentrics is an opera that showcases Malcolm Williamson’s AO CBE considerable wit and versatility, from joyous choral fox-trots and rhumbas to tender and compassionate anthems. The opera is a quirky pageant of noteworthy, if odd characters, a ghostly scarecrow-like parade of eccentric figures in the bleak English landscape which contains them.”

Lead performances will feature the talented 2024 Victoria Opera Prize Winners, tenor Douglas Kelly (The Grumpiest Boy in the World; Melbourne, Cheremushki; Capriccio) and soprano Michaela Cadwgan. The production will be further elevated by conductor Susan Collins and complemented by exquisite set and costume design crafted by Louisa Fitzgerald.

Of his music Williamson said, “Most of my music is Australian. Not of the bush or the deserts, but the brashness of the cities. The sort of brashness that makes Australians go through life pushing doors marked “pull”.

Victoria Opera is proud to ‘push a few doors’ to champion 25 new shining stars as part of our ongoing VO Emerges series. English Eccentrics takes place from 4-6 July at Union Theatre, University of Melbourne. Tickets are on sale now.  



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