Pinchgut Opera's ORONTEA Joining ATL ON DEMAND This Month

Pinchgut Opera's Orontea will be launched on ATL ON DEMAND on Thursday December 14th.

By: Dec. 02, 2023
Pinchgut Opera's ORONTEA Joining ATL ON DEMAND This Month

Pinchgut Opera's hilarious and raunchy baroque opera Orontea by Antonio Cesti joins ATL ON DEMAND this December, ready to be enjoyed by worldwide audiences from the comfort of their living rooms.

A tale of love, decadence, and power, Orontea by Antonio Cesti – one of the most popular composers of the 17th century – is a guaranteed, pleasure-filled 5-star romp. A highly anticipated production of exceptional calibre, the live performance presented by Pinchgut Opera in 2022 at the City Recital Hall garnered superb reviews from audiences and critics alike.

Cesti's opera is reimagined by director Constantine Costi and set in a heightened contemporary world somewhere between Egypt and Las Vegas, offering a delicious taste of Italian opera made fresh for today's audiences, with the promise of revelry, beauty and laughter.

Studded with memorable arias and remarkable duets, this 2022 production marked the first Australian display of Cesti's gifts for musical characterisation and melodic storytelling, now captured for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their living rooms on ATL's digital subscription platforms.

Despite renouncing love, Queen Orontea finds herself falling for a handsome refugee artist, Alidoro, only to discover that she has most of the women in her court as rivals. Add to the mix her moralistic councillor Creonte, the scheming courtesan Silandra, and the maidservant Giacinta, who disguises herself as a boy – only to accidentally inspire the affections of Alidoro's lascivious mother, Aristea.

An irresistibly charming and wickedly funny romantic comedy, Orontea features an artfully assembled cast led by stunning soprano Anna Dowsley in a dynamic performance as Queen Orontea. She is joined by a first-class line-up, including Pinchgut fan-favourites, David Greco, Dominica Matthews and Andrew O'Connor, and Pinchgut debutants, New Zealand tenor Jonathan Abernathy and American soprano Sofia Troncoso. Cesti's lavish score is brought to life by expert Baroque players of the Orchestra of the Antipodes, conducted by Artistic Director Erin Helyard.

“The live performance film of Orontea is a rare opportunity to see every design choice and character quirk up close and personal, in a way that's just not possible in the concert hall. Directing Orontea was a cherished experience — guided by Erin Helyard's expert hand, and supported by Pinchgut Opera's commitment to excellence in baroque opera. It is a joy to see that love is just as intoxicating, absurd, and delightful today as it was hundreds of years ago.” – Constantine Costi (Director)

Cinematically filmed by Australian Theatre Live, Orontea is the third opera from Pinchgut captured by ATL, set to sit alongside their 2021 productions of Cavalli's The Loves of Apollo & Dafne, directed by Mitchell Butel, and Rameau's Platée, directed by Neil Armfield. ATL's subscription platforms also host Pinchgut's opera film, A Delicate Fire, and two of their concerts, The Spiritual Forest and Vespers. Opera lovers can also enjoy a medley of Vivaldi, Falconieri, Caccini and Corelli in Australian Brandenburg Orchestra's Italian Baroque with Circa, captured at the 2022 Sydney Festival.

Pinchgut Opera's Orontea will be launched on ATL ON DEMAND on Thursday December 14th, joining a diverse catalogue of 29 Australian digital live performances available for just $7.99/month or $74.99/year, and accessible to education institutions on ATL ON DEMAND: EDUCATION.


Orontea by Cesti

Music by Antonio Cesti (1623–1669)

Additional music by Biagio Marini (1594–1663), Tarquinio Merula (1594–1665) and Salamone Rossi (1570–1630)

Libretto by Giacinto Andrea Cicognini (1606–1651)


Sung in Italian with English surtitles




CONDUCTOR Erin Helyard

DIRECTOR Constantine Costi

DESIGNER Jeremy Allen









ORONTEA Anna Dowsley

ALIDORO Jonathan Abernethy

SILANDRA Sofia Troncoso

CORINDO Douglas Kelly

CREONTE David Greco

ARISTEA Dominica Matthews

GIACINTA Roberta Diamond

TIBRINO Louis Hurley

GELONE Andrew O'Connor

AMORE Ryan Smith






CONTENT WARNINGS: Orontea contains sex scenes, partial nudity, and use of toy cap guns.



Since the company's first production at City Recital Hall in 2002, Handel's Semele, Pinchgut Opera has presented an array of rarely performed operatic musical gems and concert programs. We scour the period from opera's birth to its flowering in the Baroque to bring our audiences the very best masterworks from this dazzling and fertile time in music history. In 2019, Pinchgut Opera became the first Australian company to win a prestigious International Opera Award for its production of Hasse's Artaserse, for Best Rediscovered Work. No company in Australia is better placed than Pinchgut Opera to present these works of astonishing beauty, delivering a musical experience true to the composers' intentions, through a contemporary visual lens.




Established as a Not-For-Profit organization and registered charity, Australian Theatre Live (ATL) records and distributes Australian live performance, prioritising accessibility, developing the local arts industry, and preserving an archive of its playwriting, performing and stage production heritage. ATL has now pioneered two groundbreaking subscription platforms, ATL ON DEMAND and ATL ON DEMAND: EDUCATION, bringing the best of Australian theatre to audiences around the world.


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