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Opera Australia Uses Rapid COVID-19 Testing Backstage at Production of ERNANI

Ernani will run 2–13 February 2021.

Opera Australia Uses Rapid COVID-19 Testing Backstage at Production of ERNANI

Opera Australia has embraced rapid COVID-19 testing for its production of Ernani, premiering at the Sydney Opera House, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Over 100 cast, chorus, and orchestra members line up to be COVID-tested every three days.

"Look, it's not the most enjoyable experience," lead soprano Natalie Aroyan said. "But it's very quick and a small price to pay to return to the stage and bring opera."

It is believed that Opera Australia was the first major opera company in the world to use rapid antigen testing, which delivers results in 15 minutes. The testing can be done at any worksite, involves a device the size of a credit card and is slightly better at picking up asymptomatic or "false negative" cases.

Read more on The Sydney Morning Herald.

Ernani will run 2-13 February 2021.

Ernani is an outlaw, ready to fight for his honour and die for his ideals. But our hero is caught in a love quadrangle. Can he win the hand of the beautiful Elvira, who is already promised to her elderly uncle de Silva and coveted by the King of Spain?

This opera has intrigue, disguise, betrayal and adventure, like all the best medieval tales. Love can triumph over almost anything, but in this story with a surprising ending, honour has the final say.

Ernani was Verdi's fifth opera. Seventy years after its premiere, it became the first complete opera ever recorded. That's testament to the rousing music. You'll hear all the composer's trademark colours on display: passionate choruses, emotional arias and flawless ensemble writing.

In this co-production with La Scala, director Sven-Eric Bechtolf embraces the melodrama of the story and creates a play within a play. It's an excuse for lavish period costumes, masks and headdresses.

Verdi specialist Renato Palumbo conducts the stunning score. We've assembled an exciting cast, led by Diego Torre as the brave Ernani and Natalie Aroyan as Elvira. Baritone Vladimir Stoyanov sings the role of the King of Spain, with Vitalij Kowaljow as Elvira's Uncle.

Learn more at

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