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Brisbane Bel Canto

Concert Hall, QPAC
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Opera Queensland is set to launch a new week-long festival for the stage with Brisbane Bel Canto, including beloved Italian operas from the middle of the 19th century to explore the many wondrous colours of the human voice, from April 20-27, 2024.

Bel canto, literally translated as 'beautiful singing', is a profound expression of emotion through song. Bel canto singing demands a performer be at the peak of their technical ability while drawing deeply on their emotions to fully express the lives of the characters. To truly grasp the power of bel canto, it must be experienced live. Opera Queensland is giving audiences this exceptional chance with Brisbane Bel Canto, featuring the three great composers of bel canto: Gaetano Donizetti, Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini.

Operatic Soprano Jessica Pratt

To host a festival of bel canto, you must ensure that not only the composers are fully represented, but also the world’s best bel canto voices and conductors are gathered. Opening and closing Brisbane Bel Canto is superstar soprano, Jessica Pratt, one of today’s greatest interpreters of the bel canto repertoire, having graced the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and Staatsoper Hamburg.

The star soprano brings her internationally renowned performance of Lucia di Lammermoor to Brisbane for the first time. Jessica is the only Australian since Dame Joan Sutherland and Nellie Melba to have sung the role at La Scala.

Jessica Pratt, Lucia di Lammermoor

Joining Jessica is her long-time collaborator and master of bel canto repertoire Richard Mills, who will conduct the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Opera Queensland Chorus. With a stellar cast that includes Carlos Bárcenas, Samuel Dundas, David Parkin, Virgilio Marino, Hayley Sugars and Rosario La Spina, this evocative semi-staged concert performance of Donizetti’s classic tale, directed by Patrick Nolan, opens and closes the festival. 

Jessica will also perform a special one-night-only concert at QPAC's Concert Hall on Wednesday 24 April, focusing on the music of Bellini. Jessica will be joined on stage by tenors Carlos E. Bárcenas and Rosario La Spina, with Richard Mills leading a full Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Stabat Mater

On Friday 26 April, Richard Mills will deliver Rossini’s masterpiece Stabat Mater in the Queensland Conservatorium theatre. The hour-long performance is divided into twelve movements, featuring a full orchestra and large chorus of students from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and four soloists, including Eva Kong and David Parkin.

Saturday 27 April, brings the festival full circle with the closing matinee production of Lucia di Lammermoor, offering audiences a second opportunity to enjoy the queen of bel canto, Jessica Pratt, in her signature role.

To experience the exhilarating energy of opera, Brisbane Bel Canto is the perfect place to start!

Opera Queensland is a valued partner of Must Do Brisbane.com 

Brisbane Bel Canto Festival 

Concert Hall, QPAC

Melbourne St

Cnr Grey St 

South Brisbane

Apr 20-27, 2024

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