This year’s production worked in every way, artistically and from a tourism perspective. La Traviata exceeded its sales target of AUD6 million. More than half the audiences of 40,000, who attended one of the 17 erformances, were new to opera. The audiences came from across Sydney, interstate and overseas.
“The project involved over 750 people, including 140 artists, 570 staff and crew and 60 volunteers,” said NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris.
Congratulating Opera Australia “on what has been an absolute triumph”, Souris added that the NSW Government’s investment through Destination NSW “has been rewarded with a runaway success first up and a sure-fire success in the ensuing two years”.
Souris said the economic benefits of this major event resonated “far beyond the final curtain call” with the three-year investment expected to pump and extra AUD100 million into the NSW economy.
“Staging and investing in events such as this is all part of the NSW Government’s determination to gain and keep the nation’s No.1 position in musical and performing theatre and the arts.
“The events strategy is simple: keep a continuous diet of blockbuster shows, peak arts events, major sports events of all codes and festivals year round and in this way, any tourist arriving at any time of the year will be greeted with exciting offerings and attractions throughout the State.
“In addition to this great outdoor opera, we have a number of Australian and World premieres coming to Sydney, this year and next. These events will create business, tourism and jobs throughout the State.”
Souris added that Opera Australia was one of the world’s very few opera companies experiencing growth.
“It is no wonder with such a grand and daring venture as we have experienced here on Sydney Harbour.
“Congratulations to the successful entrepreneurial duo of Chief Executive Adrian Collette and Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini, the magnificent financial support of Dr Handa, the great artists Emma Matthews, Gianluca Terranova, Ji-Min Park and Rachelle Durkin as well as New York Director Francesca Zambello and conductor Brian Castles-Onion.
“This event has been an exceptional advertisement for Sydney, showcasing the beauty of Sydney Harbour and the major events capability of the best festival and events city in the world.
“Through the work of Destination NSW we brought out 20 leading travel agents from China along with others from Britain, Singapore and New Zealand.
“Sydney’s success at staging this ambitious and audacious production with the city skyline, Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as backdrop to a fireworks laden aria in the first act has created memories that will last a lifetime.”
Souris said the stage is set for two more years with just as popular operas on the amazing harbour stage.
“In March next year I’m pleased to formally announce that Bizet’s Carmen, another well-known and accessible opera will take to the harbour stage.
“It will be directed by Ms Gale Edwards, whose highly successful production of ‘La Boheme’ for Opera Australia last year was one of the Company’s most successful seasons of the past few years. Gale Edwards will work with designer Brian Thomson who returns after this year’s event, to again design an unforgettable and spectacular stage for the next event.
“This is sure to attract audiences from around the country and the globe,” he said.
Written by : Peter Needham