Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focusing on travel, food, wine and events management. Follow her on Instagram @Gwennieo
For the opera lover
With my limited opera experience, I attended the opening night of Melbourne Opera's The Pearl Fishers expecting to spend the evening trying to suss out exactly what was going on as it would be, what I incorrectly assumed, in French.
Melbourne Opera presents The Peral Fishers. Image credit: Matt Deller
Held for just a short season from 19-30 September at The Athenaeum Theatre and again on 4 October at Monash University's Alexander Theatre, this show is expertly conducted by Richard Divall who's conducted over a dozen productions of the opera over a period of more than 35 years.
Set in ancient times on the island of Ceylon, the opera tells the story of how a vow of eternal friendship between two men is threatened by their love for the same woman: a woman who has taken her own sacred and chaste vow as a priestess.
The cast includes some of Melbourne's most powerful singers including sopranos Lee Abrahmsen and Barbara Zavros playing Leila, priestess of Brahma and tenors Brenton Spiteri and Robert Barbaro sharing the role of fisherman Nadir.
Playing Zurga, the head fisherman and third element of the love triangle are Phillip Calcagno and Michael Lampard. Eddie Muliaumaseali'i and Matthew Thomas perform the role of Nourabad, the high priest of Brahma.
Lee, Barbara and Brenton are the three most recent winners of Australia's most prestigious singing competition, the Herald Sun Aria.
The Athenaeum Theatre is an intimate venue space, meaning that even those who book tickets late are still certain to get fabulous seats.