Opera Australia presents the Australian premiere of Aribert Reimann’s rarely presented work, Ghost Sonata, in a dark new production by Greg Eldridge staged in the industrial surrounds of the company’s scenery workshop.
Based on the play by Swedish author August Strindberg Ghost Sonata explores duality in the human condition: truth and lies, illusion and reality. The tale is as strangely poignant now as it was when it was first written in 1907.
Eldridge makes his directorial debut with Opera Australia with a production designed to make the audience feel like they’re in the middle of an existential crisis.
“Of the characters, they could all be supernatural, or none,” he says. “They could all be mad, or all caught in the same brilliant light of clarity. The only certainty is that they are each a reflection of a different aspect of ourselves.”
Shanul Sharma, who began his career as a heavy metal singer before transitioning to opera, plays The Student, an innocent bystander with an uncanny ability. He is guided by The Old Man, played by industry veteran and long-time principal Richard Anderson. Together they enter this house haunted by secrets.
Senior Principal Artist and crowd favourite Dominica Matthews plays The Mummy alongside mezzo-soprano Ruth Strutt as the Dark Lady and Cook. Acclaimed award-winning tenor John Longmuir takes the stage as The Colonel, with Danita Weatherstone performing as The Young Woman.
Conductor Warwick Stengards breathes new life into Aribert Reimann’s 1984 score leading an intimate chamber orchestra.