September 4, 2015

Triumphant reviews of Mary Stuart for Melbourne Opera


Following opening night of Mary Stuart, Wednesday 2nd September 2015, the NEW production by Melbourne Opera and supported by private sponsors such as Dr Alistair Jackson and Lady Potter as been exceptionally well received with a flurry of enthusiastic reviews !

From an exceptionally strong cast featuring Elena Xanthoudakis as Mary Stuart, and Australian veteran of the stage, soprano, Rosamund Illing, along with Henry Choo as Robert Leicester, Eddie Muliaumaseali’i as Lord Cecil, Phillip Calgagno as Lord Talbot, Caroline Vercoe as Mary’s Handmaiden Anna. Directed by Theatre and opera director Suzanne Chaundry, whose recent production of Der Freischutz was very well received by both the media and audiences alike.

Do take time to read the numerous reviews about this production below:


THE AGE/Sydney Herald SUN

Herald SUN


Australian Book Review

Blogs: Concertonet

Simon Parris: Man in Chair

And reviews of Elena Xanthoudakis are selected below:

Mary Stuart (Maria Stuarda) – Melbourne Opera – Reviews:

Xanthoudakis imbued Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots) with fortitude, piety and grace — qualities that win her audience sympathy as she spirals into death. Even Mary’s emotional impetuousness and vilification of Elizabeth is served with forgivingness. Xanthoudakis was intoxicating with her cut-diamond clarity of tone, elegant legato, even crescendos and aching trills.

Herald Sun – Paul Selar – 4th Sept 2015

In the title role, Elena Xanthoudakis is a clear standout, bravura coloratura flurries and stratospheric ascents coupled with impressive carrying power, vivid characterisation and a superb display of fury when maligned by accusations of promiscuity and treachery.

The Australian – Eamonn Kelly – 4th Sept

Melbourne Opera has staged this fine, under-performed opera with aplomb. Elena Xanthoudakis , the Australian soprano now forging a career in Europe, is thrilling in the title role: haughty yet vulnerable, agile and secure in the formidable technical demands. Matching her, tenor Henry Choo is near-faultless as the Earl of Leicester, singing with ardour and beautiful tone. They are electric together.

The AGE and Sydney Morning Herald – Barney Zwartz – 3rd Sept

Mary Queen of Scots, sung by Elena Xanthoudakis, a stunning beauty who was in sublime voice of great range and clarity. …Keeping to her part, Elena Xanthoudakis, gave tremulous affecting bows in response to the audience’s enthusiastic reception.

Australian Book Review – Rob Holdsworth – 4th Sept

BLOGS:  It is wonderful to welcome Elena Xanthoudakis back to the Melbourne Opera stage, and to enjoy the flourishing talent that has seen her international career thrive in recent years. … The faceoff between the two queens is a crackling climax to act two, and act three builds with a requisite sense of impending and inescapable doom. Xanthoudakis is in wonderful voice, performing Donizetti’s bel canto music to delightful effect. Her ornamental phrases and colouring are supple and tender. Her performance of Mary’s final prayer, “Ah!! May Thou hear the sound of our humble prayer,” is particularly exquisite.

Simon Parris: Man in Chair  – Sept 3rd

Returning to the company with whom she made her professional debut, soprano Elena Xanthoudakis has established a growing reputation for her performances in Australia and in Europe. Like the representation of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary is many-faceted. There were moments when we sincerely believed that she was an innocent who had made some unwise decisions and there were others when it was clear that she was a manipulator who failed to predict the dire consequences of her actions. Ms Xanthoudakis has a ravishing voice; easy, assured and simultaneously reserved and fragile, she coloured every phrase, varying and gently embellishing to give a comprehensive and plausible reading of the character.

Gregory Pritchard – 3rd Sept –

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