Riccardo Massi


Luisa Miller (Opera Australia, Arts Centre Melbourne) – HeraldSun

Luisa Miller (Opera Australia, Arts Centre Melbourne) on HeraldSun - 17.05.2016

Opera review: Luisa Miller, Opera Australia, Arts Centre Melbourne

IN its 60th anniversary year, Opera Australia has finally given Verdi’s gripping 1849 show Luisa Miller its rightful place on our stage. With it comes a brilliantly fresh, lean and intelligent production from director Giancarlo del Monaco that releases a less popular work from the dark to give it striking newness.

In a co-production with Opera de Lausanne, with revival director Matthew Barclay at the reins, its beauty lies in its uncomplicated symbolism and centrally focussed dramatic rendering. Laid bare is a powerful directorial style of economical gesturing stripped of melodramatic trajectory. Designer William Orlandi’s slick and sunless realm incorporates a marble family setting, monumental and memorial-like, which slides up and hovers above, then slips back into place to seal the final tragedy like a tomb.

With it, Luisa’s unrealised “what if” future happiness looms morbidly over as a chorus of black-costumed mourners in top-hats tails and gowns come and go in funereal march around the centrally raised platform.

Any clear sense of time feels removed to mine every emotional chain in what is the sharpest, most riveting Luisa Miller productions I’ve ever seen...

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