With the year drawing to a close, we look back over the operas that wowed our critics in 2019. It hasn’t been easy to choose, but this is what we settled on, with a round-up from our reviewers around the country.
JO LITSON – EDITOR
Eva-Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann with Pinchas Steinberg in Opera Australia’s Andrea Chénier. Photograph © Keith Saunders
Opera Australia may have presented Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier in concert, but the stellar cast invested their performances with touches of drama and depths of emotion. And how exhilarating it was to see the calibre of singers that OA had managed to entice here. Jonas Kaufmann gave a wondrous performance as the martyred poet Chénier, while Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sang lusciously as Maddelena. They have played opposite each other in the opera at Covent Garden and their rapport in the roles shone through. In his Australian debut, French baritone Ludovic Tézier gave a riveting, menacing performance as Carlo Gérard. Let’s hope he returns some time soon. The camaraderie between the three of them, and conductor Pinchas Steinberg, was a delight to behold. Ravishing all round.