Outlaw Opera

Outlaw Opera
Christina Henson Productions. Avoca Beach Picture Theatre. December 7 and 14, 2018.

With the burgeoning arts community on the Central Coast still steadily ablaze, yet another new company has lit its spark in one of the more under-appreciated facets of the industry.

Outlaw Opera is the brainchild of American born Christina Henson – a Julliard trained singer and vocal coach and she has pulled together an amazing array of talent including Opera Australia’s Caleb Son, Ashlee Woodgate from New York’s National Opera Center and the captivating Livia Brash, whose Lady Macbeth was a highlight of the evening.

It is a concert series in two acts that highlights the most villainous and thrilling moments from operatic history. It is here that program thrives, breaking down some of the art form’s most famous works into palatable, bite sized theatre. It is a fantastic format for those wanting to give opera a try and for those starting to refine their tastes. The nostalgic setting within the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre really adds to the atmosphere of the pieces performed, especially those from Lucia di Lammermoor and Tosca, and its acoustics bring a beautiful tone to these already brilliant voices.

Whilst all the individual performances were exemplary, my only slight disappointment was in the staging. Originally advertised as ‘film noir’ aesthetic, I was anticipating fresh, sexy takes on these classics, but instead found very traditional period costume and sets. Nonetheless, the energy from the company is palpable and exciting and I look forward to seeing what they bring to future seasons.

Jillian Logan

Photographer: Rosa Doric

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