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Opera Queensland rounds out Studio Series with Eastern Promises

Culture

Eastern Promises is the next instalment of Opera Queensland’s year-long Studio Series, a program curated to revive and celebrate the intimacy of opera. Performed by Alexandra Flood and Alex Raineri, the recital explores intersections between female identity and the colonial influence.

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Hosted in Opera Queensland’s refurbished studio space, the series incorporated classical and contemporary songs performed by renowned artists such as Kang Wang, Deborah Cheetham, Eva Kong, and Gregory Massingham.

“From a tenor in full flight to a soprano who could stop time with her singing, the Studio Series celebrates the many wonders of the human voice, creating a space for the audience to deepen its understanding of the remarkable art of singing,” said Opera Queensland’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive Patrick Nolan.

“Audiences could discover new and beautiful music and gain insights into the artists as they introduce each song to reveal its personal significance,” said Nolan.

Alex Raineri, one of Australia’s most accomplished pianists, has performed in three of the Opera Queensland Studio Series recitals over the course of the series and now joins Alexandra Flood for Eastern Promises.

A virtuosic pairing, Alex Raineri and Alexandra Flood played to sold-out crowds with their previous Opera Queensland recital in 2019.

The recital will move through five languages to explore the influence of Eastern European and Middle Eastern music on the Western tradition, incorporating French, Czech, Polish, Russian, and English compositions.

As well as investigating the colonial influence on Western repertoire, the recital is a celebration of female identity and varying iterations of the feminine voice throughout operatic history.

Beginning in France, Eastern Promises will trace the influence of Middle Eastern melody on Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel with arias ‘Ariettes oubliées’ (Forgotten Airs) and ‘Shéhérazade’.

The recital then moves through The Czech Republic and Russia with Antonín Dvořák’s ‘Gypsy Melodies’ as well as classic Russian composers Szymanowski and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Eastern Promises also includes classic operatic repertoire with Rachmaninoff’s ‘Spring Waters’ and ‘Lilacs’ alongside the premiere of contemporary work ‘Water stone (Noguchi)’ by American composer Jake Heggie.

Returning homewards, the recital celebrates traditional and cutting-edge female Australian composers with ‘Profiles from China’ by Peggy Glanville-Hicks and Kate Miller Heidke and Lally Katz’s ‘Where?’ from The Rabbits.

Eastern Promises will be performed on 17 and 18 September at Opera Queensland’s Studio, for more information visit their website. 

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