Big names to shine at Opera Fest

The Yarra Valley Opera Festival will showcase some of Australia's finest creative minds.

By Romy Stephens

One of Australia’s most acclaimed directors, Gale Edwards, will be teaming up with Oscar-winning costume designer Tim Chappel to bring Yarra Valley audiences the Australian premiere of The Enchanted Pig.

The duo will work with Gertrude Opera as part of the Yarra Valley Opera Festival, which runs for nine days from 18 October.

Edwards has directed all genres of theatre and opera nationally and internationally, as well as film and television.

A multiple-award-winner, Edwards has more than 30 years of directing experience under her belt and will bring a wealth of knowledge and excitement to the event.

She will direct The Enchanted Pig – suitable for all ages – and a contemporary, adults-only version of Poppea.

Meanwhile, Chappel will join Gertrude Opera’s creative team to design costumes for The Enchanted Pig.

Chappel’s iconic costume designs for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert earned him an Oscar, which he followed up with a Tony Award in 2011 for the stage musical version.

Festival director Linda Thompson said the experience of such incredible talent would be instrumental in providing a world-class spectacle.

“It is a gift to the festival to have talent and creativity of this calibre and international acclaim,” she said.

“Gale and Tim’s creative expertise mixed with our performers’ talent and skill makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.“

In its second year, the international event is still the only opera festival in Australia.

It will be held on the farmyard grounds of a historic Yarra Valley homestead, fronting the Yarra River and Olinda creek.

Festival audiences will also be able to witness a production of Macbeth by a New York director.

Festival directors are reaching out to anyone who might have thought opera was not for them and urging to give it a try.

The Yarra Valley Opera Festival will run from 18 to 27 October at Olinda Yarra in Yering.

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