Opera challenges the fine line between reality and theatre

Bold and creative independent opera company Lyric Opera of Melbourne will transport audiences to a theatrical world where prejudice and small-town mentality prevail in a moving production of ‘The Tender Land’ by Aaron Copland, at Chapel Off Chapel from May 2 – 10.

Originally written for television in the 1950s, The Tender Land is a beautiful and poignant story about coming of age in the face of bigotry. The Lyric Opera production challenges the fine line between reality and theatre and aims to demonstrate how relevant, powerful and accessible opera can be in the modern world.

Director John Kachoyan says about The Tender Land, “It is a moving and enormously current story about rural isolation, xenophobia and the tyranny of distance.

“I’m excited to join Lyric Opera of Melbourne and explore the theatricality of this rarely seen but hugely rewarding ensemble work with such a talented team of cast and creatives.”

Inspired by the Great Depression-era photographs of American photographer Walker Evans, The Tender Land, which is sung in English tells the story of an isolated rural family’s struggle for control when two unwelcome drifters arrive in town. On the eve of her graduation, the family’s eldest daughter Laurie faces a battle between her family and her own way…

Pat Miller, musical director and conductor for Lyric Opera says, “Copland created the ‘American’ sound that audiences recognise instantly, and he uses this sound most poignantly in The Tender Land.”

The production features a brilliant cast and creative team led by some of Australia’s next-generation rising stars, with soprano Emily Uhlrich in the role of Laurie and acclaimed Opera Australia principal tenor artist Henry Choo singing the role of Martin in his debut performance for Lyric Opera.

The Tender Land includes an ensemble of Melbourne’s most exciting developing artists, accompanied by a 13-piece chamber orchestra.

The production will run for five shows from May 2 – 10 at Chapel Off Chapel, commencing at 7.30pm on Friday, 3pm on Sunday and 7:30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tickets are priced at $49.50 for adults, $39.50 for concession and $35 for children and under 35s, with an early bird special price of $39.50 for adults valid until March 23.

For more information and booking details call (03) 8290 7000 or visit www.chapeloffchapel.com.au Find Chapel Off Chapel at 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran.