Read the reviews: Voyage to the Moon

16 Feb 2016

With several four star reviews and great critical acclaim, Victorian Opera and Musica Viva’s new Baroque opera Voyage to the Moon is not to be missed.

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Voyage to the Moon. Photo: Jeff Busby

★★★★ 'A work of pure gold' – The Age
★★★★ 'Three outstanding soloists' – Herald Sun
★★★★ 'Baroque heaven' – Limelight Magazine
★★★★ 'Operatic Innovation' – Daily Review 

"The production's writer and director, Michael Gow, and music arrangers, the late baroque specialist Alan Curtis and Melbourne organist and composer Calvin Bowman, have spun a work of pure gold that manages to be charming, witty, musically adroit and, at little more than 80 minutes, not a second too long." 

"I hope this partnership between Victorian Opera and Musica Viva leads to other enterprises. Now they have the moon, they can reach for the stars." - The Age

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Voyage to the Moon. Photo: Jeff Busby

"Commanding the work are three outstanding soloists who bring great expressivity to their roles with the expert and vigorous playing from six on-stage musicians under musical director Phoebe Briggs at the harpsichord."

"Emma Matthews is untiringly magnificent as both the troubled Orlando and the imperious Selena, Guardian of the Moon. Choked with fury, and madness in her eyes, Matthews reaches rampaging spectacular form in Hasse’s As strong as an army (1733), her cut-diamond soprano displaying the finest filigreed coloratura with dizzying range."

"With early astrologers believing the Moon to be the cause of madness, in the mix of love, friendship, hope and selfless deeds, the story also suggests that, even when seemingly insurmountable, a cure requires direct and unafraid action at its source. Together, Victorian Opera and Musica Viva are innovatively attempting much the same for opera." - Herald Sun

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Jeremy Kleeman in Voyage to the Moon. Photo: Jeff Busby

"The opening night performance was stratospherically accomplished."

"Victorian Opera and Musica Viva have proven to be a formidable collaboration: every performer involved has been cherry picked from amongst the ranks of Australia’s finest musicians and the results are sublime."

"Sharing the stage with two of Australia’s most distinguished opera stars would be an intimidating experience for most young singers, but baritone Jeremy Kleeman appeared to take this challenge in his (moon walking) stride."

"Led by Musical Director Phoebe Briggs from the harpsichord, this is not an authentic period performance, opting instead for modern instruments and contemporary standards of sonority and tuning." - Limelight Magazine 

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Voyage to the Moon. Photo: Jeff Busby

“Directing from the harpsichord, musical director Phoebe Briggs oversees a superbly unified onstage ensemble of modern strings and oboe d’amore, their entries tight and phrases drawn out with languid ease.” - The Australian 

"Mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell
brings a serene, centred presence to Orlando’s devoted friend Astolfo. Delivering a strong pure tone and clean vocal lines, Russell sings with masterful control and blends beautifully in duets with Matthews." 

"Voyage to the Moon is an inspired production, and the love that has gone into every note is evident. As much of a pleasure for the musicians to perform as it is for the audience to behold, Voyage to the Moon is a splendid musical treat that no opera lover should miss." - Simon Parris: Man In Chair

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Voyage to the Moon. Photo: Jeff Busby

"Victorian Opera is Malcolm Turnbull’s sort of company: agile, innovative, turning fresh ideas into action. It is truly the most exciting time to be an opera lover in Melbourne." - Daily Review

"An absolute feast for lovers of Baroque opera." - Stage Whispers

Voyage to the Moon was part of Victorian Opera's Season 2016. It is presented by Victorian Opera and Musica Viva in partnership with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.