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The Sleeping Beauty

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
11 Mar 2017 - 18 Mar 2017

This is the page for the 2017 production of The Sleeping Beauty. For Season 2021 production see here.

The transformative power of love takes centre stage as a cursed Princess awakens from an eternal sleep in a retelling of Perrault’s classic with fairies, fantasy and a cast of puppets. 

Italian composer Ottorino Respighi’s 1922 reimagining of The Sleeping Beauty is given new life in an unforgettable production.

This opera was created specifically for one of Italy’s leading puppetry theatres in the early 20th century. Respighi’s production was a smash-hit and toured the world. The ageless appeal of this charming chamber opera will be awakened by the bold imagination of director Nancy Black (Master Peter’s Puppet Show, Four Saints in Three Acts) and a production team headed by puppet designer Joe Blanck (Walking with Dinosaurs, King Kong), who co-set designs with Ben Cobham (Ghost Wife, Bluebottle Designs). The Sleeping Beauty will feature an ensemble of exciting operatic talent lending voice to spectacularly realised puppets, great and small.

Composer Ottorino Respighi
Librettist Gian Bistolfi


Venue Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

Dates Saturday 11 March 2017, 7:30pm Tuesday 14 March 2017, 7:30pm Wednesday 15 March 2017, 7:30pm Friday 17 March 2017, 7:30pm Saturday 18 March 2017, 1pm

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Running time is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes with no interval.

Audio Described Performances & Tactile Tours 17 March, 7:30pm (Tactile Tour at 6:40pm) 18 March, 1pm (Tactile Tour at 12pm)

Patrons’ Behind the Scenes 9 March Patrons’ Pre-Show Drinks 14 March

Victorian Opera's 2017 production of The Sleeping Beauty. Photo: Charlie Kinross

Cast & Crew

Creative Team

Conductor Phoebe Briggs
Director Nancy Black
Puppet Design & Construction Joe Blanck
Set Design Bluebottle, Joe Blanck
Costume Design Nancy Black
Lighting Design Phillip Lethlean
Choreographic Consultant Michelle Heaven


The Nightingale Zoe Drummond
The Cuckoo Shakira Tsindos
The Frog/The Spindle Kirilie Blythman
The Ambassador Timothy Newton
The Blue Fairy Elizabeth Barrow
The Jester/Mister Dollar Timothy Reynolds
The Green Fairy Juel Riggall
The King Raphael Wong
The Queen/The Cat Sally Wilson
The Old Lady/The Duchess Liane Keegan
The Princess Jacqueline Porter
A Woodcutter Stephen Marsh
The Prince Carlos E. Bárcenas
The Villager Tomas Dalton


Christian Bagin
Vincent Crowley
Nadine Dimitrievitch
Hamish Fletcher
Kaira Hachefa
Michelle Heaven
Neal Holmes


Orchestra Victoria



“★★★★½ Pure magic”

“★★★★½ Not a moment goes by that doesn’t captivate the senses.”

“★★★★½ An utter delight”