Classical Spectacular is the latest high-concept arena show to roll into town and play at the Entertainment Centre.
The Spectacular, which opens 3 June, unleashes some of the greatest sounds of classical music, as played by the Sydney Symphony, Australian Air Force Band and Sydney Philharmonia Choir.
Along with the music is a frantic display of special effects, laser-beams, state of the art lighting and giant screens.
Trying not to get lost among the fanfare is Amelia Farrugia, who will sing a number of operatic favourites. She has a trick up her sleeve, she says.
I will be the only person on stage wearing a red frock, and it is stunning, she says.
It is one of the those -˜look out world, here comes Amelia!’ frocks, so I am going to work it around that stage. It is a big red silk number, so it should be bright and hard to miss. Just look for the lady in red.
Classical Spectacular will be presented under the baton of English conductor Anthony Inglis, and feature such classical works as Ravel’s Bolero, Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz, Verdi’s Grand March from Aida and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
Farrugia will perform operatic favourites from Die Fledermaus and La Traviata, as well as duets with tenor Rosario La Spina.
This show is for the everyman, rather than the diehard classical music lovers, she says.
For people who are not necessarily into classical music, but would like to hear this material for the first time in an accessible way, this is a brilliant introduction.
Lots of the famous classical pieces will be played and the stunning visuals will keep the eyes busy. There will be pieces here that everyone knows.
Farrugia is now one of Opera Australia’s brightest stars, having already appeared this year in The Magic Flute and Elixir of Love. Farrugia has also become a recording artist, releasing her first CD Joy De Vivre and appearing on the operatic compilation Bravo! Act II.
After Classical Spectacular tours Australia, Farrugia returns to Sydney to begin work on the Opera Australia production of Batavia, which opens on 21 August. She plays the role of the lusty 17th century wench Zwaantie.
As a kid, I never knew what opera was all about, she says.
Someone said to me recently -˜I heard you sing and I didn’t realise that I like opera after all!’ That is very flattering, but an indication that we did not have access to it growing up. A classical concert like the Spectacular can be a great way for people who are interested to learn a little more.
Classical Spectacular plays 3 and 4 June at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Bookings on 136 100.