Upcoming plans include a debut with the Wiener Staatsoper in the world premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando and as Alberich in their Ring cycle.
There will also be more performances of Fin de Partie, a return to Opera Vlaanderen as Smee in Schrecker’s Der Schmied von Gent and some exciting new roles – details to come when I’m allowed to say!
Artist, rebel, Icon. Brett Whiteley burst onto the international art scene, all golden curls and bravado. He was dynamic, damaged, a big idea and a bold brush. Heroin was both muse and merciless master. Out of this tumultuous life spilled a messy array of brilliant artworks and astonishing self-reflection. In 2019, this Australian icon meets two of Australia’s most popular artists in a brand new work for the Australian stage: Whiteley, by Elena Kats-Chernin and Justin Fleming. Together they’ve created an opera to honour the life and work of a man who could not extricate his talent from his demons.
Casting British baritone and
contemporary music specialist
Leigh Melrose in the title role was a masterstroke. He sang with resounding strength and incisive clarity in an intensely expressive performance that captured Whiteley’s charismatic charm and his painful, doomed struggle with the darker angels of his nature.
With tousled hair and a shambling mix of insouciant brilliance and existential anxiety, baritone Leigh Melrose sang and portrayed the precocious, sometimes unlovable Whiteley with a vocal range from wiry ferocity to ethereal dreaminess, spanning swaggering moments of elan and despair.
Melrose is particularly impressive… There is long, languid stretching of the vowels, singing each syllable to its edge, thinning into ethereal transcendence and thickening into anger, and allowing cracking at the manic extremes – as Whiteley did with himself and his work. Melrose’s portrayal is intense and self-consumingly ferocious, and he carries this opera compellingly.
“As Nekrotzar and with a voice as strong as his acting skills were convincing… Leigh Melrose stood at the pinnacle of an outstandingly gifted cast.“
bachtrack – 4 February 2019
“Leigh Melrose, que se deja la piel como Stolzius, al que confiere una gran entidad escénica y vocal”
El Pais, 17 May 2018
“Een schot in de roos is bariton Leigh Melrose als Golaud, de weduwnaar die Mélisande huwt. Overtuigend doorloopt Melrose het parcours van sympathiekeling tot jaloerse sadist tot gebroken kerel.”
de Volkskrant, February 2018
The colour photos here are taken by Chris Gloag, while the B&W ones are by Rahi Resvani
Wozzeck – The Guardian
Copyright 2019 Melrose Tynan Ltd