Opera Australia will continue its tradition of partnering with commercial producer John Frost for its annual musical, bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1978 hit Evita to the Sydney Opera House.
Opera Australia and Frost will be joined by UK producer David Ian to present a re-creation of the original West End and Broadway productions of the musical, directed by the legendary Hal Prince. The musical will play the Joan Sutherland Theatre from September 2018.
In a statement, John Frost and Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said:
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to recreate the renowned original production of Evita 40 years after it opened in the West End, following the wonderful success of My Fair Lady … To have the original creative team of Hal Prince, Larry Fuller (choreographer) and Timothy O’Brien (designer) overseeing the production is a dream come true.”
Evita tells the story of Argentina’s beloved but controversial first lady Eva Peron, tracing her rise from a poor teenager from Los Toldos, through to one of the country’s favourite actresses, and then to “Spiritual Leader of the Nation”. It features songs such as High Flying Adored, Bueones Aires, Rainbow High and the chart-topping anthem Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.
The original West End and Broadway productions made stars of Elaine Paige and Patti LuPone, who starred in the title role. Madonna would go on to star in a 1996 film version of the musical.
No casting for the upcoming Australian season has been announced, but Opera Australia may well be hoping for a big star as Evita. It’s long been rumoured that Australian singer Tina Arena had interest in playing the role, but whether she’d be willing to commit to a long run is unclear.
There are also no details announced for seasons beyond Sydney, but it’s expected the musical will tour.
A ticketing waitlist has been posted at evitathemusical.com.au