Melbourne Opera made a terrific contribution to the Melbourne Ring Festival with their concert performance of Richard Wagner’s early operatic success, Rienzi. A blaze of stirring choruses and heroic solos, the glorious music of this Australian premiere swept over the capacity audience, transporting them to a bygone age.

Rienzi in Concert was performed on Sunday 8 December 2013 at Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne.

Rienzi Melbourne Opera - Rosamund Illing as Adriano
Rienzi Melbourne Opera – Rosamund Illing as Adriano

“Another return to the stage of great significance was the thrilling appearance of renowned soprano Rosamund Illing. Looking exquisite in electric blue sequins, organza and silk, Illing was back where she belongs. Playing the trousers role of Irene’s ardent admirer Adriano, Illing thrilled the house with the exquisite act three aria “In seiner Blüte bleicht mein Leben.” Illing’s years of playing tragic heroines shone through as she expertly conveyed the horror of Adriano’s final moments, killed in a blaze while trying to rescue Irene and Rienzi.”

Read the full review here: Simon Parris – December 9 2013