Emma Matthews cements her international reputation as one of Australia’s best sopranos in the leading role of Opera Australia’s Lakmé. As the beguiling Brahmin priestess who steals the heart of a British officer, Matthews is superlative. The opera is worth watching, if only to hear Matthews perform Delibes’ most famous duet The Flower Song beside Dominica Matthews, who performs the role of Lakmé’s hand maiden stupendously. Matthews is equally impressive in the Second Act when she sings the even more demanding Bell Song – breathlessly hitting every last high note in an incredible display of coloratura. Aldo Di Toro performs the role of Gerald, the British soldier who falls in love with Lakmé at first sight, effortlessly commanding centre stage with Matthews. While the story is short on plot (Opera Australia’s synopsis takes up less than 125 words) the libretto has enough tragedy to make it one of the opera canon’s most popular works. Complete with a vengeful father, a failed murder attempt and a suicidal soprano, Lakmé hits all the high notes. Equally impressive is Opera Australia’s lush set design, which richly draws on Indian art to create an opulent ocular experience.
Until Sep 21, Sydney Opera House, $115-297, 9318 8200, opera-australia.org.au