Pinchgut Opera

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Pinchgut Opera
Pinchgut Opera logo
Pinchgut Opera logo
Background information
OriginSydney, Australia
Genres17th and 18th century opera
Years activeSince December 2002 (December 2002)
Associated actsCantillation

Pinchgut Opera is a chamber opera company in Sydney, Australia, presenting opera from the 17th and 18th centuries performed on period instruments. Founded in 2002, Pinchgut stages two operas each year in Sydney's City Recital Hall.

The company utilises the professional chamber choir Cantillation as its chorus and has engaged both the Sirius Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Antipodes . Pinchgut draws most of its singers, players, directors and designers from Australia, its Artistic Director is Erin Helyard. Antony Walker co-founded the company and conducted the early Pinchgut productions. All productions are recorded by Greenside Productions and Mano Musica and are released on CD under the "Pinchgut Live" label.

Pinchgut Opera draws its unusual name from Fort Denison, a former penal site in the Sydney Harbour which was nicknamed "Pinchgut" by its inmates. According to its website, the company chose the name "as we wanted something recognisably Sydney, easy to remember and as a reminder of our tight budgets and humble beginnings".


This was a staged production of Vivaldi's oratorio Juditha triumphans (RV644). It was directed by Mark Gaal and designed by Hamish Peters. Mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell sang the title role, alongside Sara Macliver (Abra), David Walker (Holofernes), Fiona Campbell (Vagaus) and Renae Martin (Ozias); the Orchestra of the Antipodes was conducted from the harpsichord by Attilio Cremonesi; Cantillation was the chorus.
Soloists included Swedish tenor Anders J. Dahlin, soprano Sara Macliver, basses Dean Robinson, Richard Anderson and David Parkin, baritone Simon Lobelson and tenor Paul McMahon. Antony Walker conducted the Orchestra of the Antipodes (playing authentic instruments of the period) with Cantillation as the chorus; this was a fully staged and costumed production directed by American director Chas Rader-Shieber and designed by Australian designers Brad Clark and Alex Sommer. Performances took place in early December at City Recital Hall Angel Place.
The cast included American countertenor David Walker,[1] who appeared as Holofernes in the company's 2007 Juditha triumphans. In the title role was Australian mezzo-soprano Fiona Campbell as Erisbe, while Opera Australia Principal Artists Taryn Fiebig and Kanen Breen, both made their Pinchgut débuts, as Sicle and Erice respectively. Erin Helyard conducted, and the director was Talya Masel. L'Ormindo opened at Sydney's City Recital Hall on 2 December 2009.




  1. ^ David Walker's website
  2. ^ "Music of France". Art Gallery of NSW. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  3. ^ The Chimney Sweep, production details and background, Pinchgut Opera
  4. ^ Iphigénie en Tauride, production details and background, Pinchgut Opera
  5. ^ "Pinchgut Opera wins International Opera Award". ABC Classic. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.


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