Two new professional theatre companies launch with education programs, too

NToP - SwallowHere is an opportunity too good to refuse! To celebrate the launch of their inaugural production, the National Theatre of Parramatta is offering tickets at a special price to industry colleagues and to readers of this blog.

Swallow, written by Olivier award winning playwright Stef Smith opens at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, on Saturday, April 23, 2.30pm and 7.30pm, with a preview performance, Thursday, April 21. Swallow explores questions of identity, heartbreak and hope with a vivid and poetic intensity and received rave reviews for its world premiere season at Edinburgh Festival in 2015. A five star review described Swallow as “A compelling and bitter-sweet snapshot of the lives of three women in transition.” The Australian premiere production is directed by founder and former artistic director of Force Majeure and Helpmann Award winner, Kate Champion.

Australia’s newest theatre company, National Theatre of Parramatta, is the resident theatre company at Riverside and has developed with the guidance and support of Riverside’s director, Robert Love. Its driving aim is to reflect the true diversity of Australian society today and to tell its rich and complex stories. Western Sydney lives through the daily experience of negotiating cultural difference, of needing to listen and learn – hence this blog’s title Western Sydney Frontier. So many of the region’s individual stories are unknown to a wider national audience and NToP is determined to create bold, contemporary productions inspired by local communities, while offering training and education programs to young people from western Sydney.

While NToP directors develop the foundations for this work, they have chosen to launch the company with Swallow, a play in the spirit of the qualities they wish to nurture. With a stellar cast of just three, Swallow tells the stories of Rebecca (Megan Drury), Sam (Valerie Berry) and Anna (Luisa Hastings Edge) who are simultaneously at the tipping point between self-destruction and self-acceptance. Sharing similar states of vulnerability and defiance, they influence each other’s lives in unforeseeable ways while connecting their fates and ability to re-enter the outside world. A story about survival, the company says Swallow is tragic yet comic, complex yet simple and ugly yet beautiful.

Industry and Blog Reader Offer
$29.00 ticket only
Performances: Thursday 21st April preview performance / Saturday 23rd April 2.30pm and 7.30pm performances. Bookings: available online, at the counter and over the phone – 8839 3399. Riverside Theatres – Corner Church and Market Streets Parramatta NSW 2150. Swallow continues to April 30.

Taking WSO-May-Logo-535x354centre stage at The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith, next month will be a new young company Western Sydney Opera. The brainchild of Kingswood lyric tenor, Lorenzo Rositano, Western Sydney Opera won start up financial support from Penrith Council after Lorenzo’s successful production of La Boheme at The Joan last September. With three qualifications from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and almost a year of touring and performing in Italy in 2014, he developed a commitment to making Western Sydney Opera an educational project as well as an artistic venture.

WSO - Lorenzo RositanoTwenty eight year old Lorenzo’s early training was at Penrith Conservatorium of Music. In 2006 he was selected by the Australian Olympic Committee to perform the Australian national anthem at the Winter Olympics Games in Turin, Italy. He also graduated from the Talent Development Project, directed by Mary Lopez, the former director of the Schools Spectacular.

Western Sydney Opera will be launched at The Joan, with a Mothers Day concert, Saturday, May 7, at 7pm. The young cast of opera’s emerging artists will present a program of operatic highlights and songs from operetta, musical theatre and much more. Bookings and more information.