Gale Edwards - Stage Director
Gale is one of Australia’s leading and most acclaimed international directors. She is known nationally and internationally for her work in directing drama, comedy, renowned classics and large scale musicals, and for the development of new work.[ Read more ]
She was the first Australian to direct on the main-stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and to open a musical on both The West End and Broadway. Gale spent a year as Associate Director to Trevor Nunn on Les Misérables on Broadway and later maintained the production for four years in Australia. She then spent seven years as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s chief collaborator, directing productions of Whistle Down the Wind, Aspects of Love and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Some of Gale’s Australian credits include the highly acclaimed original version of The Boy from Oz and Eureka (Melbourne Festival), Jerry Springer the Opera for the Sydney Opera House and God of Carnage for Sydney Theatre Company. Gale’s production of The Rocky Horror Show played in sold out seasons in Sydney and Melbourne. Her production of Snow on Mars premiered during the 2011 Sydney Festival.
Awards: Three Sydney Critics Circle Awards, Four Greenroom Awards, two Mo Awards, International Emmy Award, two Helpmann Awards, a Sydney Critics Award (for FESTEN), two nominations for Helen Hayes Award USA, 2000 Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society
OA repertoire: Manon Lescaut, The Magic Flute, Sweeney Todd, La bohème, Salome.
Opera: Mary Stuart (ENO); Katya Kabanova, Der Rosenkavalier (NZ International Festival); Nixon in China, Sweeney Todd (SOSA).
Musicals: original Boy from Oz, Aspects of Love (RUG Australia, UK); Whistle Down the Wind (West End); Jesus Christ Superstar (West End and Broadway); The Rocky Horror Show, Jerry Springer the Opera (Sydney Opera House).
International Plays: Four productions (Royal Shakespeare Company); St Joan (West End); three productions (Chichester Festival); four productions (Washington Shakespeare Theatre); Don Carlos, The White Devil (BAM, NY). Numerous productions in Australia for all the major theatre companies.
Brian Castles-Onion - Conductor
Brian Castles-Onion is one of Australia’s most exciting and best-known conductors and pianists. He is described as ‘Exceptionally Brilliant’, ‘Dynamic’ and ‘Fabulous’.[ Read more ]
After study abroad, he returned to Opera Australia in 1994 and was awarded the prestigious Churchill Fellowship to study conducting in Europe. He has worked at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Rossini Festival in Italy, has been Artistic Director of Canterbury Opera in New Zealand and continues a long association with Opera Australia.
His conducting experience throughout Australia, Asia and New Zealand includes: La bohème, Faust, La Traviata, Les pêcheurs de perles, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Così fan tutte, Lucio Silla, Rinaldo, Les contes d’Hoffmann, The Telephone, Turandot, Norma, The Merry Widow, Lakmé, A Little Night Music, La forza del destino, Manon, The Mikado, Tosca, Carmen, Samson et Dahlia, Rigoletto, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Iolanthe, The Pirates of Penzance, The Gondoliers, H.M.S. Pinafore and My Fair Lady.
In concert, Brian Castles-Onion is a celebrated compère as well as conductor. He was on the podium for Opera Australia’s 40th Anniversary Gala and The Robert Allman Farewell Gala and recently conducted the Joan Sutherland State Memorial Service – which was broadcast internationally on television and radio.
His recital and concert appearances have seen him as conductor and pianist for Kiri Te Kanawa, Sumi Jo, Frederica von Stade, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Geraldine Turner. His recordings include The Stephen Sondheim Songbook, When We Met, Amoureuse, The Power of Love, Puccini Passion, Geraldine Turner – The Stephen Sondheim Songbook Volume Two and the soundtrack to the American film Harlem Aria.
Brian’s reputation as an international recording artist, orchestral arranger and broadcaster is legendary and he has appeared in cabaret in New York, Berlin, London and throughout Australia - where he also regularly appears on national television. Brian is also a regular pianist/presenter on ABC television’s Play School – a position he adores! His first book Losing the Plot in Opera (published by Exisle Publishing) was released internationally in 2008. He made his New York Recital Debut in May 2009 and taught at Juilliard School of Music in New York.
His 2011 conducting engagements included La bohème, The Mikado and La traviata for Opera Australia, performances with the Adelaide, Christchurch and West Australian Symphony Orchestras and concerts with Kiri Te Kanawa and Sumi Jo. In 2012, he conducted all performances of La traviata – Opera Australia’s ‘Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’.
Brian Thomson - Set Designer
Brian was born and educated in Sydney, he designed settings for the original Australian and London productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Show. He also designed the enduring cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show and won the 1996 Tony award for Broadway production of The King And I, which also played at the London Palladium.[ Read more ]
He designed Kylie Minogue’s Intimate And Live Tour in 1999, was supervising designer for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremonies and designed the 2003 Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony. Brian has designed settings for more productions in the Sydney Opera House than any other designer and has designed numerous productions for Neil Armfield’s Company B Belvoir, The Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia (Bliss, Billy Budd, Voss, Death in Venice, The Eighth Wonder, Madeline Lee, Sweeney Todd) and The Sydney Dance Company and the English National Opera. He designed Dame Edna’s bookend productions, Housewife Superstar! in 1976 and Dame Edna Back With A Vengeance on Broadway in 2004. Brian has designed Burn The Floor, which is touring internationally, The Boy From Oz with Hugh Jackman, Keating! and Shane Warne The Musical in Australia, the West End production of Holding The Man and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, productions in Australia/NZ and the West End, Toronto and Broadway.
Julie Lynch - Costume Designer
Julie Lynch’s awards include three Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Costume Design for Travesties 2009, The Bourgeois Gentleman 2006 and Festen 2005; two Helpmann Awards for The Rocky Horror Show 2008 and The Way of the World 2003.[ Read more ]
Head of Costume at NIDA, 2000-05.
OA repertoire: Salome, La bohème, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Love Burns, Don Giovanni (design realization).
Other Companies: Include Zebra, The God of Carnage, Chasing the Dragon, Del Del (Sydney Theatre Company), set and costumes for The Misanthrope (State Theatre Co of South Australia), set and costumes for Pericles, realised set/costume designs for As You Like It (Bell Shakespeare), Little Women: The Musical, Company (Kookaburra), Mary Stuart (Ensemble Theatre), costumes for The Stations of the Cross (World Youth Day), realised set/costume designs for Madama Butterfly (Oz Opera), The Birds (NIDA), Buried Child (Belvoir Street Theatre) and Love Burns (Victoria State Opera). Future engagements: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Really Useful Company).
John Rayment - Lighting Designer
John brings to his work the experience of thirty years and well over 250 diverse projects. He has always been drawn to those projects that speak to adventure in the craft. Notable among them, at differing ends of the spectrum, are the celebrated The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (all those years ago, for Sydney Theatre Company and Opera Australia) and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. John found himself signing on, with Australia’s Laservision, for the original conception and design realisation of Hong Kong’s extraordinary, permanent, cityscape display, A Symphony of Lights. Whilst in Hong Kong, John also designed the multi-million dollar architectural lighting of Norman Foster’s iconic HSBC– also a commission via Laservision.[ Read more ]
He was, more recently, the “International Creative Technical Director” for the Opening Ceremony for the Taipei 2009 Deaflympics. John designed the lighting for the multi-award winning, arena entertainment, Walking with Dinosaurs - The Live Experience (for Global Creatures and which is still touring the planet after four years). John designed the original, opening production for the permanent attraction, Australian Outback Spectacular for Warner Village Theme Parks. He has designed the lighting for Singapore National Day celebrations and three New Year’s Eve displays on Singapore’s Marina Bay.
John has created designs for all the major companies in Australia. He had a lengthy association with Graeme Murphy’s Sydney Dance Company, creating some thirty designs for the company, including Viridian, The Protecting Veil, Synergy with Synergy, Fornicon (settings designed by Brian Thomson); Beauty and the Beast, Poppy, Daphnis & Chloe, Sheherazade, Berlin, Free Radicals and the infamous Salome.
He has further created designs in the dance world for English National Ballet – The Nutcracker; Royal New Zealand Ballet – The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet (London’s Olivier Award for Best New Production), The Wedding; back home, The Australian Ballet has commissioned designs for a number of works, of which Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Red Earth are among his favourites. John’s designs for Sydney Theatre Company are many and highlights there include Chinchilla, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Doll Trilogy, As You Desire Me, The Perfectionist, Emerald City, Soulmates, Up for Grabs, The Cherry Orchard and Dorothy Hewitt’s wonderful Fields of Heaven.
Most recently, for Opera Australia, in March 2011, John created the lighting for Gale Edward’s fabulous new production of La bohème (again with Brian Thomson’s sets). Past productions for Opera Australia include Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Norma, The Mikado, Aida, The Little Mermaid, The Trojans Parts 1 & 2, Orpheus in the Underworld and Lulu.
Later this year he will be creating the cityscape and aerial lighting for the Brisbane Festival’s Riverfire and Santos City of Light display.
He has also been commissioned, this year, to light a new, extraordinary Magic Nutcracker– a hybrid, acrobatic ballet for Shanghai City Entertainment Group.
Eamon D’arcy - Site Designer
Tony David Cray - Sound Designer
Tony is an Australian born Grammy award-winning audio engineer/producer with over 25 years’experience working in the audio and music industry, also including building lutes, composing music for film, theatre and television and audio software development.[ Read more ]
Currently working as the Head of Recording and Broadcast for the Sydney Opera House, Tony is responsible for the recording and production of a wide range of projects across a diverse array of genres.
He has composed the music and provided sound designs for many of Australia's performing arts companies as well as teaching sound design in film and theatre at NIDA and AFTRS. He is a recipient of the Churchill Fellowship, 2011, which will take him abroad to study how best to present the performing arts within the digital medium.
He was the Sound Designer on Opera Australia's production of Die tote Stadt and Audio Director for recent live broadcasts and cinema releases, including Bliss, The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto, La bohéme, Lakmé, Der Rosenkavalier, The Mikado, Don Giovanni, La Traviata and South Pacific. Tony won a Helpmann in 2012 for, The Best Sound Design for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour performance of La Traviata.
Recent recording engagements include The Sydney Symphony, The Australian Ballet, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Charles Mackerras, Burt Bacharach, Olivia Newton-John, The Whitlams, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Darren Hayes, John Farnham, Paul Kelly A to Z, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia - Soundtrack, Bell Shakespeare, Chick Corea with Gary Burton, The Cure, Lou Reed and Brian Eno.