Melbourne’s Arts Scene Set to Sizzle

Danny Burstein (Harold Zidler) 1 – Boston cast – credit Matthew Murphy

Get set, Melbourne is bringing back the arts in a big way.

From new musicals to opera,  it’s set to sizzle.

Here’s a round-up of what to put in your diary now lockdowns are lifted.


The countdown is on – the spectacular Moulin Rouge! The Musical opens at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre mid-November.

After months of delays the curtain will finally go up on November 12, 2021.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical  brings  Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film to life onstage remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza.

Melbourne’s Regent Theatre has been transformed into the famed French nightclub and is set to transport audiences to 19th century Paris, complete with the iconic red windmill and towering blue elephant.

Alinta Chidzey, who stars as the sparkling diamond, Satine, says, “This past year has been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs and to be able to finally say that we are opening the show actually makes me quite emotional.”

“I’m just in awe of this ridiculously talented cast and what we have created together. The energy we all feel on stage as we rehearse this spectacular is like nothing I’ve experienced before.

“The show is a true feast for the senses and exactly what Melbourne needs right now to lift our lockdown spirits! I cannot wait to share it with audiences and celebrate together the joy that is live entertainment.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical was originally due to open on 13 August 2021 but was delayed due to lockdown restrictions. In a twist of COVID fate, the West End and Australian productions will now premiere on the same day.  Last month the Broadway production won a remarkable 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical in a coup for Australian producers Global Creatures.


Tickets to the Australian production of Moulin Rouge! The Musical went on sale in February 2021, breaking the Regent Theatre record  for the single biggest day of pre-sale tickets sold.

Newcomer Des Flanagan stars opposite Alinta Chidzey as bohemian dreamer Christian, Simon Burke AO plays legendary club impresario Harold Zidler and Andrew Cook will play The Duke. Montmartre’s resident artistes include Tim Omaji as Toulouse-Lautrec and Ryan Gonzalez as Santiago.

The club’s famed entertainers known as the ‘Lady M’s’ will be played by Samantha Dodemaide as Nini, Ruva Ngwenya as La Chocolat, Christopher J Scalzo as Babydoll, and Olivia Vásquez as Arabia.

Directed by Alex TimbersMoulin Rouge! The Musical is a theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and — above all — Love. With a book by John Logan, music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Justin Levine, and choreography by Sonya TayehMoulin Rouge! is more than a musical; it is a state of mind.

Bringing Moulin Rouge! The Musical to the stage was a decade-long journey spanning 3 continents, encompassing 75 songs credited to 165 songwriters, administered by 31 publishers, representing over 160 years of music.

Hamilton-is-moving to Melbourne.


That fast-paced hip-hop Sydney blockbuster Hamilton is also set to open in Melbourne in March 2022.

It is set to open at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre from March 16 2022, following its 2021 Australian premiere in Sydney.

It’s the story of the history of America – set to rap and has been a sell-out in Sydney.

Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the
story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre – a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics and education.
With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, the show is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography.

Star Jason Arrow plays Alexander Hamilton with spirit and an energy that inspires as he helps bring colorful American history to life with snappy songs and dance moves.

The show features 20,520 words in total, a massive 144 words a minute and Hamilton the character, has a lot to say.

“It’s a lot of fast-paced words and it was daunting at first, but I just concentrate on the section of the show I am doing and don’t jump ahead,” says Arrow, who moved with his family from Durban in South Africa to Western Australia, when he was five.

It’s set to open on March 16, 2022.

Earl Carpenter and Katie Hall in Phantom of the Opera  photo by Alastair Muir

Opera Australia

There’s lots planned for opera lovers next year including the Phantom of the Opera.

La Traviata | Conductor Renato Palumbo | Director Elijah Moshinsky
Following her success at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, shining star soprano Stacey Alleaume will make her in-theatre role debut as Violetta in La Traviata.

Renato Palumbo makes a welcome return to Australia to conduct Ho-Yoon Chung as Alfredo, José Carbó as Giorgio and Celeste Haworth as Flora. State Theatre,
Arts Centre Melbourne, May 4 – 28 2022.

A co-production of Wagner’s Lohengrin will be staged with Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Olivier Py’s Lohengrin using a monumental revolving tiered set to depict a decaying theatre where emblems of German Romanticism gather dust.

Opera Australia’s Head of Music Tahu Matheson will conduct Wagner’s
romantic opera for the first time with an all-star cast featuring Emily Magee as Elsa, Elena Gabouri as Ortrud, Marco Vratogna as Telramund and Roberto Aronica in the title role. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, May 14 – 24, 2022

Never before performed in Australia, the music of Boito’s only completed opera, Mefistofele will ring out in the State Theatre.

After her 2021 Australian debut in Aida, American soprano Leah Crocetto will return to Melbourne to sing the part of Margherita opposite Australia’s favourite tenor Diego Torre as Faust, Australian soprano Natalie Aroyan, and Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto as Mefistofele.

Sensational young conductor Andrea Battistoni will conduct the full orchestra, huge chorus and big children’s chorus through Boito’s lush orchestration in a tale about a dance with the devil himself. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, May
25 – 27, 2022

One of the most successful musicals of all time, The Phantom of the Opera, will bring hit after hit from its musical score to Melbourne.

Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary show makes its Arts Centre Melbourne debut, with new direction, scenic design, lighting, sound and choreography with the original Tony- Award-winning costume designs. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, October 30 – December 31 2022.