Introducing grand opera to the Regent Theatre for the very first time with Richard Wagner’s signature story of sacred, profane, and redemptive love.

Production Details

14, 17, 12, 20, 28th August, 2016.
Regent Theatre, Melbourne.
Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University
Running Time:
3hr 15m, with two twenty minute intervals.

Composer: Richard Wagner
Conductor: David Kram, Greg Hocking
Director: Suzanne Chaundy 
Starring: Marius Vlad, Lee Abrahmsen, Manfred Pohlenz, Sarah Sweeting.

Melbourne Opera’s superb new production of Wagner’s rarely performed masterpiece Tannhäuser, with a company of over 130 singers and musicians, will open the magnificent Regent Theatre to the thrilling world of grand opera for the first time.

With leading international star tenor Marius Vlad in the demanding title role, Melbourne Opera has assembled a top cast of international and local singers to perform this monumental work. Herald Sun aria winners Lee Abrahmsen and Jason Wasley appear as Elizabeth and Walther respectively, with Sarah Sweeting and Manfred Pohlenz appearing in the pivotal roles of Venus and Wolfram. The superb cast, 60 voices of the Melbourne Opera Chorus and 65 piece Melbourne Opera Orchestra under the direction of leading Wagnerian Dr David Kram will bring all the majesty of Wagner’s magnificent arias and ensembles to life.

The new production is directed by Suzanne Chaundy, acclaimed for her recent successes with Il Seraglio, Mary Stuart and Der Freischütz.

Tannhäuser, not seen in Melbourne since 1992, tells the story of one man’s struggle with the conflicting emotions of sensual and pure love, of flesh and spirit. The opera features some of Wagner’s most well known music including the Overture, Ode to the Evening Star, Pilgrims Chorus and Elizabeth’s Greeting and Prayer. The opera will be performed in German with English subtitles.


Production Sponsor: Henkell Brothers Investment Managers.

Press & Reviews

 “Melbourne Opera makes a quantum leap in scale of production, crossing Collins St to present a majestic, immensely satisfying production of Tannhäuser at the Regent Theatre.

— Simon Parris, Man in Chair.

“Suzanne Chaundy, a regular Melbourne Opera director, delivered her finest achievement in this production. It had focus, pace and was of compelling quality.”
The Australian.


Cast & Crew

Tannhäuser — Marius Vlad, Jason Wasely
Princess Elizabeth — Lee Abrahmsen 
Wolfram vos Eschinbach — Manfred Pohlenz
Venus, Goddess of Love — Sarah Sweeting
Hermann — Eddie Muliaumaseali’i
Walther von der Vogelweide — Jason Wasely, Jacob Caine
Heinrich der Schreiber — Geoffery Harris
Reinmar von Szweter — Roger Howell
Shepard —  Harry Hendel, Isaac pearson
Pages — Sophie Cowall, Audrey Ryan, Della Gondwana, Anjali Moorthy, Riley Flood.


James Ash, Matt Biscombe, Ariel Chou, Myfanwy Coghill, Ian Cook, Ken Courtis, Maddie Crombie, Robin Czuchnowski, Timothy Daly, Elisabeth Denk, Paul Dernelley, Annette Dick, Andrew Dickinson, Michael Dimovski, Dick Dowling, Finn Gilheany, Esther Gresswell, Alicia Groves, Sue Halls, Peter Hanway, Kathy Hatton, Mark Henderson, Angela Hennel, Catherine Hoffman, Piri Jakab, Sherryn Kew, Geoff King, Rebecca Kmit, Jade Leigh, Helen Ling, Terence MacManus, Maree Macmillan, Bianca Majchrzak, Aurélie Marqué, Steve Marsh, Alison McIntosh, Kate Millett, Trevor Mills, Robert Moroni, Bernie Nolan, Rosemary O’Brien, Debra O’Connor, Alexandra Oke, John Overberg, David Preston, Susan Robertson, Roland Seidl, Cameron Sibly, James Sybren, Penn Norma, Tovey Erin Towns, Te Ua Houkamau, Robert Van Keulen, Lynda Watkins, Nicholas Webb.


Director: Suzanne Chaundy
: David Kram, Greg Hocking
Designer – Set: Christina Logan-Bell
Designer – Video: Zoe Scoglio 
Designer – Costume: Daniel Harvey
Designer – Lighting: Lucy Birkinshaw
Head of Music-Chorus Master: Raymond Lawrence
Stage Manager: Sarah Grey
Assistant Stage Managers: Kirsty Walker, Alex Dick
Assistant Director: Miki Oikawa
Costume Manager: Lauren Ritchie
Set Construction: Greg Carroll
Repetiteur: Konrad Olszewski
Surtitles: Felicity Baldock
Consulting Swordsman: Finn Gilheany
Costume Assistant: Josh Nien, Evaleen Motoska, Julie Labroue, Nadine Laburadaw
Company Manager: 
Robbie McPhee
Producer: Greg Hocking AM