2016 marks our third year of a winter and a summer season and to mark the occasion we are turning to masterworks which the composers themselves thought were their best works: Haydn’s Armida and Handel’s Theodora. Whereas 2015 features two operas that revolved around strong male leads, 2016 showcases two works with powerful female leads; one an evil sorceress, one virtuous and devout. Haydn’s Armida has the composer at the height of his theatrical prowess, and Handel’s Theodora is one of his best-constructed operas, with soulful arias and virtuosic showpieces and choruses. We are thrilled to bring these masterpieces to the Sydney stage.
— Erin Helyard

Both operas will be directed by women; Crystal Manich from the USA and Lindy Hume joins Pinchgut again after her triumph with Iphigénie en Tauride 2014. The season features a stellar cast of singers, many of whom are internationally acclaimed Australians returning to Sydney to performing with Pinchgut. As always, The Orchestra of the Antipodes will feature on period instruments, conducted by Antony Walker (Armida in June 2016) and Erin Helyard (Theodora in December 2016).