Nocturnal dream sequences, expressionistic harlequinades

Leuchten im Foyer (photo: David Ausserhofer)

Franz Schreker and Arnold Schoenberg were two of the visionary thinkers of Vienna’s music scene in the Belle Époque. On the threshold between late Romanticism and Modernism, they were looking for new forms of expression. Schreker, as his dance allegory Der Wind makes clear, remained committed to the sensuous musical language of the fin de siècle. Schoenberg, too, still made use of this style in his opulent early work Verklärte Nacht, but before long he went off on a different path: for example, with the avant-garde Pierrot Lunaire, one of his masterpieces. All three works on this programme are spellbindingly infused with a rapt, dreamlike atmosphere.

Stanley Dodds violin and conductor
Martin Löhr violoncello
Andraž Golob clarinet
Stefan Dohr horn
Philip Mayers piano
Marlene Ito violin
Naoko Shimizu viola
Tobias Reifland viola
Uladzimir Sinkevich violoncello
Jelka Weber flute
Tabatha McFadyen vocal and co-director
Constantine Costi co-director
Allie Graham dance
Shannon Bruns choreography

Franz Schreker

Der Wind (The wind)

Stanley Dodds (violine), Martin Löhr (violoncello), Andraž Golob (clarinet), Stefan Dohr (horn), Philip Mayers (piano)

Arnold Schönberg

Verklärte Nacht for string sextet, op. 4

Marlene Ito (violin), Naoko Shimizu (viola), Tobias Reifland (viola), Uladzimir Sinkevich (violoncello)

Arnold Schönberg

Pierrot lunaire op. 21

Stanley Dodds (conductor), Marlene Ito (violin), Naoko Shimizu (viola), Martin Löhr (violoncello), Jelka Weber (flute), Andraž Golob (clarinet), Philip Mayers (piano), Tabatha McFadyen (vocals and co-director), Constantine Costi (co-director), Allie Graham (dance), Shannon Bruns (choreography)

Dates and Tickets


Philip Mayers

What drew the Australian pianist Philip Mayers to abandon the subtropical warmth of his native Brisbane for Berlin? "The burning desire to be part of a broader cultural world," says the sought-after vocal accompanist, chamber musician, soloist, and new music specialist. In addition to these diverse activities, Philip Mayers is also a conductor, composer, arranger and performer of cabaret and light music. The accomplished musician, who studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane as well as in Berlin and New York, performs regularly with the RIAS Chamber Choir and the Rundfunkchor Berlin. Mayers has also directed the Berlin Chamber Opera at renowned festivals, and has conducted at the Schloss Rheinsberg Opera Festival on several occasions.

Tabatha McFadyen

Tabatha McFadyen is currently assistant director at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. However, she initially worked as an opera singer, after completing her vocal studies with honors at Griffith University in Australia. After postgraduate studies in directing at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, she worked as an assistant director at the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival in 2019, before becoming an assistant director at Opera Australia as part of the Young Artist Program. As a director, Tabatha McFadyen has assisted Claus Guth, Calixto Bieito and Caroline Staunton, among others. In addition to this work, she also continues to work as a singer and speaker. At some point, as she says herself, directing began to take up more space in her life than singing in the opera. “With Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire, I returned to singing - with a completely different voice and in a completely different genre".

Constantine Costi

Constantine Costi is a Greek-Cypriot-Australian director and author. After studying film directing, he soon moved into the world of opera. In 2021, Costi staged La Traviata on the Sydney Harbour for Opera Australia on one of the largest open-air stages in the world. In the same year, The Australian Newspaper named him one of its "21 Emerging Creatives". Costi wrote the libretto for Simon Bruckard's opera Cassandra for the Victorian State Opera in Melbourne, directed Monochromatic, a series of piano portraits for Phoenix Central Park in Sydney, and staged an online version of Don Giovanni for Shanghai Opera. He was also part of the directing team for Komische Oper Berlin's new production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, directed by Barrie Kosky.

Shannon Burns

Shannon Burns danced at the Queensland Dance School of Excellence before completing her ballet studies in Sydney. She specializes in choreography and movement direction and is drawn to powerful, dynamic and stylized movement. However, storytelling is at the heart of her work. She has worked with many of Australia's leading choreographers and is also active in areas such as film and television.

Allie Graham

Sydney-based Allie Graham is a dancer, actress and choreographer. She is active in many fields, from contemporary dance and physical theater, where storytelling is done through physical movement, to opera and film. At Opera Australia she performed as a solo dancer in the role of the Milkmaid in Aribert Reimann's The Ghost Sonata, directed by Greg Eldridge. She also appeared there in Verdi's Aida, Il trovatore and Attila. In Kurt Weill's double production of The Seven Deadly Sins and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, directed by Constantine Costi and choreographed by Shannon Burns, she played the role of Anna II. On screen, she has worked with renowned filmmaker and choreographer Sue Healey, among others, and appeared in the short film Circumstance.


On the sesquicentenary of Schoenberg’s birth