July 2017

Well it is Winter in Melbourne which is surely reason enough to get indoors in the theatre?

I have recently directed my first Opera for Lyric Opera of Melbourne. It was Monterverdi’s ‘The Coronation of Poppea’ and it was a huge success. I wasn’t sure I was neccessarily going to like it but it was a joy. And the Audiences and critics loved it!

Next up…The Actor’s Benevolent Fund Concert in September then “Hello Again” in Sydney! Can’t wait!


“The Coronation of Poppea…surges to life in Lyric Opera of Melbourne’s outstanding new production. Director Tyran Parke’s fine credentials are put to the test in an opera directorial debut that delivers an edgy, intelligent and dramatically well-paced entertaining treasure…superbly depicted character interactions accompanied by quality singing…Planted firmly on the poetry of the text, Parke’s inventiveness is replicated by design that brims with sophistication…Parke’s part-prankish approach is an enlivening accompaniment to the percolating drama, one he gives truthfulness to that celebrates the opera’s near 400-year existence and a highly recommended one to head off to.” Herald Sun

“Clever creative artistry and bountiful talent make for a compelling production of The Coronation of Poppea in this mighty achievement from Lyric Opera of Melbourne…In a neat theatrical coup, the company has engaged a director for this production whose passion, intelligence and insight are a worthy match for maestro Miller. The result is a presentation of at least double the quality…Well experienced in the world of musical theatre, particularly in boutique productions of similar scale to this one, acclaimed director Tyran Parke works his magic on The Coronation of Poppea to fascinating effect. While the structure of baroque operas can often lead to a stand and sing structure, Parke plays with the flow of arias, having characters hover in the background before their next aria or dwell on stage reflecting on their thoughts after singing…Parke’s concept is set in an abstract time and place where modern and classical elements coexist. The prologue is confronting for traditional operagoers, with tragic drag queens Virtue and Fortune staggering home to the strains of nightclub music. While this opening deliberately grabs attention, Parke grounds the ensuing action in human truth, leading to a final set of scenes that are as dramatically satisfying as they are moving…The quality of this season of The Coronation of Poppea stands mightily on its own merits… Simon Parris
“This all-star cast is in good hands with experienced director Tyran Parke — whose track record includes on over 80 professional productions since graduating from WAAPA — who manages to bring together an array of people with various theatrical backgrounds. The Coronation of Poppea is an opera that truly has stood the test of time and has never been done the way Lyric Opera has presented it.” Milk Bar



“Lyric Opera have provided me with many delightful evenings at the theatre, but never with as much vocal talent as was on display in this performance…The simple set comprised a bed with doors, which could be folded back. This was very effective. The modern costumes worked well and have the gods, Fortune and Virtue, in drag was a novel approach. This performance was one of the highlights of the opera season.”

Graham Ford Stage Whisper

“Finding inspiration in the Fellini films of the 60s, director Tyran Parke has worked with his design team to blend costumes from that era with a surreal staging that transcends a particular time and place. A gigantic closet, with folding doors that are opened and closed for various scene changes, dominates the simple set. In the background, the sumptuous folds of a vibrant red curtain suggest both passion and a theatrical world…a major contributor to the success of this production and makes it one that should not be missed.” CLASSIC Melbourne



“guaranteed to get opera lovers salivating. Add to that the prospect of some of early opera’s most expressive music, including a swoon-worthy final duet and the proposition seems irresistible…The current production of The Coronation of Poppea by Lyric Opera of Melbourne is alive to the theatrical and musical possibilities of Monteverdi’s last opera..Director Tyran Parke clearly establishes the impotence of these deities from the outset, as the flawed mortals of the story are often appealing to them for heavenly patronage…Parke and the singers worked well together to keep the long flow of material involving, especially in the second half…Lyric Opera’s production tells the story in a colourful and attractive way”


“the work itself is hard-edged, in soap-opera terms, more pumice stone than Palmolive. Accordingly, it duly received a swift andsinewy performance…Tyran Parke’s focussed but occasionally silly production, with thrust-stage set dominated by a large wardrobe and (for Act II) a long dining table, worked well in the intimacy of Chapel offChapel…this Poppea was cumulatively a noble experience. Three hours (one interval) can be a long time in opera, but the

evening sped by as if on Mercury’s wings.”

THE AGE Review by Michael Shmith:


“Enthralled by the performance…vivid all the way in looks and drama…part prankish approach and percolating drama intensify…director Tyran Parkes edgy, intelligent poppea opens in deliciously impressive style” opera chaser