It's been over 120 years since the release of L. Frank Braum's The
Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a young girl called Dorothy Gale is swept
away by a tornado and carried to the Land of Oz. While many would have read the
1900 story and many more would have seen the 1939 film, it is the first time
that Italian composer Pierangelo Valtinoni’s opera, Il Mago di Oz, is
being performed in Australia. Presented by the Victorian Opera, the opera
mostly sticks to the source material but manages to throw in a few
contemporary references to surprise audiences.
Soprano Georgia Wilkinson as Dorothy possesses great presence and charisma as the determined and brave Dorothy and an even more captivating voice that takes us on a vocal journey that matches the magic of the physical one that Dorothy takes us on. James Emerson, Stephen Marsh and Michael Dimovksi deliver distinct characterisations to The Cowardly Lion, The Tin Man and The Scarecrow, with their voices supporting each other but able to take the lead when required.