Only a short time left to buy your tickets to the RITA the comic opera by Gaetano Donizetti. There are only two performances at the Union Theatre on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 November 2023.

The opera is a world premiere of a new performing version in English by director/librettist John Wregg with Music Direction by Sharolyn Kimmorley.

The opera is set in a guest house run by Rita with her second husband, Beppe. Rita has a tragic past, her first husband was lost at sea in a shipwreck, then she narrowly escaped a bushfire that destroyed the entire district.

Traumatised she is now finding a new balance by dominating her hen-pecked second husband, as she is determined to never again be bullied as she was in her first marriage.

Everything is turned upside down when her first husband, Gasparo, reappears. Each, believing the other was dead, they have both formed new lives – which are now brought into crisis.

Who is the legitimate husband? Both husbands plot to get the other to take Rita off his hands, and so the fun begins.

Donizetti’s patter songs. abundant in in this piece, are the precursors of those popular highlights celebrated in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.

In addition to this hilarious performance there will be preshow entertain from local Mitchell Conservatorium musicians to be enjoyed with complimentary canapes.

“I am thrilled that we have secured this production for Lithgow. It is a very funny and entertaining piece in one short act filled with beautiful melodies and witty dialogue. And we have home grown talent playing in our preshow entertainment. Paris Master, a 12-year-old harpist and Robert Saville, pianist, both from the Mitchel Conservatorium,” said Gaye Macfarlane.

The Performers

Leading Australian and International accompanist and Vocal Coach Sharolyn Kimmorley is musical director.  Australian born and internationally recognized soprano, Catherine Bouchier performs in the title role of Rita.

The role of her brow beaten husband Beppe, will be performed by multiple award winner Joshua Oxley.

As Gesparo, Rita’s ex-husband, also with international experience, is Australian baritone Christopher Tonkin who has performed extensively in Germany and Romania.

The production is directed by international opera director John Wregg.

Ticket prices are $60 and $45 concession including pre-show entertainment, light food and with drinks available for purchase. 

Tickets are only available online at