See Elena Gabouri in the Opera Australia’s Aida in Sydney and Brisbane

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Elena Gabouri, a Franco-Russian mezzo-soprano, is reprising her role of Amneris in Opera Australia’s Aida this month. We had a chat to her about this digital opera performance.

Elena Gabouri Aida Opera Australia

Elena Gabouri, You sing in Opera Australia’s digital opera Aida. Tell us about this show How is it a digital show?

Don’t worry, the show is not entirely digital: we sing and act live! But the show is reinforced by « living » digital images which are very beautiful and impressive because of their “pharaonic” size. Digital art is relatively new and of course the collaboration between theatre and the digital will be inevitable and welcome in the years to come.


You are reprising the role of Amneris, a role which you also played in 2018. How is this production different to the 2018 production?

It’s the same production by Davide Livermore, we reprise dit with the revival director Shane Placentino who knew how to make it resonate again.


You are a mezzo-soprano. How long have you been singing and what drew you to the opera?

I’ve been singing forever. I started working my voice when I was 15 and when I was 16 I started singing at concerts, at 21 I sang and performed my first role on the professional stage. All this, of course, through study and passion.


Where did you study singing?

I started with a private teacher and then I studied at the St Petersburg State Conservatory, then I started at the Conservatoire Supérieure de Paris. However, a singer finishes their studies on the stage.


You’re Franco-Russian. Is one of your parents French?

No, neither of my parents are French. But I now have French adoptive parents.



How long have you been in Australia?

For 3 months now. This time I arrived at the beginning of April for our first production of Aida in Melbourne. In the beginning, I spent 14 days in quarantine in a hotel room.


How long have you lived in France and where?

My house and my family are in France. I arrived about 20 years ago and lived in Paris.


What are the challenges singing in a language that isn’t your own?

If you mean Italian, I speak Italian. I am bilingual French-Russian and when I sing in a language that I am not fluent or not well-versed in, I work on the grammar beforehand. That is, before I sing a role I understand every word of what I am expressing and why that word is in that note.


You’ve sung in operas in Italy, Russia, Ireland, France and Australia. What has been your career highlight thus far?

And also in the USA, the United Kingdom, in Greece, Turkey, South Korea, and I may have forgotten some others.

I think that it would be at the Arena in Verona, Italy, where I replaced Dolora Zajick as Amneris in Aida that day. The next day I woke up and found myself in a big press article with the title “What a great discovery!” Since that day my professional life has changed.


Do you have a ritual before going on stage?

Not really: think music and be fine…


What’s your favourite opera to sing?

I haven’t sung all of my favourite operas but Aida is one of them!


What is your favourite opera to watch or listen to?

It’s true that I rarely listen the operas I sing in the theatre. That’s why they are often operas in which I don’t have a role: first of all “Tosca” by Puccini, also “Tourandot” (I would have loved to interpret Turandot, but I’ve been lowered…), “Don Giovanni” by Mozart, “L’ange de feu” by Prokofiev, “La Traviata” by Verdi, “Orphée et Euridyce” by Gluck…


Why should people go see the digital show “Aida”?

Because it’s beautiful and rare music in a beautiful and unique place like Sydney Opera House. Because we have a story to tell you in a blend of opera and film. And because we’re going to tell you about love…


We thank Elena Gabouris for this interview.


You can see Elena Gabouris in Aida in Sydney over the next month and in Brisbane in November



WHAT: Opera Australia’s Aida

WHEN: 22 June – 13 August (Elena only in these performances: 22, 26, 28 and 30 June, and 2, 13, 15 and 17 July)

WHERE: Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

HOW: Purchase your tickets via

HOW MUCH: Tickets from $79 plus booking fee

HOW LONG: Approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes including one interval



WHAT: Opera Australia’s Aida

WHEN: 3 -19 November

WHERE: Queensland Performing Arts Centre

HOW: Purchase your tickets via

HOW MUCH: From $69 plus booking fee

HOW LONG: Approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes including one interval


If you like classical music, you may like to read our interview with Nicolas Fleury about his Musica Viva Australian tour



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Elena Gabouri Aida Opera Australia Amneris