Samuel Dundas in WA Opera clan with Lucia di Lammermoor


Aldo Di Toro and Samuel Dundas. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Aldo Di Toro and Samuel Dundas. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

BARITONE Samuel Dundas seems to always come to Perth for tartan.

With Scottish heritage, the Melbourne born and raised opera singer performed more than a decade ago in Scotland the Brave before later this month taking on the role of Enrico Ashton in WA Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor, set in Scotland.

“I have a kilt made of Dundas tartan, which I bought as an investment while doing Scotland the Brave,” Dundas said.

“Interestingly, my dad has been clambering for an opportunity to wear the kilt at some stage of his life and recently wore it to a book club; he looked very fine.”

It was Dundas’s father who did a road trip with his son across the Nullarbor for his first production with WA Opera in 2015, The Marriage of Figaro, followed that same year by Faust.

But the Dundas association with Perth runs much deeper.

“I grew up in Melbourne but I am a West Aussie by attempted drowning,” Dundas said.

“My parents and brother are all from here, all our families are still here, and I was the only one born on the east coast, so dad dunked me in the Swan River when I was younger.”

Now based in Launceston while his partner dances with Tasdance, Dundas is enjoying his return to WA Opera as part of the company’s 50th year and said Lucia di Lammermoor was an opera of great political intrigue and family dynamics.

“It’s that classic opera thing of scandalous love and danger,” he said.

“It’s set in the late 17th century where my character Enrico tricks his sister Lucia to save our clan by forcing her to marry someone she doesn’t want to.

“As is so often the case with a baritone, he’s the bad guy, who is a man of great selfishness and arrogance.

“He does all these dastardly things to save his own neck for what he thinks is for the betterment of the family but is at the cost of everybody else.”

In one of the great contradictions of the opera world, the Scottish set production will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

“It’s like singing Carmen in French and hanging out in Spain,” Dundas said.

“Thankfully it means I didn’t have to learn the accent, which is a relief, but a few people have definitely tried.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: WA Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor

Where: His Majesty’s Theatre

When: October 26 to November 4

Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au

 

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