Amelia in the Media

THE CHIMNEY SWEEP, Salieri - Pinchgut Opera

Director: Mark Gaal Conductor: Erin Helyard

"Amelia Farrugia achieved [greater timbral variety] in her strongly sung, engaging performance as Mrs Hawk"
Murray Black - The Australian | 07 July 2014
“Amelia Farrugia and Janet Todd as the Hawk sisters steal the show with their Italian arias.”
Harriet Cunningham - Sydney Morning Herald | 06 July 2014

“Farrugia plunges into the predatory aspect of the role with delight and employs her rich soprano and dazzling coloratura to great effect.”

Lynne Lancaster, Performing ArtsHub | 07 July 2014

- State Opera of South Australia

Director: Jonathan Biggins. Conductor: Timothy Sexton.

"Mellow yet strong of voice, Farrugia is excellent in the role of the ever-suffering Eurydice."
Graham Strahle - The Australian | 27 August 2012
“STATE Opera has gone to hell in a well-crafted handcart in its all-singing all-dancing version of this rarely performed Offenbach operetta.
Eurydice, played with extra bubbles by the adorable Amelia Farrugia.
It's a cheeky change of pace for the company which may lead to more operetta options in the future.”
Matt Byrne - | 05 September 2012

“Jonathan Biggins has breathed new life into the perennial favourite not only as a witty and perceptive director but as co-librettist with Phillip Scott.

The result is a fantastic night of musical theatre which should delight anyone attending.

Amelia Farrugia is in scintillating voice as the goodtime-girl Eurydice. She sings up a storm and handles the dialogue with consummate ease.
There was talk of the possibility of creating a regular season of operetta in the future. If it matches the standard of the current show, it’s bound to be a hit.”

Tony Busch -

“I have never laughed so much or applauded so often at an opera (or operetta, for the purists).”

Greg Elliott - | 27 August 2012

THE MERRY WIDOW - Opera Australia

"A fine cast sings, dances, and hams its way through this light, bright operetta, creating a mood of pure pleasure in a new Opera Australia production.
Amelia Farrugia is an excellent merry widow... With a powerful voice and high tessitura she is entirely at ease with Hanna's showstoppers, and brings a charming poignancy to her romantic ballad about Vilja, a forest maiden. Farrugia's also a dab hand at comic acting".
Patricia Maunder - artsHub | Friday, May 18, 2012
"Outstanding Australian soprano Amelia Farrugia is in gorgeous voice as Hanna, giving a particularly sensitive and delicate rendition of the beloved 'Vilja Song'".
Simon Parris - Sunday Herald Sun | 20 May 2012
"Amelia Farrugia, as the fabulously wealthy Widow from Pontevedro, flags the lower-class origins of the character through a northern English accent, casting her cut-through bluntness in the spirit of a British comedy revue. There are a few jibes at Europe and the Royal family but otherwise old-worldly sentiment is left untroubled.
Farrugia is in excellent voice, with polished tone and refinement of approach, crafting the last verse of the well-known song Vilja with subtly expressive shades".
Peter McCallum - The Sydney Morning Herald
"Farrugia is in great voice, the role suits her range and she's comfortable in it; she's a fine actress and comic; and she's sexy and gorgeous too. That her Countess Hanna Glawari has a string of lovesick chaps trailing behind her is entirely credible; never mind that her accent reveals humble Yorkshire origins and her late hubby only lasted eight days and left her rich as Croesus's daughter. At the same time, her tender treatment of the famous Vilja makes it a tune reborn".
Diana Simmonds - Stage Noise |7 August 2011
"With its glittering jewels, fake chandeliers and double entendres, The Merry Widow is a saucy little operetta handled with a light, confident touch.
Highlights include Amelia Farrugia's (Hanna) show-stopping Vilja..."
Ingrid Piper - The Daily Telegraph | 8 August 2011
"’s Amelia Farrugia who stood out as the wealthy widow. Hers is fascinating soprano: soaring one moment then hovering with oh-so-disciplined control the next."
Tom Pillans - Arts & Entertainment | 8 August 2011
"Amelia Farrugia's Merry Widow Hanna Glawari was vivacious and energetic, fending off numerous suitors, their eyes firmly on her fortune. Her glorious soprano was best showcased in the Vilja Song and her duet with Hobson, Love Unspoken."
Deborah FitzGerald - Australian Stage | 9 August 2011

MANON - Opera Australia

"Amelia Farrugia as Manon has good vocal precision and well-controlled evenness as she negotiates the part's effervescent virtuosity, and the colour and warmth in her voice continues to grow. Dramatically she is pert and energetic and the portrayal is poised on the boundary between the slick surface of operetta and the ponderous depth of opera".
Peter McCallum - The Sydney Morning Herald | 20 January 2010
"Soprano Amelia Farrugia is an impressive Manon. Sustaining bright-toned clarity and strong dynamic control, she delivers Massenet’s coloratura set pieces with agility and accuracy. Her strong dramatic presence also captures Manon’s capriciousness and complexity".
Murray Black - The Australian | 21 January 2010
"Versatile soprano Amelia Farrugia has come a long way - from her stage debut at the age of six years as the "woof" in her school production of How Much is that Doggy in the Window - to her latest performance as Jules Massenet's doomed heroine Manon at the Sydney Opera House.
In this, the most popular of Massenet's 30-odd operas, she uses all the tricks in the coloratura armoury - vocal agility, lightness, an awesome top E - and more impressively she sings with charm and dramatic insight. She's blessed with good looks too, so much so that it is asking rather a lot of the audience to accept her as a 16-year-old on her way to a convent. But that's the wonder of opera: suspend belief all ye who enter here.
Waiting for her at an inn in Amiens is her cousin Lescaut, played with raffish charm by Jose Carbo, whose fine (baritone) provides a perfect foil for Farrugia's smooth, silvery and extremely expressive soprano."
Tom Pillans - North Shore Times | 22 January 2010

MANON 2004

"The overall success of Manon often rests on its female lead, and Amelia Farrugia was a fine choice as Manon, one of the great operatic female characterisations. Farrugia delighted audiences with her consistently fine singing, acting and all round stagecraft. The fact that she also looked the part helped too."
Ronald McCoy - State of the Art | 2 December 2004
Manon from heaven **** (four-stars)
"Most outstanding is Amelia Farrugia in the lead. It is difficult to imagine a soprano who could be a more perfect Manon. Farrugia takes a startling journey with Manon… but it is her glorious voice that is most impressive. Warm, strong, almost husky at times and then spiralling into crisp heights, she is in full command… Farrugia has power enough to transcend the limitations that microphones can bring to natural vocal hues. It was a challenge for Farrugia, developing from her more comic roles, but she is triumphant in the role, proving that she has so much to offer as singer, actor and complete artist. The passionate spark between the two (Manon and Des Grieux) resonates through the entire opera and Gavin’s voice matches Farrugia’s in agility and force…"
Catherine Lambert - Sunday Herald Sun | 28 November 2004
Manon **** (four-stars)
"If Massenet had written a better opera this would be a five-star show.
Soprano Amelia Farrugia brings a strong voice and a bold presence to the title role; she goes for drama rather than romance in stressing Manon’s dedication to wealth and heartless pleasure above any loyalty to Des Grieux… Julian Gavin matches Farrugia’s vocal power… Guided by Maunder’s carefully paced directing, these two fine actor-singers give a powerful charge to the lovers’ key scenes of reconciliation and fatal disagreement…"
Neil Jillett - The Sunday Age | 28 November 2004
To serve God or Manon
"Farrugia used to specialise in soubrette roles in such operas as Cosi fan tutte and Fledermaus, but experience has given her a fine coloratura attack. She demonstrates a lyrical tactfulness in the many elegant passages that Massenet wrote for his heroine, but is at her most moving in the little aria to the table she and her lover have shared. She knows how to float open vowels in the French style above the orchestration. The dazzling accuracy of her upper register could shatter glass…"
John Slavin - The Age | 23 November 2004
"Amelia Farrugia, a young Australian-born soprano making a name for herself overseas, is as petite and pretty as the character of Manon demands. But there is nothing wispy about her poised portrayal of Manon as shallow but alluringly feminine…"
Sybil Nolan - The Herald Sun | 22 November 2004

CARMINA BURANA - Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Conductor Arvo Volmer
"The soloists were a highlight of the performance. Amelia Farrugia floated through the ecstatic 'Eia's' with a wonderfully casual ease and soared with simple grace up to the climactic 'Dulcissime'."
Harriet Cunningham -The Sydney Morning Herald | 06 July 2009

NEDDA, PAGLIACCI - Opera Australia

"Amelia Farrugia (Nedda), for so long noted for her light, bright soubrette qualities, has acquired significantly more tonal depth and colour to go with her formidable stage command."
Deborah Jones - Opera | June 2009

MUSETTA, LA BOHEME - Opera Australia

"Amelia Farrugia's Musetta was vocally bright and involving in the second and final acts, although cluttered direction deprived her vocally fine Quando M'en Vo Soletta in Act II of seductiveness, pushing it towards meretricious parody, to which John Bolton Wood (Benoit and Alcindoro) was a willing fall guy."
Peter McCallum - The Sydney Morning Herald | 7 January 2008
"…Soprano Amelia Farrugia embraces her inner diva, clearly relishing the strutting burlesque of Musetta's waltz and the comic possibilities of her role while singing with rich, commanding tone."
Melissa Lesnie - The Mosman Daily | 9 January 2008


"Amelia Farrugia has the opportunity as Musetta to be outrageous in one brief but effective scene and does so with knock-down directness… her instincts were on target."
Roger Covell, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2.8.99


"In the part of Rosina, Amelia Farrugia, always noted for precise clarity, is singing better than ever and produced a glistening tour de force in the coloratura moments, particularly the Act II singing lesson."
Peter McCallum - The Sydney Morning Herald | 28 June 2007
"Amelia Farrugia… gives the star singing performance of the evening"
Giles Woodforde - The Oxford Times | 2006
"Over the past decade Farrugia has established herself in the first rank of Australian opera singers and is already being touted as the next superstar of opera".
Mark Chipperfield - The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sydney Magazine | February 2006


"Amelia Farrugia brought delightful vocal clarity and brightness to the vocally florid role of Tytania, coming into her own in the second-act scenes with Bottom where Tytania’s aristocratic grace is infiltrated with subliminal bestial venality."
Peter McCallum - The Sydney Morning Herald | 3 October 2003
"Amelia Farrugia is fantastic as the Fairy Queen. She really is beautiful and sings wonderfully. She could have any donkey she wants."
Conal Coad (Bottom) - The Daily Telegraph | 4 October 2003
"(Graham Pushee) is ravishing and so is Amelia Farrugia, who sings Tytania with crystalline beauty and, in her midriff-baring sparkling red sari, could double as a movie star."
Deborah Jones - The Australian | 6 October 2003
"As Tytania – Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Amelia Farrugia plays a role that could have been written for her. Her purity of tone and her appealingly feminine portrayal of passion and guile convince the audience as no other."
Michal McKay - The Wentworth Courier | 8 October 2003
"The cast was of course a specimen of Opera Australia’s ensemble excellence at its very best…Tytania, Amelia Farrugia, was a worthy partner (to Graham Pushee) in this other-worldly stage marriage- acting with her usual infectious vivaciousness and producing a wealth of shimmeringly beautiful soprano sound."
David Gyger - Opera-Opera | November 2003


"Some of the most beautiful music in the opera attends his luscious interlude in the arms of the spellbound Tytania (Amelia Farrugia)"
Roger Covell, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20.7.00
"As Tytania, Queen of the Fairies, Amelia Farrugia is given the opportunity to reveal her dramatic skills."
Barry Quigley, Mosman Daily, 27.7.00


"Amelia Farrugia as Eurydice confirms her status as one of Australia’s finest artists. There is an intensity of colour in her voice that is quite outstanding."
Michael Easton, Herald Sun, 14.5.03
"Amelia Farrugia as Eurydice has that rare combination of operetta essentials a beautiful voice with easy high notes and lots of character. Farrugia has them in abundance, like her famous predecessor June Bronhill. She even takes an on stage bubble bath as Bronhill did in the famous Sadlers Wells production 40 years ago. Farrugia’s solos were the highlights, with Offenbach’s natural charm and wit shining through."
Michael Magnusson, MCV, 23.5.03
"The cast is vocally strong and energised. Amelia Farrugia is a charmingly venal Eurydice, using her bell-like purity and clarity to bring to each phrase the polished shape of an immaculate manicure."
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, Feb 1-2, 2003
"Orpheus, like all operetta, needs real singers to carry it off, and gets them, led by the high-kicking, effervescent Amelia Farrugia (a warmly sexy Eurydice)."
Deborah Jones, The Australian, 3.2.03
"OA was canny enough to cast its Oz version with genuine opera singers, not with lightweights from the music hall. And it made all the difference. The pert silvery-voiced Amelia Farrugia was the ideal choice for that strong-willed minx Eurydice..."
Maria Prerauer, Opera 2003
"Of the principal performers, Amelia Farrugia as Eurydice takes the honours with her nice line in coloratura soprano trills…"
Barry Quigley, The Mosman Daily, 6.2.03
"It’s fascinating to see some of Australia’s better opera stars, including…Amelia Farrugia… let their hair down and have some fun."
David Wicks, The Central Coast Herald, 6.2.03
"More than any other performer, Amelia Farrugia performs with lightness, grace and confidence. She also sings with a wonderfully breathy crystal soprano. Every time she sings, or smiles, or kicks up her heels, the production works…"
Chris Boyd, The Australian Financial Review, Weekend, Feb 8-9, 2003
"Amelia Farrugia as Eurydice made the most of the vocal opportunities to respond to sex, shrill in resentment when deprived of satisfaction, and sweet when the centre of attention…"
Humphrey McQueen, The Bulletin, 11.2.03
"Amelia Farrugia’s delicious Eurydice looks, sings and acts so well that she would grace any production of this work, anywhere…"
Ken Healey, Opera-Opera, March 2003
"Amelia Farrugia is given her head to do what she does so well: run up and down the scale, hectically ornament her line, dominate the stage with one of the loudest sopranos in the country. At the same time, she makes an attractive character…"
Clive O’Connell, Opera-Opera, July 2003
Quote from Ignatius Jones, Director:
"She’s perfect for the role. She’s sexy and sassy, yet she can play a bit of a bimbo, somewhere between Marilyn Monroe and Gina Lollobrigida. Eurydice could have been written for her…"
Jill Fraser, Herald Sun, 27.5.03


"… Farrugia stops the nonsense to sing. Her singing is captivatingly seductive. She manages the coloratura passages with ease and she has the charm to be a lovable heroine in a part not always lovable… Farrugia is also a natural comedian with a light, bell-like soprano…"
John Slavin, The Age, 23.4.01
"The Elixir of Love drew a rapturous response from its capacity audience… a triumphant winner… unmissable. The Elixir of Love demands, and is in this instance illuminated by, a fresh and uniformly strong cast. Every one of the cast, (including) Amelia Farrugia’s sparkling Adina… sings and acts delightfully…"
Peter Burch, The Australian, 23.4.01
"The small group of performers is ideally cast: Amelia Farrugia as the occasionally innocent but self-possessed love interest Adina is a perfect foil for the simpleton shepherd Nemorino. Farrugia actually looks the part, which makes a nice change, and her physical charms are matched by a voice that was made in heaven. It all sounds so effortless and easy (which it is not), and her stagecraft is exemplary."
Michael Easton, The Herald Sun, 25.4 01
"What makes this production a stand-out is the exceptional cast. Each is individual, each talented and each a good actor. The frivolous Adina is sung by Amelia Farrugia with supreme confidence."
Graham Pearce, Sunday Herald Sun, 29.4.01
"Amelia Farrugia… became happier in her higher notes and carried tints of coloratura to a fine finish."
Humphrey McQueen, The Bulletin, 1.5.01


"Amelia Farrugia’s Despina is a conventional hard-headed soubrette, taking pleasure in contrasting her practical good sense with the vapouring daydreams of her employers… Farrugia’s performance… is a classic exposition of the personality of the soubrette, communicated through gesture, deportment, facial expression and, above all, through the bright, clear, exemplary focus of the voice."
Roger Covell, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12.2.01
"Amelia Farrugia has played the role of Despina since the initial production and each of her performances has been first class. This is an exhausting role in which she plays no less than three characters and she carries each off with style."
Graham Harris, Wentworth Courier, 14.2.01
"John Pringle and Amelia Farrugia have their names stamped all over these roles now, singing with immense authority and precision."
Deborah Jones, The Australian, 16.2.01
"Amelia Farrugia is the show-stealing, mischievous servant Despina."
Fred Blanks, North Shore Times, 21.2.01


"Farrugia's Susanna…is by turns sprightly, waspish, loving and warm. Her rendering of the lovely aria 'Deh vieni, non tardar' is one of the magical moments in the theatre."
John Slavin, The Age, 27.3.00
"Amelia Farrugia was an excellent foil to the rumbustious Figaro in her role as the ever-sweet but all-knowing Susanna. She has an engaging voice, one that is secure across the whole register, and gave great depth of character to this demanding role."
Michael Easton, Herald Sun, 25.3.00


"Whether she sang in English, French, German or (a little) Latin, Ms Farrugia sang with an admirable clarity of diction. Her vocal projection and interpretation of the text was convincing as she went tirelessly from style to style, smoothly and with the greatest of ease."
Albert G. Storace, The Times, 5.1.99
"Let the Bright Seraphim introduced Farrugia as a technically accomplished coloratura soprano, handling elaborate ornamentation with agility, clarity and ease. The brilliant timbre of her voice proved to be particularly appropriate for the style of the piece sung."
Martina Caruana, The Sunday Times, 20.12.98


"The soprano soloist was Amelia Farrugia, a woman with stunning classical beauty and a voice to match. The reason for her success at this concert was twofold - the dramatic use of body language and her multi-hued voice. For those of us seated near the front, it was clear that Farrugia could delve into a song and produce a suitable characterisation. Her experience in both the lightweight world of musicals and the more involving environment of opera was clearly apparent in this recital."
Joel Crotty, The Age, 16.2.98


"She’s ambitious, talented and pretty. The 'It girl' of opera."
Jane Wheatley, Good Weekend - The Age, 7.2.98
"As well, Amelia has a showy coloratura voice, excellent dramatic talent and professional tenacity. It’s a wonderful package really."
Joan Carden, Good Weekend - The Age, 7.2.98


"Amelia Farrugia is close to perfection as Norina, a superbly attractive stage presence allied to a warm and expressive voice."
Ewart Shaw, The Advertiser, 26.5.97
"With a cast of only four main roles, three of them men, a huge burden falls on the female lead and Amelia Farrugia, a rapidly rising star, was a magnificent Norina from every point of view. Not only is her voice clear and powerful, and technically well able to handle Donizetti’s many intricate ornaments and demanding high notes, but she plays her complex character with understanding and wit, changing from fake virago to genuine lover in the turn of a phrase and a meaningful glance. She is also a joy to look at, needing no elaborate make-up and artful suppression of bulges to convince us of her youth and desirability."
Tristram Cary, The Australian, 30.5.97
"Amelia Farrugia’s confident Norina ranged between the vixenish display of her cavatina, a bitten-off parody of Rossini, and the elegiac admission of heartlessness after the resounding slap of Act II."
Noel Purdon, The Bulletin, 17.6.97
"She is one of the new wave of Australian sopranos and Brisbane is lucky to have her here."
David Bray, Brisbane Courier Mail, 21.6.97
"Amelia Farrugia makes a beautiful and vivacious Norina, who tells us in an appropriately cool, bell-toned soprano that she’s a seasoned flirt but has a good heart… Farrugia… has a decided gift for bel canto- literally fine (coloratura) singing."
Time Off, 25.6.97
"Amelia Farrugia reveled in Norina’s naughtiness, switching without missing a beat from sophisticate to novice to minx to harridan, slipping between times in and out of her real character as a sweet young thing ardently in love. Her voice is quite remarkably well-developed for her 26 years, evenly centered throughout her range, full of colour and blossoming very prettily with rising pitch. Her coloratura is simply spectacular."
Opera, October, 1997