An Isabel Hertaeg & Critical Stages Production

Written by: Isabel Hertaeg
Directed by: Don Bridges
Designer: Derek Ives
Production Manager/Tech: Ryan Shuker
Cast: Isabel Hertaeg and Jo Abbott

Operatic cabaret comedy

Sopranos must die, it’s the rules of opera. Death by Soprano is an A-Z cliff-notes to operatic demise, complete with outlandish props and costumes, an impressive set of pipes and a higher death toll than a Hollywood blockbuster. Catering to the Opera-Curious and the seasoned Operaphile, this tongue-in-cheek performance is guaranteed to enlighten, enchant and entertain.

Death By Soprano satirically catalogues operatic death scenes in an A-Z, cabaret romp through Operatic Occupational Hazards. This is a cabaret work created with a great love of opera that also embraces a loving irreverence for opera’s occasionally over-inflated ego. Its high art with a fun sensibility that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Utilising slapstick, absurdism, dark-clowning and a healthy dose of prop-humour, Death By Soprano portrays the final moments in the lives of operatic heroines.  The show is created specifically for ‘non-opera’ demographics, particularly comedy, cabaret and festival audiences but also caters for lovers of classical music.

Available to Tour



Opera Cabaret




75 minutes

Minimum Stage

4m x wide, 3m x deep, 4m x height, wing space: 1m

Previous Tour Dates

Regional Arts Victoria Tour 2016 – 6 venues
Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne Fringe, 2014
Natimuk Hall, Nati Frinj Festival, 2013
La Mama, Explorations, 2013

What people are saying

Try Death By Soprano – opera’s most morbid moments celebrated with gusto, glee, great stagecraft and an excellent voice.” – Richard Watts: RRR, ArtsHub.

I don’t like opera but I LOVED Death By Soprano A Punter

Interested in Opera but not sure you could sit through several hours of a foreign language? Then this is the show for you! **** 4 Stars – Adelaide Theatre Guide

Upcoming Tour Dates

1 September Redland Performing Arts Centre
8 September Gladstone Entertainment Centre
12 September Mount Isa Civic Centre
14 September Riverway Arts Centre
16 September Maleny Community Centre
21 September Logan Entertainment Centre
23 September Empire Theatres, Toowoomba
26 September Miles Leichardt Centre
28 September Crow’s Nest, QLD
3 October Gunnedah Shire Council, NSW
7 October Riverside Theatres, Parramatta
11 October Ararat Performing Arts Centre 
19 October Burnie Entertainment Centre

Key Market Segments

Death By Soprano is a show created for the ‘opera-curious’. Our target audiences are festival audiences; comedy, cabaret, theatre and music theatre lovers as well as die-hard classical music afficionados.

Death By Soprano is educational by nature and would appeal to high school music students. We don’t generally recommend the work for young children our youngest punter, Bram – Age 9 described it as ‘Like Death Metal’ and ‘Twice as good as Nitro Circus’.

Suitable for lovers of music, cabaret and comedy, but also suited to music loving and arts loving comedy and Entertainment seekers of all ages. Especially suited to those who are interested in opera but not sure if they can bear to stand a full 3-4 Wagner ring cycle.

Contains depictions of violence. Not suitable for young children: Parental Advisory to age 15.

Community Engagement

The show lends itself towards educational purposes and is suitable for secondary school students. Educational and community workshops in music, drama and photography are available as accompaniments to the performance and exhibition.