Program News

Egyptian Radio Show Interview with Erika Kimpton, Swiss Honorary Consul, Interior Architect, Theatre set designer [ 12 March 2018 ]

Jerry Guirguis interviews Erika Kimpton, Swiss Honorary Consul, Interior Architect, Theatre set designer, on 96.5FM – Egyptian radio show Melbourne Australia, [ Monday 12 March 2018, English Edition, 8:15pm ].


8:15pm Melbourne Time = Erika Kimpton [ CitiOpera – Rimsky-Korsakov => THE IMMORTAL ]



Erika Kimpton, born in Bern, Switzerland, introduced to classical music including opera from the age of about six years,

Studied violin and music and later played in a community symphony orchestra for 25 years.


After finishing high school, studied Interior Design and graduated in 1967. after working for a year or so for a large company in Bern,

Erika came to Melbourne and worked for a couple of architects. Assigned the main designer for many large projects including one of the first multi storey office buildings in St. Kilda Road.  returned to Europe after 2 years and worked for an architect in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Designed the stage sets for such opera as Verdi’s Othello, Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.


In Melbourne Australia, renovating of the Swiss Consul General’s large house in Toorak, (1991) as well as the Swiss Consulate General’s offices.


In 2006 when the Swiss government closed the Consulate General in Melbourne, Erika was appointed Honorary Consul with jurisdiction throughout Victoria, a position she held until early 2016. This position entailed to help visiting Swiss people who for one or another reason needed assistance due to accidents, as well as rendering assistance when they got into trouble with the law, necessitating visits to jails as well as attending court hearings! During that time, Erika was also in the committee of the Consular Corps.


Attending performances in all the main opera houses such a La Scala, Zürich, Paris, London, Vienna, San Francisco, The Metropolitan in New York, Berlin and many others as well as many performances by some of the best Symphony orchestras, including Berlin, Vienna etc. conducted by some of the world’s best known conductors including Karl Böhm, Charles Dutoit and more recently Mario Venzago, and the Australian conductor Simone Young,

I first heard the Australian soprano Stella Axarlis singing Aida at the Düsseldorf Opera House,


I set up my own interior design company which I continue to run.

joined the board of directors of CitiOpera


At the moment we are preparing for a concert performance of Kashchey the Immortal by Rimsky-Korsakov at the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall on 18th March

Some twenty years ago I was introduce to Stella Axarlis AM who after a long carrier singing in all the major opera houses around the world, had returned to Melbourne.

Friends with Stella Axarlis, chair person of CitiOpera, she asked me if I would become their (honorary) chief stage set designer, a position I accepted with great pleasure.





An opera in one act – in concert

CitiOpera returns with an Australian premiere performance of a rarely performed Russian fairy-tale opera, Kashchey the Immortal.

Rimsky-Korsakov tells this timeless tale of love and redemption with moments of lush romanticism and cutting-edge harmonies foreshadowing the future works of Stravinsky and Prokofiev.

CitiOpera’s concert performance of this important work stars an outstanding Australian cast of talent; 2016-17 Herald-Sun Aria finalist, Raphael Wong as ‘Ivan-Korolevich’, acclaimed Melbourne tenor and star of Victorian Opera, Michael Lapiña in the title role of ‘Kashchey’, Europe-based Australian soprano, Christiana Aloneftis as ‘Tsarevna’, outstanding Russian-Australian mezzo-soprano from Sydney, Viktoria Bolonina, and the incredible Melbourne-based Russian bass, Alex Pokryshevsky as ‘Burya Bogatyr’.

After a ten-year career in Europe, CitiOpera’s music director, Maestro Alan Cook leads CitiOpera’s orchestra and chorus in the first ever performance on Australian soil of this spellbinding work.



Jerry Guirguis


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