60 Years Of Opera Australia
Since Opera Australia was conceptualised over 60 years ago, it has not only taken Australia by storm, but gone from strength-to-strength in ensuring Australia and its offering to the international opera stage is at the top of its game. Just ask the people behind it. They’ve been sitting comfortably at the ‘third busiest’ rank on the global opera production stage for a while now and if its first performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in 1956 is anything to go by, it’s easy to see why.
One of the many aspects of OA, other than its sterling and well above average performances that set it apart from the rest around the world is that Opera Australia never closes. Being dubbed the ‘third busiest opera production company’ comes as no easy feat and is made only that much more worthy for the company when you consider its tireless efforts to be ahead of its game. Simply look at the company’s recent performance of Handa Opera on the Harbour Turandot to see why… European seasons have breaks, whereas between Sydney, Melbourne and the country, there is always a show to go on.
It’s refreshing to see that Opera Australia, too, is fighting the age-old stereotype of Opera as a reservation for the highly cultured or higher income. Opera is not simply for those whose appreciation for scales dictates life or whose musical inclinations are greater than anyone else’s; it’s for the dreamers, the creatives and the appreciators of creativity. Simply look at The Magic Flute (Mozart), The Pearlfishers (Bizet) or La Boheme (Puccini) as a mere three examples of their entire repertoire to see exactly how Opera Australia imbues their performances with wonder in addition to mere vocal talent.
In 2015 alone, OA staged a total of 771 performances, including 213 opera performances, 17 festival performances of new Australian work The Rabbits by Kate Miller-Heidke, 384 schools performances, 157 musical performances and delivered its first made-for-television work The Divorce for the ABC (watched by 1.1 million people). Here’s to another 60 successful years!
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