Opera Companies

 AUSTRALIAN OPERA COMPANIES

Opera Australia

Opera Australia is a performing arts company with a mission to perform some of the greatest music ever written to as many people as possible. It performs operas, musicals and concerts in the Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne, as well as annual Handa operas on Sydney Harbour and operas on tour.

Australia’s national opera company was born when a band of idealists — butchers, pharmacists, newsagents — gave up their day jobs to celebrate the 1956 Mozart bicentenary with a season of four of his operas. Nine years later, theatrical entrepreneur JC Williamson invited the company’s chorus, staff and some of its best singers to perform alongside Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. In 1967, the NSW state government offered a grant towards the formation of a permanent state company. The Sydney Opera House opened in 1973.

In 1996, the company, then known as the Australian Opera, merged with the Victoria State Opera to form Opera Australia.

In past years Wagner's Tristan und IsoldeDer fliegende Holländer, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Lohengrin and Tannhäuser have been staged in Sydney by the company.

More recent productions of Wagner's operas include the company's first Ring Cycle, directed by Neil Armfield, in Melbourne in 2013 and again in 2016, Parsifal (a concert version in Sydney, 2017) and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Melbourne, 2018)

In 2020, a new Opera Australia/La Monnaie co-production of Lohengrin will be staged in Melbourne and a new Ring Cycle in Brisbane.

Pinchgut Opera

Pinchgut Opera, based in Sydney, rediscovers baroque and early classical opera masterpieces.

Victorian Opera

Victorian Opera is an opera company based in Melbourne, Victoria. The company was founded in 2005 by the Victorian Government as a replacement for the Victoria State Opera. It commenced operations in January 2006.

Der fliegende Holländer was staged in 2015, with the use of ground-breaking 3D technology. In 2019 the company presented Parsifal.

Melbourne Opera

Melbourne Opera Company was founded in 2002 as a not-for-profit company dedicated to producing opera and associated art forms at realistic prices. It is based in Melbourne, Victoria and tours over an area between Canberra in the north and Hobart in the south.

The company has regularly performed Wagner operas in recent years: Rienzi (2013, 2014), Tannhäuser (2015), Lohengrin (2017), Tristan und Isolde (2018) and Die fliegende Holländer (2018).

State Opera of South Australia

The State Opera of South Australia aspires to make exciting and innovative experiences for its audiences, building on a national and international reputation for excellence and ground-breaking productions.

A landmark production of Der Ring des Nibelungen was staged in Adelaide in 1989 and again in 2004. A concert performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Act III was presented in 2018.

Opera Queensland

Opera Queensland began in June 1981 as The Lyric Opera of Queensland Limited (LOQ) with funding from the Queensland Government as “a company for the presentation of performances of opera, light opera and music theatre”.

Its first Wagner production was a concert performance of The Flying Dutchman in 1983. In 2020 it will present Tristan und Isolde.

 

SOME KEY INTERNATIONAL OPERA COMPANIES

The Bayreuther Festspiele

The official Bayreuth Festival website.

The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of Wagner's operas are presented. Wagner himself conceived and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his Ring Cycle. Performances take place in a specially designed theatre, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Wagner personally supervised the design and construction of the theatre, which contained many architectural innovations to accommodate the huge orchestras for which Wagner wrote as well as the composer's particular vision about the staging of his works. 

Seattle Opera

The Seattle Opera in the USA is noted for its performances of the works of Richard Wagner. From 1975 it regularly performed Der Ring des Nibelungen.