Our Story and Values

Reimagining the potential of opera, for everyone.

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Parsifal, February 2019

Our Artistic Vision

OPERA. It’s a word grounded in tradition and heritage. When most people hear the term they imagine melodrama, grand theatres and storied composers. And then quite often they think of a time gone by, a museum piece artform.

But not for us.

When we think about opera, our gaze is fixed to the future. When it comes to opera, we believe the best days lie ahead.

Because for a world that’s staring at screens, we prescribe the stage.

The night out.

The live moment.

And the unique magic of a community who are together as music soars.

We believe in the unlimited potential of this artform to move people, all people. To spark conversation, to help us understand one another and to remind us of what it means to be alive and to live in a vibrant cultural city.

But that potential can only be realised if we throw out the rules and make opera for everyone. If we re-imagine the very idea of what opera can be and then start creating contemporary storytelling relevant to everyone in our community.

So if you think you know opera, think again. Because at Victorian Opera, we’re just getting started.

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William Tell, July 2018

Our Story

Based in Melbourne, Victorian Opera is a national leader in presenting unforgettable opera experiences. As the state opera company of Victoria, we are committed to making creative and accessible opera for everyone, and evolving the art form in adventurous ways.

From opera diehards to first-timers, over 30,000 people experience our work annually through live performances and streamed events throughout Victoria. We premiere at least one new Australian work each year and have staged 22 new works since the company formed in 2005.

We employ hundreds of people across the creative industries, recruit some of the finest singers from Australia and around the world, and collaborate with Australia’s leading companies, venues and learning institutions. The next generation of talent is developed from the ground up through the Victorian Opera Youth Chorus Ensemble (VOYCE) and our innovative Access All Areas: Livestream Program. As part of our commitment to developing the art form, we also stage opera annually in Tasmania.

Recognised for our unique voice and contribution to the country’s operatic landscape, Victorian Opera became an Australian Major Performing Arts company in 2019.

Victorian Opera inspires audiences with our imaginative approach to opera and we invite you to join us.

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Cunning Little Vixen, June 2017

Our Values

Humanity: Human beings are at the heart of our art and they are not replaceable. We will go on exploring their endless abilities to deliver the deepest and the widest range of emotions.

Respect: We embrace diverse voices, appreciate difference and seek to learn from others. We work in a spirit of cooperation and reach out to all communities.

Leadership: We are committed to leading the way in reimagining and evolving our art form by presenting new works, adopting emerging technologies and nurturing future talent. 

Excellence: We strive to do the best in everything we do and produce the highest quality work that will be remembered. 

Integrity: We are honest, open, trustworthy and fair. We always strive to act ethically and consistently. 

Creativity: We continually think outside traditional modes and present transformative productions that inspire and surprise.

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Lorelei, November 2018

New works commissioned by Victorian Opera

2008 
Through the Looking Glass – Composer: Alan John; Librettist: Andrew Upton
Green Room Award – Best New Operatic Work

2009 
Rembrandt's Wife – Composer: Andrew Ford; Librettist: Sue Smith
Green Room Award – Best New Australian Opera

2010 
Parrot Factory - Composer: Stuart Greenbaum; Librettist: Ross Baglin
The Cockatoos - Composer: Sarah de Jong; Librettist: Sarah Carradine

2011 
How to Kill your Husband (and other handy household hints) - Composer: Alan John; Librettists: Alan John, Timothy Daly

2012 
Cinderella - Composer and Librettist: Richard Gill
Midnight Son - Gordon Kerry; Librettist: Louis Nowra
Green Room Awards – Best New Australian Opera and Direction – Nicki Wendt

2013 
Sleeping Beauty - Composer and Librettist: Richard Gill
The Magic Pudding - The Opera - Composer: Calvin Bowman; Librettist: Anna Goldsworthy
Green Room Award – Best Ensemble (Opera)

2014 
The Riders - Composer: Iain Grandage; Librettist: Alison Croggon
Green Room Awards – Best Australian Opera and Male Lead – Barry Ryan 
The Play of Herod - Composer and Librettist: Richard Mills

2015 
Alice's Adventures in Operaland - Composers: Various; Librettists: Richard Mills and Elizabeth Hill-Cooper
Remembrance - Composer: Richard Mills; Librettist: Rodney Hall
Seven Deadly Sins - Composers and Librettists: Julian Langdon, Mark Viggiani, Jessica Wells and Ian Whitney 
The Grumpiest Boy in the World - Composer: Joe Twist; Librettist: Finegan Kruckemeyer

2016 
Voyage to the Moon – Composers: Various; Librettist: Michael Gow
Banquet of Secrets - Composer: Paul Grabowsky; Librettist: Steve Vizard
Laughter and Tears - Composer and Librettist: Richard Mills
The Pied Piper - Composer and Librettist: Richard Mills

2017 
’Tis Pity - Composer and Librettist: Richard Mills
The Snow Queen - Composer: Gordon Kerry; Librettist: John Kinsella

2018 
Lorelei - Music: Julian Langdon, Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff; Lyrics: Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff; Concept: Ali McGregor

2019
The Selfish Giant - Composer: Simon Bruckard; Librettist: Emma Muir-Smith