Celebrating 15 years

7 Oct 2020

On Tuesday 6 October 2020, Victorian Opera celebrated its 15th anniversary. While we may be in lockdown, this didn’t waver our desire to mark this important milestone with several exciting announcements and a virtual birthday party.


As one of four new operas being staged as part of our yet-to-be-revealed 2021 season, Victorian Opera announced Parrwang Lifts the Sky by acclaimed Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Professor Deborah Cheetham AO. The opera tells the creation story of the sunrise, from the oral history of the Wadawurrung people of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.

Parrwang Lifts the Sky is Victorian Opera’s Education Production for 2021 and will be livestreamed to thousands of primary and secondary students statewide as part of the company’s Access All Areas: Livestream Program.

Deborah Cheetham. Photo: Wayne Quilliam

We also announced the Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts Opera Prize. The $50,000 opera prize will provide employment to emerging singers throughout 2021. Recipients will be cast in a Victorian Opera production, receive private mentorship from Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills, and coaching from the company’s music staff. Applications are open now until the end of October. 

Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts

In celebrating our commitment to new Australian opera, the company released a digital book, Thirty-two over Fifteen: Victorian Opera’s Commissioned Works 2005–2020, and an accompanying web series launching on Friday 9 October.

While we couldn’t come together to clink glasses in one room, we were joined by viewers far and wide at our virtual birthday party. The celebrations included messages from Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Hill-Cooper, Chairman Genevieve Overell and Artistic Director Richard Mills, and well-wishes from Victorian Opera’s family of artists and supporters across the world.

Pour yourself a champagne, raise your glass, and help us celebrate 15 years of Victorian Opera!

By Scott Whinfield

Download or order a print copy of Thirty-two over Fifteen: Victorian Opera’s Commissioned Works 2005–2020.