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What is Beyond the Stage? Why Attend? Learning Outcomes How to attend Student Feedback What's on offer in 2024 Cost to attend Contact Sponsors

What is Beyond the Stage?

Beyond the Stage is a range of dynamic and immersive education workshops and performances designed to ignite your students’ curiosity about the captivating world of opera and theatre.

Explore the process of commissioning a new work for the mainstage, explore the science of theatre technology with our light and sound workshops, or attend a pre-show Q & A and grill those in non-performing roles about their work in bringing a production to stage.

Beyond the Stage is our offering in the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series (VCES) which is free to government schools. Non-government schools pay a low fee of $5 per student for workshops and $25 for shows.

In Semester 2, 2024, Beyond the Stage will focus on Victorian Opera’s commission of an Australian opera, Eucalyptus, as a foundation for the workshops as we discuss with the composer, librettist, creative team and performers, their work and process. This will be paired with an exclusive opportunity for your students to view the final Stage Orchestral Rehearsal of the acclaimed musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Combined, this offering provides your students with a comprehensive insight into the world of bringing productions to life, from concept to performance.

Check out our new workshops and topics for the 2024 school year below. Sign-up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on these new releases.

Why Attend?

Behind The Scenes: Dive into the wonder of opera with rarely granted access to key creative team members and find out how they come together to create brand new works of opera and musical theatre.

Career Pathways: Providing opportunities for students to learn from world leading artists and creatives who are practicing their craft in theatre direction, costume design and manufacture, set design and building, lighting and sound, arts production and administration.

Creative Expression: Encourage artistic expression and collaboration as students actively participate in virtual workshops led by industry experts and experienced teaching staff, cultivating with their unique talents across music, literature, drama and history.

Cultural Enrichment: Discover the rich heritage of opera and theatre, exploring diverse narratives, characters, and musical genres that reflect the tapestry of our world.

Australian Stories: Our new commissions explore unique Australian stories with a focus on First Nations and non-European narratives.

Learning Outcomes

Writing Workshops: Unleash your students’ story-telling capabilities as they learn how to convert a story into lyrics for an opera (libretto).

Musical Insights: Delve into the wonder of opera compositions, exploring melodies, harmonies, and emotions that breathe life into characters, and provide time and place for a story’s setting.

Theatrical Exploration: Dive into the world of stagecraft, from dramatic storytelling to the art of movement and gesture.

On Stage Design: Involve and instruct your students in the art of stage design, and explore how it contributes to amplifying the impact of the performance and its underlying message.

Collaborative: Students discover the importance of working together with like-minded students to share their ideas and outcomes.

Discussions: Engage in meaningful conversations about the themes and messages embedded within opera, nurturing critical thinking skills.

How to attend

In-Theatre: Students and teachers attend in-theatre performances to consolidate their learning experience of live theatre.

Online & On-Demand: Virtual workshops are presented as easy to consume videos to be played in class at a time that suits you and run for around 30 minutes (add time for learning activities). The videos will contain a prepared learning activity for students, focusing on the four main areas of: words, music, direction and design.

Excursion & Incursion: Come and see us or we can come to you. Our in-person workshops run for a minimum of 45 minutes and go up to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Student Feedback

“I have gained a lot of insight into the world of opera and theatre making throughout watching the workshops for The Visitors. It has been great, and it easily got everyone to think about their own experiences and bring them all together to create our own libretto. Overall, I feel the step-by-step instruction and advice from professionals were super helpful for all interested in theatre making, not just when it comes to opera.”

Fyonn, Year 10

“I love getting to know more about the show we watch, and  also having the director and the writer give tips about creating an opera.”

Jaylah, Year 7

The education workshops have been a great help in the lead up to seeing The Visitors, and they’ve given me a greater appreciation for devising my own works.”

Ruby, Year 11

What's on offer in 2024

In Semester 2 we offer:

  • Eucalyptus – Students attend the final stage rehearsal of acclaimed musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street before viewing Eucalyptus, a tragic fairy tale opera based on the Australian novel by Murray Bail.Interviews with cast and creatives enhance your students’ understanding of the creative process. Aligned with the Victorian Curriculum, workshops provide valuable insights for aspiring theatre enthusiasts and musicians alike.Workshops offered virtually, however face-to-face workshops can be organised.In-theatre experiences take place at Playhouse (Arts Centre Melbourne) and Palais Theatre (St. Kilda).

    Sweeney Todd Suitable for Years 10 – 12

    Eucalyptus Suitable for Years 9 – 12

  • Sound & Light Energy in Action – explore the physics of sound and light energy and apply this knowledge to real life theatre technology and situations. Consider this a whole day of Science Prac! Offered in person at Horti Hall Melbourne or as a school incursion. Suitable for Years 7 – 9

Cost to attend

$0 for Government schools

$5 per students in non-Government schools for workshops

$25 per students in non-Government schools for in-theatre presentations with 1 free teacher for every 10 students.


For further enquiries, contact our Education Team by calling (03) 9012 6659 or via email