Our New Works

Victorian Opera is committed to developing new Australian opera and talent. Since the company was formed in 2005, we have proudly commissioned 32 new works.

From adaptations of celebrated Australian books to pastiche works to youth and community operas, Victorian Opera presents at least one new Australian work every year. These works have enriched the national musical landscape engaging some of Australia’s best composers, writers and performers, and winning numerous awards.

Thirty-two over Fifteen: Victorian Opera’s Commissioned Works 2005–2020

As part of our 15th anniversary celebrations, Victorian Opera has released a book featuring details of every commissioned work and beautiful production photography. Download a digital copy of the book or order a print copy to keep a piece of Victorian Opera history on your coffee table.


The Love of the Nightingale
Composer Richard Mills
Librettist Timberlake Wertenbaker
Green Room Award – Male Artist, Supporting Role – James Egglestone
Helpmann Award – Best Female Performer in an Opera – Emma Matthews
Helpmann Award – Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera – James Egglestone
Helpmann Award – Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera – Orla Boylan
Helpmann Award – Best Music Direction – Richard Mills


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


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


The Parrot Factory
Composer Stuart Greenbaum
Librettist Ross Baglin

The Cockatoos
Composer Sarah de Jong
Librettist Sarah Carradine after Patrick White’s original work

Through the Looking Glass / Rembrandt's Wife / The Cockatoos


How to Kill your Husband (and other handy household hints)
Composer Alan John
Librettists Alan John and Timothy Daly after Kathy Lette’s original work


Composer and Librettist Richard Gill

Midnight Son
Composer Gordon Kerry
Librettist Louis Nowra
Green Room Award – New Australian Opera
Green Room Award – Direction – Nicki Wendt


Sleeping Beauty 
Composer and Librettist Richard Gill

The Magic Pudding - The Opera 
Composer Calvin Bowman
Librettist Anna Goldsworthy after Norman Lindsay’s original work
Green Room Award – Ensemble (Opera) 


The Riders 
Composer Iain Grandage
Librettist Alison Croggon after Tim Winton’s original work
Green Room Award – New Australian Opera
Green Room Award – Male Lead – Barry Ryan 
Art Music Award – Choral/Vocal Work of the Year (2015)

The Play of Herod 
Realised by Richard Mills
Librettist The Fleury Playbook and Richard Mills

Midnight Son / The Riders / The Magic Pudding - The Opera


Alice’s Adventures in Operaland
Composers Various and Richard Mills
Librettists Various and Elizabeth Hill-Cooper

Composer Richard Mills
Librettist Rodney Hall

The Grumpiest Boy in the World 
Composer Joseph Twist
Librettist Finegan Kruckemeyer

Seven Deadly Sins 
Composers and Librettists Julian Langdon ('Prologue', Adelaide/Gluttony, 'Epilogue'), Mark Viggiani (Hobart/Envy, Perth/Anger), Ian Whitney (Brisbane/Sloth, Sydney/Lust) and Jessica Wells (Melbourne/Greed, Canberra/Pride


Voyage to the Moon 
Musical Arrangers The late Alan Curtis and Calvin Bowman
Writer Michael Gow

Banquet of Secrets 
Score composed by Paul Grabowsky
Book, Lyrics and Original Story by Steve Vizard

The Pied Piper 
Composer and Librettist Richard Mills

Laughter and Tears 
Composer Various (Laughter), Ruggero Leoncavello (Pagliacci)
Librettist Richard Mills (Laughter), Ruggero Leoncavello (Pagliacci)

The Grumpiest Boy in the World / Voyage to the Moon / Laughter and Tears


’Tis Pity
Composer and Arranger Richard Mills
Operatic Libretto Richard Mills
Additional Material Cameron Menzies and Meow Meow 

The Snow Queen
Composer Gordon Kerry
Librettist John Kinsella after Hans Christian Andersen's original work


Music Julian Langdon, Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff
Orchestration Julian Langdon
Lyrics Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff
Concept Ali McGregor
Green Room Award – New Australian Work – Julian Langdon, Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff
Green Room Award – Design – Marg Howell (Set/Costume)


Alice Through the Opera Glass
Composers Various
Text Emma Muir-Smith

Oscar and Lucinda
Composer Elliott Gyger
Librettist Pierce Wilcox after Peter Carey’s original work
Art Music Award – Best Opera

The Selfish Giant 
Composer Simon Bruckard
Librettist Emma Muir-Smith after Oscar Wilde’s original work
Green Room Award – Musical Achievement (New Australian Opera) – Simon Bruckard and Emma Muir-Smith


Three Tales (online premiere)
Composers Zac Hurren (A Simple Heart), Dermot Tutty (The Legend of St Julian the Hospitaller) and Stefan Cassomenos (Herodias)
Librettist Daniel Keene after Gustave Flaubert’s original work


Echo and Narcissus / Cassandra

Composers Kevin March (Echo and Narcissus), Simon Bruckard (Cassandra)
Librettists Jane Montgomery Griffiths (Echo and Narcissus), Constantine Costi (Cassandra)

Parrwang Lifts the Sky
Composer and Librettist Deborah Cheetham

The Butterfly Lovers
Composer Richard Mills
Librettist Joel Tan

’Tis Pity / Lorelei / The Selfish Giant