Our Story and Values

Reimagining the potential of opera, for everyone.

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William Tell, July 2018

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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The Sleeping Beauty, March 2017

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.

We present rarely heard repertoire, operatic masterpieces and new Australian works, reimagining opera with performances featuring circus, puppetry, and spectacular 3D digital scenery.

Over 30,000 people experience our work annually, from opera enthusiasts to first-timers, in live performances and streamed events.

Since 2005, we have staged 21 new Australian works and collaborated with some of Australia’s leading companies, venues and learning institutions.

We employ hundreds across the creative industries and recruit some of the finest singers from Australia and around the world.

We tour Victoria with community, family and concert productions and began an ongoing commitment to staging opera in Tasmania from 2017. The next generation of talent is developed from the grassroots up, through the company’s Education Program.

Victorian Opera inspires audiences with an imaginative approach to opera and invites you to join us.

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Laughter and Tears, August 2016

We are opera makers

Whether commissioning new operas or reimagining century old works for new generations, we approach every production as a new adventure. We believe opera making is a continuous process and with each Victorian Opera production we are excited by the opportunity to bring something entirely new to the art form (including costumes, lighting, set design and stage direction).

Victorian Opera is at the forefront of creating opera in Australia. Every year we premiere at least one new Australian work. We also present new staging of under-appreciated works rarely seen in Australia, as well as honouring the hidden gems of the traditional repertoire with a fresh perspective.

As a young opera company, we are not dictated by traditions and expectations. We forge our own path putting our unique stamp on every production. We offer an alternative to the mainstream and like to surprise at every turn.

We create opera.

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Cunning Little Vixen, June 2017

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