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Edition 2 :: July 2024

A monthly newsletter about all things new opera & opera adjacent in Australia.

As winter sets the stage for theatre, Australia is brimming with exciting new opera this month. From the Australian debuts of American contemporary classics to innovative reinterpretations of old songs and captivating operatic cabaret, there's something for every opera enthusiast.




The Song Company


The Song Company celebrates its 40th anniversary with a world premiere of Vespers for Mother Earth, an astonishing composition by beloved composer Ross Edwards.

The program's first half celebrates the company's rich history of collaborations with luminaries of Australian music, including Peter Sculthorpe, Elena Kats-Chernin, Nigel Butterly, and Katy Abbott. Then they look to the future, showcasing the next generation of composers, including Alice Chance and Sonya Hollowell, and a new work by Angus Davison.

The quality of musicality from TSC is always extraordinary and this promises to be no different.

DATE: 23 June

TIME: 3 pm

PLACE: City Recital Hall



Victorian Opera


Victorian Opera has assembled some of our finest emerging singers in this quirky piece by Australian composer Malcolm Williamson.

Musically, it is described as a pastiche with influences that range from Mozart to Rumba. The cast works through an array of peculiar characters.

Directed by Artistic Director (and one of our favourite eccentrics) Stuart Maunder, the work is an adaptation of the Edith Sitwell book and stars Michaela Cadwgan, Alastair Cooper-Golec, Eamon Dooley, Genevieve Droppert, Chloe James, Douglas Kelly & Joshua Morton-Galea.

DAY; 4-6 July

TIME: 7:30 pm (2pm)

PLACE: Union Theatre, University of Melbourne



Opera Australia


Lars von Trier’s 1996 film about a young woman’s shocking sacrifices for her husband was an immediate sensation upon its premiere, winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. Thanks to American composer Missy Mazzoli, it is now a ground-breaking opera.

Dubbed by Time Out as “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart,” Mazzoli is one of the most exciting contemporary composers. This semi-staged production, which comes to Melbourne for one night only, promises to be an exciting event.

Australian conductor Jessica Cottis takes the baton, and Melbourne Theatre Company Artistic Director Anne-Louise Sarks directs with Jennifer Black taking the lead opposite Australian-raised baritone Duncan Rock, reprising his acclaimed performance from the opera’s European premiere at Edinburgh International Festival.

DAY: Friday 26 July 2024

TIME: 7:30 pm

PLACE: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, Melbourne



DImity Shepherd


OPERA CLOSETS is an original performance piece written and performed by multi-award-winning Australian mezzo-soprano Dimity Shepherd. I dare you to find a more uniquely fashionable woman in Melbourne. Her wardrobe is one we all delight in. In this new show, every outfit tells a story, and every story has a song.

Dimity is one of Australia’s most celebrated and versatile opera stars. She has worked with all major Australian opera houses and orchestras (including LORELEI 😍), and this show will be something very new and intimate from this extraordinary singer.

The perfect excuse to head down the Mornington Peninsula, and there is even a Q&A before the show about fashion with some of Melbourne's most singular designers and fashun mavens.

DAY: Saturday 27th July

TIME: 6pm PLACE: Flinders Civic Hall




Australian Contemporary Opera Company & Monk Parrots (USA)

Don Giovanni is just one of the many popular operas from the canon being successfully relooked at through a female lens. DON JEREMY is a reimagining of this classic tale in a world where accountability and consent are sexy.

An exciting collaboration between MONK PARROTS led by artistic director Luke Leonard and based in NYC and ACOCo's Linda Thompson. The companies have collaborated before with David Lang & Mac Wellman's The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, a reimagining of Verdi's MACBETH arr. by US composer Peter Stopchinski, and David Lang's Love Fail - as a remote digital collaboration for both ACOCO's 2020 online Festival, and live performance at Fed Square in 2021.

They have recently had an international development in NYC, and we are excited to watch the future development of this piece.

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