What is the future of opera?

A three-day forum in Brisbane will interrogate the operatic form and consider opera’s place in contemporary culture.

Eva Kong in John Adams’ A Flowering Tree, which is being staged by Opera Queensland in conjunction with the New Opera Workshop. Photo credit: Stephanie Do Rozario.

Opera is in crisis – globally. Companies are facing diminishing audiences and financial woes, while the artform itself is regularly accused of being elitist, exclusive and increasingly fixated on a narrow canon of works including Carmen, La traviata, La bohéme, Madama Butterfly and Rigoletto.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts