Opera companies face major overhaul

One company should be put on notice, another bumped up and $24 million should be injected into opera, recommends the National Opera Review.

Image: Opera Australia’s 2016 production The Barber of Seville

The National Opera Review final report released today recommends major changes to the sector, to be sweetened with a $24.136 million funding boost over four years for Australia’s major opera companies.

But who those majors are could well change if the Review’s recommendations are implemented. The Review said Opera Queensland should be given three years in which it can prove its viability as a member of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) while the Victorian Opera should be supported to become an AMPAG member.

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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