Opera Australia

Australia’s principal opera - and largest performing arts - company has had a central and illustrious role in the story of the House it calls home.

By Sydney Opera House

Opera, Sydney-style (2014) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

David Hobson as Rodolfo and Cheryl Barker as Mimi in La bohème (1990) by Philip Le MasurierSydney Opera House

Opera Australia is the principal opera company in Australia. Based in Sydney, its performance season at the Sydney Opera House, accompanied by the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, runs for about eight months a year, with the remainder of the Opera’s year spent in the Arts Centre Melbourne, where it is accompanied by Orchestra Victoria.

Like most opera companies, Opera Australia is funded by a combination of government support, corporate sponsorship, private philanthropy, and ticket sales.

The company is perhaps best known internationally for its association with soprano Dame Joan Sutherland (1926-2010), and for film director Baz Luhrmann's ground-breaking production of Puccini's La bohème (left) in the early 1990s. Hailed as the new Sutherland, the internationally acclaimed young Australian soprano Nicole Car, who recently starred at the House in Opera Australia’s production of Verdi’s Luisa Miller, continues an illustrious tradition.

A scene from Gounod’s Faust, 2015 by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Dominica Matthews as Flora in La traviata by Branco GaicaSydney Opera House

Michael Fabiano (Faust) and Dancers in Faust, 2015 (2015) by Lisa TomasettiSydney Opera House

Roxane Hislop and Anthony Warlow in Patience (1995) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Dalibor Jenis, Nicole Car and Diego Torre in Luisa Miller (2015) by Prudence UptonSydney Opera House

Madelyn Renee and Luciano Pavarotti in La bohème, Opera Australia, 1983, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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War and Peace, Opera Australia, 1973, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Edward Downes, formerly associated with London's Royal Opera House, became Opera Australia’s musical director in 1972. His second production was Prokofiev's War and Peace, given as the opening night performance of the new Sydney Opera House, a short time before the building’s official opening in 1973.

Orchestra, Opera Australia, Opera Australia, 1990, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Daniel Sumegi and the Opera Australia Chorus in Luisa Miller (2015) by Prudence UptonSydney Opera House

Nicole Car, who has been hailed as the new Joan Sutherland, as Luisa and Diego Torre as Rodolfo in Luisa Miller (2015) by Prudence UptonSydney Opera House

Peter Coleman Wright as Harry Joy and Lorina Gore as Honey B, Blissr Coleman Wright as Harry Joy in Bliss, Branco Gaica, 2010, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Peter Coleman Wright as Harry Joy in Bliss, Branco Gaica, 2010, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Ronald Maconaghie, Heather Begg, Grant Dickson, Kiri Te Kanawa and Graeme Ewer, La traviata, Opera Australia, 1978, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Joan Sutherland in Lucia di Lammermoor, Opera Australia, 1980, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Robin Donald, Gregory Dempsey, Bruce Martin and John Fulford, 1982, Opera Australia, 1982, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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John Pringle and Nelly Miricioiu in La traviata (1984) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Kenneth Collins and Marilyn Zschau in La fanciulla del West (1989) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Anson Austin and Elizabeth Campbell in Werther, Opera Australia, 1990, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Joan Sutherland in Les Huguenots, Opera Australia, 1990, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Jeffrey Black as Guglielmo and Fiona Janes as Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, 1990, Opera Australia, 1990, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Linda Thompson and Lyndon Terracini in Mer de Glace, 1991, Opera Australia, 1991, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Christine Douglas, Roger Lemke, Gary Rowley, David Hobson, Cheryl Barker and David Lemke, La bohème, Opera Australia, 1993, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Angus Wood in The Magic Flute, Opera Australia, 1996, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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John Windschuttle as Amor in The Coronation of Poppea, Kiren Chang, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Cheryl Barker in Don Giovanni (2000) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Deborah Riedel, Andrew Brunsdon, Amelia Farrugia and Cheryl Barker in Don Giovanni (2007) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Stephen Bennett and Donald Shanks in Don Giovanni (2007) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Soprano Amelia Farrugia as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Opera Australia, 2000, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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John Pringle (Leporello) in Don Giovanni, Opera Australia, 2000, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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La traviata, Branco Gaica, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Bernadette Cullen and David Brennan in Werther, Opera Australia, 1989, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Jeffrey Black as Guglielmo and Fiona Janes as Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, 1990, Opera Australia, 1990, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Neil Kirkby, Michael Raymond Martin, Geoffrey Chard, Jeffrey Ward and Christopher Doig in Voss, 1990, Opera Australia, 1990, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Catharine Duval and Raymond Myers in Tosca, Opera Australia, 1981, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Greg Scott and Bernadette Cullen in Aida (1995) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Cheryl Barker backstage, 2015 (2015) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Stage control (2010) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

La bohème set box (1993) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

La bohème set box (1993) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

La bohème set box (1993) by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Méphistophélès in Faust (2015) by Lisa TomasettiSydney Opera House

A scene from Gounod’s Faust, 2015 by Opera AustraliaSydney Opera House

Credits: Story

Created by Sam Doust and the
Sydney Opera House GCI Team

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Contributors:
Opera Australia

Credits: All media
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