Message from our Artistic Director

2018 is a year of encounters with the forces of destiny and the power of desire; forces and powers that weave tangled webs of existential dilemmas through which we explore the extremes of human experience, as only opera can.


When the pain is too great to express in words, music provides the expressive release and the means to elevate our suffering to nobility, and explore transcendental truth.

The legends of heroic self- sacrifice, struggle and liberation, and the conflicts between personal need and public duty animate Rossini’s masterpiece William Tell.

Pelleas and Melisande explores desire and destiny in an enchanted sound world and landscape. The Capulets and the Montagues gives us Bellini’s version of the Romeo and Juliet story – doomed love realised through sublime melody.

Two Australian works, Calvin Bowman’s little charmer The Magic Pudding - The Opera and Julian Langdon, Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff’s hypnotic Lorelei, relieve the darker tones of the major works by seeing the possibilities of parody and humour in their fateful encounters.

Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel also makes a welcome return as our youngest audiences encounter opera and the Wicked Witch for the first time.

An extraordinary line-up of international and Australian singers join our brilliant creative teams in new productions. Our developing partnerships with Arts Centre Melbourne, the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), Orchestra Victoria, Palais Theatre, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the University of Melbourne are a source of great pride and help us to reimagine the potential of opera, for everyone.

Welcome and please enjoy!

Richard Mills
Artistic Director, Victorian Opera