"it is really a tightrope sort of thing, living..."
- Joy Hester (1920-1960)
Linsday Brunsdon, composer
Meredith Martin, librettist
ACOCo Season 2021
Humans crave stories - they help us get to know our ourselves and our world, and to discover others and theirs. At ACOCo, we are a conduit to a future with opera as an expression of what lies at the heart of us all: loud emotions, complicated lives and boundless creative capital.
What is ACOCo?
ACOCo (formerly Gertrude Opera) is a professional, NFP company
specialising in the production of contemporary and festival opera,
driven by attracting new and existing audiences for dynamic performances.
Our work involves compelling story-telling for our times - embracing multi-culturalism through a synthesis of dramatic vocal, musical and theatrical arts.
We are of the 'live audience' tribe,
and we also play in the virtual arena.
Contemporary opera is simply, 'of now'. Stories of us, and of others - to try to make sense of our place in the world. Anything and everything, from old music transformed by new creative thinking to brand new, cutting-edge work.
Contemporary opera takes artistic risks across a multitude of creative forms - composition, literature, design, fashion, dance, puppetry, technology, film, visual arts; the thrill is in bringing together the work of a team of artists in an array of fields to create a compelling whole.
Do I need to know anything about opera before going?
There is no prior opera experience necessary; no correct response to a performance, nor any pre-learning to get the most out of it. You are only required to be present, absorb the story and allow yourself to be moved.
Contemporary opera may contain music you recognise, or it may be new - whether tuneful or dramatic, contemporary opera is not ambient entertainment; it is crafted to make you focus, and feel something.
Every production is a blank canvas for a wild ride for the imagination
and an opportunity for a new perspective.
ACOCo is made up of artists, musicians, designers and directors, led by founder and artistic director, Linda Thompson -
"a cultural entrepreneur for the 21st century" - Dr Peter Ellyard, Futurist/Strategist/Author
ACOCo employs professional Australian and international artists and creative thinkers, and is supported by a network of enlightened and generous individuals and Foundations.
>> ACOCo people
What makes ACOCo unique?
A 12-year track record of independent, award-winning productions, producing Australia's only opera festival, and a global perspective. We expand the horizons of our collaborators (professional artists, musicians, theatre-makers) through bold programming, and provide mentoring, skill development and experience for exceptional artists.
We attract audiences through the programs we present, the stories we tell, and consistent excellence. Recent international collaborations include Monk Parrots (USA)
Glyndebourne Festival Opera (UK)
Accolades & Awards
Outstanding Production by an Independent Company 2019 (The Enchanted Pig - Australian Premiere)
Outstanding Production by an Independent Company 2018 (The Handmaid's Tale - Australian Premiere)
Outstanding Direction 2020 (Linda Thompson, The Handmaid's Tale)
Outstanding Direction 2016 (Greg Eldridge, Trouble in Tahiti)
Outstanding Direction 2015 (Luke Leonard, the difficulty of crossing a field - Australian Premiere)
“Opera, where virtually every single element of art is involved, is unique still. Music, text, literature, movement, dance, ballet, body, history, psychology, light, visual arts…it’s the most extreme, the most real and emotionally powerful form of performing arts.
- BARRIE KOSKY International Australian Opera and Theatre Director
“accessible, evocative and profoundly relevant, AS ONE breathes new life into opera...”
— Stage Whispers