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Mezzo soprano Sarah Heltzel as Offred with Michael Veitch as Prof. Piexoto in The Handmaid's Tale dir. Linda Thompson des. Joseph Noonan ©ACOCo 2018


ACOCo respectfully acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet and create.  We acknowledge their living culture and unique role in the life of this region.

We pay our respects to Elders past and present, as well as to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the wider community and beyond. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Welcome to Australian Contemporary Opera Co (ACOCo) - established in 2008, and with an impressive track record - a "bold and visionary" opera company that celebrates the vibrant spirit of contemporary opera in Australia.


At ACOCo, we take a unique approach to opera production and performance that sets us apart from other Australian companies. We focus on contemporary operatic story-telling for a 21st century audience. Through commissioning, developing, and performing new works by Australian and international composers, that explore modern themes, we expand the boundaries of the art form. As a multidisciplinary company, we collaborate with artists and practitioners from various fields such as theatre, visual arts, and technology, resulting in special projects and innovative and interdisciplinary productions, that offer fresh and unique experiences for both artists and audiences.

Innovative and bold:

ACOCo is known for its innovation and risk-taking approach to opera production. We constantly re-work traditional opera by experimenting with new forms, styles, and techniques, and challenging conventions. This bold and adventurous approach makes ACOCo stand out as a company that embraces creativity and originality in its productions, with a solid foundation in excellence of vocal production and musical values.

Accessible and Inclusive:

We are committed to accessibility and inclusivity, actively making opera more approachable to diverse audiences. We present productions in unconventional venues, incorporate modern technologies, and experiment with different performance styles. ACOCo also promotes inclusivity by featuring diverse stories, themes, and perspectives in our productions, and fostering valuable opportunities for emerging artists.


Education and community engagement are at the heart of our mission. We conduct workshops, masterclasses, and outreach programs to provide learning opportunities for aspiring artists, and engage with audiences and communities across Australia. We also collaborate with business, community organisations, and artists to promote opera and foster a vibrant opera culture in Australia, and across the global sector.


A distinguishing factor of ACOCo is our commitment to female, artist and next-generation leadership. We actively promote gender diversity and inclusivity in leadership roles, providing opportunities for female, diverse and new generation artists to take on leadership positions and contribute to the strategic decision-making process. We also value the creative input and ideas of our artists, encouraging them to be active collaborators and contributors to the overall artistic vision of the company.

Exciting Future:

ACOCo's major performance focus from February 2024 will be our annual 10-day international festival of contemporary opera and song. This exciting event will showcase cutting-edge works from around the world, pushing the boundaries of operatic storytelling, and celebrating the diversity and innovation in a variety of musical and dramatic styles. 

Join Us:

Australian Contemporary Opera Co is a company that values diversity, inclusivity, and innovation in shaping the future of contemporary opera in Australia.


Join us on this exciting journey, as we continue to push boundaries, disrupt the status quo, celebrate the art form and claim an Australian place for a world-class festival of contemporary opera - theatre & song.


ACOCo exists to create, connect, inspire and celebrate through singing stories of today and tomorrow.

AOCCo works to make our company and productions reflect our place, the diversity of our culture and the part of the world we live in.

ACOCo believes opera is a living and evolving art form, able to connect and appeal to people from all parts of our society.

Since 2009, collaboration with artists and partners, including multi-media and digital, ACOCo has consistently delivered award-winning, exceptional festival, regional and mainstream projects.     


In the interests of broadest and immediate impact, ACOCo productions are performed in English as the predominant language spoken in Australia.

ACOCo is driven to:


Harness the power of arts and culture to connect and enrich lives

Reach audiences through compelling performances, new works, a pipeline of local talent, and meaningful cultural experiences, including festival and regional activities.


Embrace our multiculturalism through a synthesis of dramatic vocal, musical and theatrical arts

Tell stories of us and of others, nature home-grown talent, provide a place for international talent, platform Australian identity and community.


Expand social impact through innovation and accessibility

Strategic expansion of production techniques, including digital innovation. Increase capacity for participation and further enhance our international reputation.


Identify and develop Australian content, stories and talent

Develop new work, secure a future for new generations of artists and audience. Act as a critical bridge for artists to connect to the world through Australian story-telling which incorporates the voice and song of our First Nations people.

What People Say

"The body of work...represents an exceptional work ethic, organizational capacity and vision. But more importantly,... this work reflects a consistent taste that is both distinguished and individual. In the face of remarkably limited resources, enterprising standards and an elegance has been achieved. The work has had a life and vivacity that sets it apart...In addition it exhibits a significant additional frame of reference…"
- Dr Peter Corrigan AM
Theatre Designer/Architect (1941-2016)
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