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OUR PLACE

ACOCo respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Country on which we live, work and create. Sovereignty was never ceded, and we pay our respects to their elders past and present, and all First Peoples across Victoria and Australia, 

Established in 2008, Australian Contemporary Opera Co. is the leading independent producer of contemporary opera in Australia. 

Over 14 years, we have staged 72 new productions, 25 Australian premieres, 3 world premieres, 9 new USA works, 6 new British and 3 new European works. In early 2021, ACOCo commissioned composer William Barton to write his first full opera, due for world premiere 2024.

 

Our work has been described as "bold and visionary" "pretty cool" "world-class" and "outstanding". ACOCo is based in Naarm / Melbourne, and part of the professional global opera - performing arts network.

Carlo Antonioli and Richard Piper - ACOCo.jpg

ORGANISATION

CEO/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Linda Thompson

CHAIR (PRESIDENT)
Amy Poynton (2021 -)

DEPUTY CHAIR (V.P.)
Bill Gillies (2009 -)

TREASURER
Josie Rizza (2022-)

BOARD DIRECTOR (MEMBER)
Brian Castles-Onion (2016-)

BOARD DIRECTOR (MEMBER)
Rachel Cobb (2020-) 

BOARD DIRECTOR (MEMBER)
Position Vacant (Philanthropy/Development)


CONSULTANTS
Simon Lewis, Good Wolf (Strategy)
Paul Gardner AM (Sponsorship)
Lisa Edmonds, Emmet Consulting (Marketing)

FESTIVAL ADVISORY GROUP
Natalie O'Brien AM
Liz Nield OAM
Peter Ellyard
Liz Gillies

NEW GEN. ADVISORY GROUP
Orlando De Pury
Hamish Brown
Katie Brown (UK)
Resident Artist Rep. (TBA)

FIRST TAKE SELECTION PANEL
Linda Thompson
Dr Caitlin Vincent
Dr Stuart Greenbaum
Janice Muller, theatre and opera director, dramaturg, writer and producer.
producer
Matthew Nash

PR-media
Kate Anderson

Leah Phillips (socials)
Di Rolle (The Incident)
Toby Ralph (The Incident)

australian contemporary opera co.


singing stories of today, and tomorrow

creating

impact

working togeher

developing talent

CORE PRINCIPLES

ACOCo exists to create, connect, inspire and create new experiences through operatic story-telling.


AOCCo works to make our company and productions reflect our place, the diversity of our culture and 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, 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:

1.

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.

2.  

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.

3.  

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.

4.  

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.

brief backstory

ACOCo was founded in 2008 as The Opera Studio Melbourne, as a repertory company and a pathway for young artists to gain professional experience - bridging the gap between university and entering into a professional career. In 2013, we presented our public-facing projects as Gertrude Opera, and consistently attracted awards, attention and reputation for the quality, boldness and imagination of our work, featuring established international and emerging artists, musicians and creative teams. A strategic process begun in late 2019 resulted in 're-branding' to Australian Contemporary Opera Co, to better represent who we are, what we do, and our place in the overall opera landscape.

 

Over the past 14 years, ACOCo has evolved to facilitate many Australian firsts in opera – including our opera festival which grew to become a 10-day festival in the Yarra Valley – and recently in 2020, delivering the world first online-only opera festival – in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic - to critical acclaim and a Green Room Award. ​

 

We are a professional, dynamic company specialising in the production of contemporary and festival opera and music-theatre.  Our work involves taking operatic material - human and written - and turning ingredients into compelling story-telling for our times.  We embrace multi-cultural, cross-generational collaboration, well-being and arts-activism through synthesis of shared dramatic vocal, musical and theatrical excellence.

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