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The Opera Studio Melbourne -> Gertrude Opera -> Australian Contemporary Opera Co.
a story of grit, adaptation and growth
With initial support from the Gertrude Johnson Estate, Angior Foundation and a 'Friend-Raiser', The Opera Studio Melbourne was born to fill a need: a repertory company made up of graduate singers and creative practitioners from Australia and overseas
Adapted the 2020 Festival program to cope with travel restrictions and lockdowns. Delivered Australia's only - and world-first - online festival of contemporary opera - to critical acclaim. Began an intense strategic planning and board regeneration phase - with a view to the next decade!
Gertrude Opera became the performing arm, incorporating established professional artists and emerging artists in multiple staged productions in Melbourne, suburbs and regional arias - including an annual mainstage production in CBD
Founded Australia's first 'progressive' regional opera festival - held at Nagambie Lakes in central Victoria in 2015 & 2016, with performances of staged and concert opera across multiple venues including Mitchelton, Tahbilk and Fowles wineries.
Launched the Yarra Valley Opera Festival - built a proscenium arch theatre with raked seating in a marquee in a paddock - 80+ performers and musicians in a regional opera festival on a working farm in the Yarra Valley.
New Year: rebranded to AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY OPERA CO. to better represent our place and purpose. Adapted for the new world: adding outdoor and distanced performances and creating new projects. Prioritised development and facilitation of new Australian works, gender equity and centring our First Nations people and their stories.
Continuing to earn our vital and nourishing place in the Australian and international arts calendar. Living values reflecting our shared culture, individual and collective identity, standing, output and aspirations.
ACOCo SUMMER FESTIVAL -
THE PLACE FOR CONTEMPORARY OPERATIC STORY-TELLING
bold and visionary.”
— Simon Plant, Senior Arts Writer - Herald Sun
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