ACOCo commissions a brand new Australian opera by William Barton

We're thrilled to announce award-winning composer WILLIAM BARTON will compose ACOCo's first major commission - a 2-act opera called THE INCIDENT.

THE INCIDENT is still in the early creative phase so we can’t reveal too much – yet!  What we can share is that it centres on an Australian story ripe for telling, and one that will engage and excite audiences. It is also likely to generate some lively conversation around art as a mirror to society, and the role of contemporary opera in Australia, and the world.

Combining European and Australian Indigenous performance practices, performers and musicians,
THE INCIDENT is set to premiere in 2024 and will be published and represented by Wise Music Australia/G. Schirmer (worldwide). We are excited to be working on this creation, and look forward to sharing the journey of conception to stage with you.

Watch this space!

Image: Award-winning composer William Barton, in a bright blue jacket and white T-short, looking confidently off into the distance.


Discovering new Australian opera


FIRST TAKE AUSTRALIA is modeled on the format Yuval Sharon (American opera and theater director and artistic director of The Industry) created as Project Director of New York City Opera’s influential VOX program between 2005-09. Since 2013, The Industry and Wild Up have presented a biennial West Coast workshop of new American operas designed to "give audiences a taste of the wide range of ideas in opera today". The inaugural First Take took place at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.


FIRST TAKE AUSTRALIA is in development, with a view to calling for submissions of existing vocal works from Australian composers in 2022. The Advisory Panel will select composers/projects to work with ACOCo to create, develop and produce opera-music theatre prototypes, presented biannually in a public workshop.


With other appointments in the pipeline, the inaugural ACOCo FTA Advisory Panel includes Professor Stuart Greenbaum (Composer/Head of Composition at UniMelb), Dr Caitlin Vincent (Librettist/Lecturer in Creative Industries UniMelb), Daniel Zhesiong Todd (Performer/Teacher/Writer), led by Artistic Director/Stage Director Linda Thompson.