As a Board member of Victorian Opera, I was thrilled to be in the audience for the stunning concert performance of Bellini’s La sonnambula on Friday night at Hamer Hall. Unusually for the often conservative Melbourne capacity crowd, the brilliant performance was received with a rapturous and well-deserved standing ovation. The night was made all the sweeter by an excellent win for my beloved Sainters in the football (fortunately after the standing ovation had finished!). The perfect Melbourne evening!
In just ten years, over 300,000 audience members have experienced a performance with Victorian Opera – over 20,000 of those attending regional performances. During our short history, we have created 14 new Australian works and collaborated with some of Australia’s leading companies, venues and learning institutions. We employ hundreds across the theatre industry and recruit some of the finest singers from Australia and around the world. We are committed to the accessibility of opera through tactile tours, audio described and relaxed performances. We have inspired over 500 young singers through our youth opera program and developed over 30 emerging artists.
I came to the Victorian Opera Board on the basis of my experience in Arts governance, having been Chair of the Emerging Writers' Festival and the Frankston Arts Centre. Arts Board involvement is my way of giving back … my volunteering, if you like. Much of my real education at school and university came from my involvement in debating, writing and theatre. In each of these areas, I learnt real life skills I still use today – arguably more than I did from formal study. I am on the Victorian Opera Board's Audit and Risk Committee and the Marketing and Development Committee, and by lending my business skills to Arts Boards, I get to reinvest in their future.
If you are interested in reading more about the performance of La sonnambula, here are links to three reviews from the evening: Limelight Magazine, Simon Parris Man in Chair and Opera Chaser.