Chamber Made Opera is an Australian production house for contemporary opera and music theatre. Formed in 1988 by theatre director and librettist Douglas Horton. It is Australia’s only full-time company exclusively devoted to the commissioning and presentation of music-theatre works by living artists. Since taking up the artistic directorship in 2010, David Young has commissioned and presented twelve new Australian operas, many of which were created as part of the company's "Living Room Opera" series.
Chamber Made Opera works with established artists and emerging professionals. The company also engages performers from different disciplines and ‘non-traditional’ music and performance backgrounds.
Their productions range from contemporary classical music theatre, through to cross art 'hybrid' performance works. This range encompasses wide stylistic and ethnic diversity in music and music-makers.
Living Room Operas
The Living Room Opera Series involves artists and musicians from a range of styles and backgrounds. This series aims to give the audience new, chamber operas in close proximity.
In 2010 new works by composer Alex Garsden, Rawcus Theatre Company, and the Quiver Ensemble were commissioned and presented in a range of domestic settings with investment by individual donors. The Series represents a mobile and scalable model with support from private philanthropy.
Staff past and present
Past staff include General Managers Stephen Armstrong and Robina Burton, and the late Jacqui Everitt, designer. In 2008 the staff were Douglas Horton (Artistic Director), Kylie Trounson (Artistic Associate), Geoffrey Williams (General Manager), Erin Adams (Administrator), Brett Kelly (Musical Associate). In September 2008 the company announced the formation of their "National Artistic Directorate", currently composed of: Robyn Archer AO (SA), Gerard Brophy (QLD), Brett Dean (VIC), Matthew Lutton (WA), Caroline Stacey (ACT).
In 2012 Chamber Made Opera's staff are: Artistic Director / CEO: David Young; Executive Producer: Tim Stitz; Artistic Associate: Sarah Kriegler; Assistant to the Artistic Director: Caroline Lee; Resident Conductor: Brett Kelly; Resident Director: Margaret Cameron; Consultant (Strategy & Development): Sophie Travers; Finance Officer: Sally Goldner.
The 2012 Artistic Advisory Group consists of Robyn Archer, Gerard Brophy, Helen Cole (Bristol UK), Brett Dean, Juliana Hodkinson (Berlin, Germany) and Caroline Stacey.
Only first productions are listed
- 1988 The Heiress, music: Donald Hollier, text after Henry James' novel Washington Square
- 1989 Recital, music: David Chesworth, Puccini, Mozart et al., text: Douglas Horton and Helen Noonan
- 1990 The Fall of the House of Usher, music: Philip Glass, text: Arthur Yorinks after Edgar Allan Poe
- 1991 Greek, music: Mark-Anthony Turnage, text: Steven Berkoff
- 1991 Sweet Death, music: Andree Greenwell, text: Abe Pogos after Claude Tardat
- 1992 The Cars That Ate Paris, musical improvisation, text by Douglas Horton after Peter Weir
- 1992 Lacuna, music: David Chesworth, text: Douglas Horton
- 1993 Improvement: Don Leaves Linda, music & text: Robert Ashley
- 1993 Medea, music: Gordon Kerry, text: Justin Macdonnell after Seneca
- 1994 The Two Executioners, music: David Chesworth, text: Douglas Horton after Fernando Arrabal's Les Deux Bourreaux
- 1995 Tresno, music & text: Jacqui Rutten
- 1995 The Burrow, music: Michael Smetanin, text: Alison Croggon
- 1997 Wide Sargasso Sea, music: Brian Howard, text Brian Howard after Jean Rhys
- 1997 Fresh Ghosts, music: Julian Yu, text: Glenn Perry after Lu Xun
- 1998 Dr Forbes Will See You Now, music: Stephen Ingham, text: Douglas Horton
- 1998 Matricide – The Musical, music: Elena Kats-Chernin, text: Kathleen Mary Fallon
- 1999 Eight Songs For A Mad King, music: Peter Maxwell Davies, text: Randolph Stow
- 2000 Gauguin (a synthetic life), music: Michael Smetanin, text: Alison Croggon
- 2000 Teorema, music: Giorgio Battistelli, scenario after Pier Paolo Pasolini
- 2002 Slow Love, music: Stevie Wishart, text: Richard Murphett
- 2002 Motherland, music: Dominique Probst, text: Le Quy Duong
- 2003 The Possessed, music: Julian Yu, text: Glenn Perry
- 2003 Phobia, music: Gerard Brophy, text: Douglas Horton, in homage to Alfred Hitchcock
- 2003 Walkabout, music & text: Richard Frankland after Nicolas Roeg
- 2004 The Charcoal Club (aka Burning Embers), music & text: Richard Frankland
- 2006 Corruption, music: Sasha Stella, text: Ania Walwicz after Elisa Evers
- 2006 The Hive, music: Nicholas Vines, text: Sam Sejavka
- 2007 Crossing Live, music: Bryony Marks, text: Matt Saville
- 2008 The Children's Bach, music: Andrew Schultz, text: Glenn Perry based on Helen Garner's novella
- 1992 Myer Group Arts Award – Lacuna
- 1994 The Age Performing Arts Awards – Most Outstanding Fringe Performance — The Two Executioners
- 2002 Green Room Awards – Best New Score: Slow Love
- 2002 Green Room Awards – Best Lighting Design: Motherland
- 2006 Green Room Awards – Best Production: The Hive
- 2007 Helpmann Awards – Best Direction of an Opera: Douglas Horton for The Hive
- 2007 Green Room Awards – Best New Australian Work: Crossing Live, Best Performance-New Form: Luke Elliott in Crossing Live
- 2001 Wicked Voice includes excerpts from Lacuna and The Two Executioners (Chesworth/Horton), ABC Classics
- 2007 Medea (Kerry/Macdonnell), ABC Classics
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