West Australian Opera

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West Australian Opera is the principal opera company of Western Australia and is a resident company at His Majesty's Theatre in Perth.[1]

The company formed in 1967 and works in close association with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. It presents three main stage productions each year as well as the annual free event, City of Perth’s Opera in the Park. The company draws from the principal canon of operatic repertoire and increasingly is involved in the commissioning and development of new operas. It has a strong education program and is involved with many concerts and community events in metro and regional Western Australia. In July 2012 Joseph Colaneri was appointed Artistic Director[2] and succeeded Richard Mills, who had previously held the post since 1997. The current Chairman is Terry Bowen and the principal partner of the company is Wesfarmers Arts.


The company was founded in 1967 by James Penberthy and Cav Uff Giuseppe Bertinazzo OMRI.[3]

In 1997 Richard Mills was Appointed Artistic director of the company. In 2007 - to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company, Mills composed The Love of the Nightingale and it's world premiere was staged by the West Australian Opera in the same year.

In 2012 Joseph Colaneri succeeded Richard Mills as Artistic Director.

The current General Manager is Carolyn Chard.

New Opera Works

West Australian Opera is committed to building artistic collaborations which are critical in presenting challenging new works that stand as a testament to success, excellent and innovation of the opera art form. Co-productions include:

OTELLO (2014) by Giuseppe Verdi. Cape Town Opera, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, New Zealand Opera, State Opera of South Australia and Victorian Opera. Directed by Simon Phillips.

ELEKTRA (2012) by Richard Strauss. West Australian Opera, ThinIce, Perth International Arts Festival and Opera Australia. Directed by Matthew Lutton.

PETER GRIMES (2010) by Benjamin Britten. West Australian Opera, Perth International Arts Festival, Opera Australia, Houston Grand Opera and the Australian Youth Orchestra. Rehearsal Director Tama Matheson.

THE LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE (2007) by Richard Mills. West Australian Opera, Perth International Arts Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Opera Queensland, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Victorian Opera. Directed by Lindy Hume.


  1. ^ "West Australian Opera". Australian Major Performing Arts Group. Retrieved 15 November 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ Midday with Margaret Throsby (2012-01-31). "West Australian Opera appoints new artistic director - Classical Music". Limelight Magazine. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  3. ^ "Penberthy, James (1917-1999) - People and organisations - Trove". Trove.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 

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