The idea for the Lost Operas of Oz was inspired by the time I worked in Sydney on a few Neglected Musicals. You quickly bring together a cast, throw around some interesting ideas, and get the chance to really look at a work. Something interesting always emerges out of giving new life to a piece. I thought, well, why not do it with operas?

Boojum, State Opera South Australia Boojum! Photo © State Opera of South Australia

There are a lot I’ve seen and enjoyed, but which have had only the one outing. It’s time we looked at them again and, after they’ve maybe had some work, put them in front of new audiences. What’s that quote? “Broadway musicals are not written, they’re rewritten.” That’s why at State Opera of South Australia I’ve programmed three neglected Australian operas – Peter and Martin Wesley-Smith’s Boojum!, Ross Edwards’ Christina’s Worldand John Haddock’s Madeline Lee. It’s important that Australian voices be heard and not left on a bottom shelf, because the world is full of these pieces that are worthy of reassessment.

It’s of course important that we do the great canon of operas and I’m so delighted...

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