Faced with a lack of funding, the company has launched a major fundraising campaign to ensure its continued survival.
As reported by Limelight in early August, Pacific Opera was to be shut down by its board due to a lack of financial support. The company has now confirmed this news, announcing it is at risk of closure due to insufficient private donations, its primary source of funding. An invaluable programme for young singers to develop their vocal and performance skills, Pacific Opera’s potential closure represents a significant blow to the Australian arts sector. Many of its singers have gone on to perform with Opera Australia and numerous other international companies. The organisation has not been inactive in the face of this news, however, working to gather support from the public and launching a fundraising campaign in order to ensure its continued survival.
Pacific Opera, billed as “the Young Artists’ opera company”, was founded by former Opera Australia principal, Christine Douglas, who has had a hand in the professional development of more than 120 singers over the past decade. The organisation has also operated as a training ground for a variety of emerging performing arts professionals hoping for a career in directing, orchestra, lighting design and arts administration.
Support for the company’s continued welfare has poured forth from prominent figures in the arts. Opera star and alumna Eva Kong said, “ithout Pacific Opera for the young opera singers, there is not much opportunity for them”. Meanwhile, Craig Hassall, Chief Executive of Opera Australia, has asked all opera lovers to support the organisation, stating that OA has “relied on the pipeline created by Pacific Opera for many years”.
“For the opera sector in Australia to remain a successful one, it’s important that companies like Pacific Opera are supported and encouraged,” Mr Hassall said. “Between us all, we can ensure that this important Australian organisation continues to be a strong part of our industry.”
Pacific Opera’s Artistic Director Simon Kenway says the Company has not been inactive, having launched a crowd funding campaign and a new donor drive. Fundraising opportunities hosted with some of the programme’s exceptional singers is also in the works.
“We will not go quietly into the night. We will fight for our survival and reach out for the help needed to continue to develop Australia’s performers today,” says Mr Kenway. “So few opportunities exist for this post tertiary development, it would be a tragedy to see it disappear.”
“Opera forms a crucial chapter in Australia’s history, with one of our most beautiful landmarks the Sydney Opera House,” Mr Kenway added. “We must foster our great talent or risk seeing a part of our artistic heritage slip through our fingers, along with the dreams of many talented performers.”
To ensure that Pacific Opera has the opportunity to continue nurturing young singers, the company has aimed to raise $100,000 by November 29, 2016 through their fundraising campaign. On the fundraising site, Pacific Opera asks the public to “help us bring young artists to new spaces and new audiences, in their journey to develop skills to become opera singers of the world.”
Click here to support Pacific Opera’s future