Stuart Maunder has been appointed Artistic Director of State Opera of South Australia, Chair John Irving announced today. Yarmila Alfonzetti has also been announced as Executive Director, joining the company on March 1.

Maunder, who takes up the position after four years as General Director of New Zealand Opera, replaces Timothy Sexton, who stepped down as State Opera SA’s Artistic Director and CEO in May, 2017, citing personal reasons. The company flagged at the time that it would be reviewing its management structure.

Stuart Maunder, State Opera SAStuart Maunder. Photo © Greg Bowker

Maunder has worked with Opera Australia in many roles – including most recently as Executive Producer – and has experience directing musicals and operas over 30 years. He recently directed Victorian Opera’s Cunning Little Vixen in 2017 as well as the company’s Sweeney Todd in 2015 and Into the Woods the year before. He has also directed a number of productions for State Opera SA.

“This is a great challenge for me – joining a company embarking on a new chapter, whose boldness in programming I have long admired and in a city I have always loved,” said Maunder. “I look forward immensely to working with the State Opera SA team to scale new artistic heights and develop audiences across the state. Opera in Australia needs a vibrant, forward-thinking company to celebrate the unique possibilities on offer, and State Opera SA is just that company.”

Yarmila Alfonzetti, State Opera SAYarmila Alfonzetti. Photo: supplied

Yarmila Alfonzetti will take up the position of Executive Director at State Opera SA in March after three years as Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Youth Orchestras. Prior to SYO, Alfonzetti was head of classical music at the Sydney Opera House for seven years and she currently curates the Opera House’s Utzon Music Series.

“I am positively overwhelmed with excitement by this wonderful opportunity to join State Opera SA; a company whose work has a proud history and one which arts aficionados regularly reference in discussions about opera, invention and achievement in the performing arts,” said Alfonzeti.

State Opera SA’s 2018 season kicks off with Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers in May and will include a concert performance of Act III of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, marking 20 years since the first famed Adelaide Ring Cycle.

“This company has a great legacy upon which we can build an exciting future,” said Alfonzetti.