What a pleasure it is to be able to go to a new opera! I realise that there’s a reason why we tend to see the same operas and same composers’ works appearing on the stage, but as Patrick Nolan, Opera Queensland’s Artistic Director and CEO, notes “the creation of new works is where the future of opera is nurtured. If we were to only present operas from the past what would audience in 50, 100, 200 years from now have as a window into our time?”. A good point, and this new opera, so neatly skewering some of our societal expectations, led to more solid in-depth discussions with my concert-partner than any other opera I’ve seen for a long time.

Loreleiat Victorian Opera, 2018. Photograph © Pia Johnson

First premiered by Victorian Opera in 2018, this new opera is based on the Germanic myth of Lorelei, but reinterprets it through a very modern lens. Although the various versions of the myth differ slightly, the gist is that after waiting for her lover to return from sea and refusing the advances...