There’s such a wealth of interest and information packed into this compelling new documentary film following a group of young singers preparing for a concert staging of Carmen, but let me say from the outset, Love Operais a breath of fresh air. Not only does it show real people with few pretensions getting to grips with a demanding artform in a challenging profession, along the way it tackles some of opera’s more pernicious issues: body image, gender, sexuality and more.

Lisa Gasteen. Photo © Simon Langford Ely

On the one hand it’s a persuasive showcase for Lisa Gasteen’s National Opera Program (LGNOP), the Brisbane-based training school run out of Griffith University at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music by the former Australian star of productions from Covent Garden to the Met. Down to earth, good-humoured and honest, Gasteen comes across as a force to be reckoned with, ably backed by her co-founder, art historian Nancy Underhill. The latter, who turns 80 during the film, is a tireless advocate, whether wining and dining Brisbane elites or whipping up a...

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