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2017: Opera Australia Orchestra’s 50th anniversary year

The Opera Australia Orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. Formed in 1967 as the Sydney Elizabethan Trust Orchestra to be the performance partner of Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet, it was known for many years as the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Now called the Opera Australia Orchestra, it has earned an international reputation as an expert orchestra of the highest calibre. With over 300 performances of more than 20 productions of opera, ballet, musical theatre and concerts, it is also Australia’s busiest orchestra. Performing under some of the world’s finest conductors, the core orchestra is supported by excellent seasonal and freelance musicians.

The seven-month closure for renovations of the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre in 2017 has provided the orchestra with the opportunity to perform in a range of diverse venues including the Sydney Town Hall, the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall and the Capitol Theatre

Recent highlights include concert performances of Wagner’s Parsifal with Jonas Kaufmann, conducted by Pinchas Steinberg; Gala concerts in Melbourne and Sydney with Anna Netrebko; Massenet’s Thaïs; and Verdi’s Requiem performed with the Opera Australia Chorus. The Orchestra also featured in the sixth season of the now iconic Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, set on a stage on Sydney Harbour. For the Australian Ballet, recent highlights include the acclaimed production of John Neumeier’s Nijinsky, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice in Wonderland conducted by Nicolette Fraillon.

Opera Australia returns to the Sydney Opera House in 2018 with highly anticipated productions including The Nose by Dmitri Shostakovitch, Massenet’s Don Quichotte and Australian composer Brian Howard’s chamber opera Metamorphosis.