Pacific Opera facing shock closure

Pacific Opera, an influential program for young, exceptional performers has announced this week that it is under threat. A provider of talent to Opera Australia and other international companies, Pacific Opera is at risk of closure after losing its primary source of funding – private donations.

Established in 2003 by former Opera Australia principal Christine Douglas, it has established itself as the place for young singers to develop their vocal and performance skills to advance into the international opera arena. The company also serves as training ground for a variety of emerging performing arts professionals hoping to carve a career in directing, orchestra, design, lighting design and arts administration.

Pacific Opera.
Pacific Opera.

Many of Opera Australia’s current performing company are also alumuni of Pacific Opera.

“Without Pacific Opera for the young singers, there is not much opportunity for them,” said opera star and Pacific Opera alumna Eva Kong.

Craig Hassall AM, Chief Executive of Opera Australia, has urged all opera lovers to support Pacific Opera, highlighting 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.”

Artistic Director Simon Kenway says the company has no plans to rest on its laurels, and has taken many steps to accumulate support including launching a crowdfunding campaign, a new donor drive, as well as hosting fundraising opportunities with some of the program’s best and brightest.

“We will not go quietly into the night,” he said.

“We will fight for our survival and reach out for the help needed to continue to develop Australia’s performers today.

“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.”

 In order to continue our mission to support young opera performers, Pacific Opera will launch a major fundraising campaign on 25 October, 2016. Their goal is to raise $100,000 by 29 November, 2016. You can learn more about the campaign and donate here:


Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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