Established in 1976 by an Act of Parliament (the State Opera of South Australia Act), State Opera forms part of the extraordinary cultural legacy of Premier Don Dunstan in South Australia.
More opera for more people: the mission is simple and clear, and brilliantly reflected in the programming choices including exceptional productions of the well-known operatic canon alongside engaging contemporary works, creating experiences suited both to the genre first timer and the seasoned opera lover.
From creation to ovation, an opera company is nothing without its talent: State Opera has made a firm commitment to champion Australian talent on and off the stage, ensuring support to the education, development, creative and performance opportunities that our talented people and audiences deserve.
This commitment, an enduring legacy of Stuart Maunder AM’s artistic leadership, started with three chamber operas staged in 2019 as the Lost Operas of Oz initiative, which put noteworthy operas by Australian composers back on centre stage where they belonged.
Met with critical and popular acclaim, the initiative has evolved to encompass the protection and presentation of Australian operas and the formation of the Australian Opera Digital Library - the nation’s first digital education resource dedicated to Australia opera.
Stuart Maunder AM
Artistic Director, State Opera of South Australia
For the last thirty-five years Stuart has been directing musical theatre and opera in Australia. He joined The Australian Opera as Stage Manager in 1978, becoming a Resident Director in 1981. In 1992 he joined The Royal Opera (UK) as a Staff Director whilst continuing to direct in Australia, regional UK, France and the USA.
Stuart joined State Opera South Australia as Artistic Director in 2018, after holding positions such as Artistic Administrator and Executive Producer at Opera Australia, and General Director at New Zealand Opera.
Under his Artistic Directorship, State Opera has upheld its commitment to more opera for more people through the presentation of exceptional productions of the operatic canon alongside engaging productions of contemporary operatic works, all the while championing Australian talent on and off the stage.
Among the highlights Stuart directed for State Opera South Australia, The Mikado, Cunning Little Vixen, Carmen in the Square in 2019, Sweeney Todd and Carousel in 2021, Bohème on the Beach, The Turn Of The Screw and Voss (2022).
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