Mention the name Ben Mingay and legions of fans will instantly think of his many musical theatre roles such as Billy Kostecki in Dirty Dancing, Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, Zack Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman, and the title roles in Shrek the Musical and Sweeney Todd.

Others will associate him with television where his panoply of characters include Buzz Graham in Packed to the Rafters, Rob Duffy in Wonderland, Jim in Frayed and Flip Menelaus in The Twelve.

Ben Mingay

Ben Mingay. Photo © Rhiannon Hopley

But opera? He was one of the headliners at State Opera South Australia’s G&S Fest in June 2023, delighting audiences as The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance and in the more unexpected role of Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore. Beyond that, operetta and opera hasn’t featured large on his CV.

That could be about to change. In February, Mingay makes his Opera Australia debut as Papageno in a new production of The Magic Flute, directed by Kate Gaul.

“For years, I have wanted to get involved with Opera Australia. I have tried several times...