Whose idea was it to stage Il tabarro on board The Carpentaria at the Australian National Maritime Museum?

In her trademark daring and inventive spirit, [Sydney Festival Artistic Director] Olivia Ansell contacted me with a question: “Can you think of any operas that could be set on a barge?” Il tabarro immediately came to mind as the perfect opera to be staged on the high seas. 

Constantine Costi. Photo supplied.

Some of the work I’ve been most proud of has taken opera out of the concert hall and into unexpected locations: a Kurt Weill double bill at the Old Fitz Theatre [in Woolloomooloo, Sydney]; Opera Australia’s La traviata on Sydney Harbour; the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s immersive Baroque experience, Inferno, in a warehouse space; and Pinchgut Opera’s film A Delicate Fire. So, when the idea was put to me, I was more than thrilled to continue my mission to bring opera to the people – and the added bonus of it being a free event is more than exciting to break down another barrier!

Have you spent much time exploring the ship? And how much of it will you use?

My incredible team – conductor Simon Bruckard and designers Sabina Myers (set...