An opera performed in concert might seem like the poor relation of a fully staged production. But there are a number of reasons why concert versions are beneficial for performers, opera companies and orchestras, says Shamistha de Soysa, as well as rewarding for audiences.

Maria Stuarda OA
Carmen Topciu as Elisabetta, Olga Peretyatko as Maria Stuarda and Bronwyn Douglass as Anna, Maria Stuarda in concert, Opera Australia, 2022. Photo © Prudence Upton

Across post-pandemic Australia, opera is finding its feet again. From the stand-and-deliver-style concert productions to fully staged presentations, opera is landing in a tantalising array of incarnations, which variously suit the resources to hand and offer otherwise intangible opportunities to performers and audiences. 

Operas in concert have long been a staple of ensembles around the world. Opera Australia has a swathe of concert...