Let’s dig into some ancient wisdom. In the 6th century BCE, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus posited that everything is in a constant state of change. It’s proved to be a remarkably durable observation, one that can be applied effortlessly to opera and dance in 2024.
There’s a bedrock of conventional repertoire as always – the centenary of Puccini’s death has not gone unremarked – but that’s not where the interest lies.
Dance has always been a bit more nimble on its feet than opera, if you’ll forgive me, so change tends to happen more quickly there.
But the atmospherics have altered in opera. There’s a sense, pretty much across the board, that the shackles of Europe are being further loosened. There are unusual venues, lots of productions sung in English and a solid tranche of works by Australian composers and librettists dealing with Australian subject matter, directed by Australians.
More women will stand in front of opera orchestras – not that that would be hard. Opera Australia leads the charge there and also dials down the number of international guest artists....