Season Preview: Your guide to the arts in 2024

Victorian Opera has announced its second Ballarat Opera Festival for 2024, part of the company’s ongoing commitment to the cultural life in regional Victoria.

Spread across the year from May to December, the festival will consist of three main events: Parrwang Lifts the Sky, Celebration of Song, and The Big (Christmas) Sing, all of which will showcase VO’s partnerships with local performing arts groups.

Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Stuart Maunder said: “We look forward to building our audience, showcasing new talent, giving local artists the chance to collaborate, giving students their first taste of our glorious art form, and all the while discovering new challenges and learnings.”

Parrwang Lifts the Sky. Photo © Mel Serjeant

The festival commences on 24 May with three performances of Yorta Yorta composer Deborah Cheetham Fraillon’s family-friendly opera Parrwang Lifts the Sky, a work based on a traditional story connected to Wadawurrung Country, west of Melbourne/Naarm.

A parable of sorts, it tells the story of Parrwang (the Wadawurrung name for the magpie) who, with help from her kind, lifts...