On Thursday 22 July, Opera Australia announced that it had been forced to postpone its production of The Phantom of the Opera until 2022 because of the severe impact of the current Sydney COVID lockdown. The news followed hard on the heels of the cancellation of the company’s 2021 Sydney winter season.

Speaking to Limelight, Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said that OA needed help from the government if the company was to survive.

Josh Piterman in The Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End. Photo © Johan Persson

Today came news that OA has received $4 million from the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund, “to support the ongoing viability of this vitally important national arts company”.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, made the decision following the postponement of Phantom, which had been intended as a major revenue-generating production to help the company get back on its feet after its box office revenue was decimated by the pandemic. Scheduled to open in Sydney on 3 September and then move to Melbourne...