On 6 October 2005, Victorian Opera was formed as Victoria’s new state opera company. To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Victorian Opera announces a new Australian opera for 2021, a major opera prize for emerging talent, as well as a digital book and web series reflecting on its rich history of past commissions.

As one of four new operas being staged as part of its yet-to-be-revealed 2021 season, Victorian Opera announces Parrwang Lifts the Sky by acclaimed Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Prof. Deborah Cheetham AO. The opera tells the creation story of the sunrise, from the oral history of the Wathaurong people of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.

Parrwang Lifts the Sky is Victorian Opera’s Education Production for 2021 and will be livestreamed to thousands of primary and secondary students statewide as part of the company’s Access All Areas: Livestream Program.

Victorian Opera also announces the Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts Opera Prize. The $50,000 opera prize will provide employment to emerging singers throughout 2021. Recipients will be cast in a Victorian Opera production, receive private mentorship from Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills, and coaching from the company’s music staff. Interested artists can submit applications now.

In celebrating Victorian Opera’s commitment to new Australian opera, the company is releasing a digital book, Thirty-two over Fifteen: Victorian Opera’s Commissioned Works 2005–2020, and an accompanying web series launching on Friday 9 October. Both will be available via victorianopera.com.au.

In the past 15 years, Victorian Opera has earned a reputation for its commitment to new Australian opera and its innovative approach to the art form – be it live or online. From collaborations with Circus Oz to productions featuring life-sized puppets or 3D digital scenery, the company continues to boldly reimagine the potential of opera and musical theatre.

Recognised for its unique contribution to the country’s operatic landscape, Victorian Opera proudly became an Australian Major Performing Arts company in 2019. In 2021, the company will transition to the newly formed National Performing Arts Partnership Framework.

Victorian Opera will announce its full 2021 season in late November.