National Review of Opera

Earlier this year the Federal Government announced a National Opera Review of the four major opera companies in Australia. Below is the information so far released – the text on the Ministry for Arts’ website, the initial media release (July), and the second media release (September).

text from the ministry for the Art’s Website
available here

On behalf of the Australian Government, the National Opera Review is examining the artistic vibrancy, engagement with audiences and financial positions of Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia, West Australian Opera and Opera Queensland. These organisations are funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council as major performing arts companies.

Dr Helen Nugent AO (Chairman), Mr Moffatt Oxenbould AM, Mr Andrew McKinnon and Ms Kathryn Fagg have been appointed to the Review Panel. The Panel will provide recommendations to the Australian Government by 30 June 2015.

The National Opera Review Panel met with key stakeholders and conducted public consultation sessions in January and February 2015. Details regarding future consultation and opportunities for input to the Review will be provided in due course.

If you have any questions please contact the National Opera Review Secretariat at operareview@arts.gov.au or call 02 6141 4119.

Follow the Ministry for the Arts on Twitter for updates @artsculturegov.

 

Media Release – 31st July 2014 – National Review of Opera
delivered by Senator the Hon George Brandis QC – Attorney-General for Australia, Minister for the Arts
Available here

For the first time the Australian Government will conduct a national review of opera in Australia.

This is a timely opportunity to take a comprehensive look at this important art form in Australia.

I have asked Dr Helen Nugent AO, who chaired the 1999 Major Performing Arts Inquiry, to chair the National Opera Review. Moffatt Oxenbould AM, who is well-known to opera lovers as an artistic director, and Andrew McKinnon, impresario, will also bring a wealth of experience to the panel which will meet for the first time today.

The review will examine the artistic vibrancy, engagement with audiences and financial positions of Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia, West Australian Opera and Opera Queensland. These organisations are funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council as major performing arts companies.

The purpose of the enquiry is to ensure that Australian audiences continue to enjoy opera of the highest quality and that the opera companies can operate in a financially sustainable way.

Public consultation will be a key part of the review and I encourage those in the arts sector and anyone who enjoys opera to make a submission.

I have written to state arts ministers, whose governments also invest in these companies, to seek their comments on the terms of reference for the review.

Once finalised, the terms of reference will be available from the Ministry for the Arts. Details on the public consultation component of the review will also be available in due course.

The panel will provide recommendations for my consideration in early 2015.

media Release – 3rd September 2014 – Terms of reference for National Opera REview
delivered by Senator the Hon George Brandis QC – Attorney-General for Australia, Minister for the Arts
Available here

The terms of reference for the National Opera Review were released today after consultation with state and territory governments. This follows my announcement of the review on 31 July 2014.

The review will consider the financial performance, artistic vibrancy and audience engagement of four companies: Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, State Opera of South Australia and West Australian Opera.

I have asked Ms Kathryn Fagg, Chairman of the Melbourne Recital Centre and member of the Board of the Reserve Bank, to join the review panel.

An experienced senior executive, Ms Fagg’s financial background and her perspectives from a key performance venue will complement the expertise of chair Dr Helen Nugent AO, and members Mr Moffat Oxenbould AM and Mr Andrew McKinnon.

The review will include public consultation later in 2014 and I have asked the panel to report to the Government by 30 June 2015.

More information about the National Review of Opera is available at www.arts.gov.au.

Terms of Reference

The following opera companies fall within the scope of the National Opera Review and its Terms of Reference: Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, State Opera of South Australia and West Australian Opera.

Financial

The companies’ ongoing financial viability is to be assessed, including having regard to the following:

  • The effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery of opera performances in Australia by the four opera companies, including developing an assessment of:
    • Their cost-revenue dynamics, balance sheet strength and ongoing sustainability;
    • The competitive dynamics which might be affecting the operations of the companies;
    • Their workplace arrangements, including workforce flexibility and the sustainability of the approach adopted;
    • The cost and value of the assets of each company, including foundation assets where applicable;
    • The corporate structures, constitutions, management and governance of each company to ensure they are fit for purpose.
  • An assessment of the extent of co-operation among the companies and the appropriate approach going forward, including the role of Opera Conference.
  • Benchmark information on the delivery of opera in Australia versus comparable opera companies internationally.
  • The rationale and role of government funding in supporting the operations of the companies.

Artistic

The companies’ ongoing artistic vitality is to be assessed, including having regard to the following:

  • An assessment of the artistic vibrancy of the companies and the relationship with their financial strength;
  • An analysis of the ways the delivery of opera in Australia contributes to the development of artists, musicians and other practitioners from the early to later stages of their careers.

Access

The extent of access provided by the companies and the way that interrelates with their artistic vibrancy and financial viability, including having regard to the following:

  • An assessment of the delivery of opera in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, including through:
    • The delivery of performances, including regional touring;
    • Education programs.
  • Ways to broaden and increase audience engagement across all Australian states.
  • Ways by which the appreciation of opera as an art form in the Australian community can be increased.

The Review may also examine and report on any other issues it considers relevant or incidental. The Review will consult with stakeholders, including state governments, as is thought necessary.

It will report to the Australian Government Minister for the Arts by 30 June 2015.