Victorian Opera artistic director Richard Mills to leave in 2023
Richard Mills AM has announced that he will step down as artistic director of Victorian Opera at the end of the state opera company’s 2023 season.
The eminent composer and conductor oversaw a period of significant growth for Victorian opera and continued the company’s commitment to commissioning new Australian operas.
Renowned for his body of orchestral works, the Helpmann Prize-winning operas Batavia and Love of the Nightingale, and re-orchestrating the ABC’s iconic topical theme, Mills began his tenure at Victorian Opera in 2013 after his previous post. of artistic director of West Australian. Opera from 1997 to 2012.
Since 2013, Mills has commissioned 21 New Australian Operas, including famous Green Room Award-winning works such as The Riders and Lorelei. He recently commissioned and conducted the world premiere of Parrwang Lifts the Sky, Deborah Cheetham’s Aboriginal opera, in collaboration with Short Black Opera.
While Richard Mills‘, Victorian Opera has been invited to join other state opera companies under the National Performing Arts Partnership Program after being recognized for its unique contributions to the Australian operatic landscape and high artistic standards.
Highlights of Mills’ legacy include:
- Linking up with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to present opera in Tasmania each year with notable performances in Hobart and Launceston, as well as Melbourne.
- Very popular cycles of Stephen Sondheim musicals, as well as concerts of major Bellini operas starring internationally renowned artists and conducted by Mills.
- Fostering a significant artistic relationship with acclaimed Australian soprano Jessica Pratt with her Australian debut in 2014 and numerous subsequent performances.
- Major collaborations with New Zealand Opera, Circus Oz and Musica Viva, as well as exploring the incorporation of 3D digital sets into performances.
- Opera returns to the Palais Theatre, St Kilda after a long absence from the iconic venue. Since 2015, Victorian Opera has staged seven productions here, including an acclaimed production of Strauss’ Salome in February 2020.
- Formation of the Victorian Opera Youth Chorus Ensemble (VOYCE) in 2014. VOYCE provides weekly professional training for young classically oriented singers aged 13-19.
- Major community and regional engagement projects, including new operas The Magic Pudding, Remembrance, The Snow Queen and The Pied Piper.
- A substantial commitment to the development of orchestral talent through collaborations with the Australian Youth Orchestra on notable productions of Parsifal and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, as well as collaboration with the Orchestra of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM ) on Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy.
Victorian Opera will now begin an extensive search for a new Artistic Director to join the company in 2023 and schedule its 2024 season.