Sydney Chamber Opera

Sydney Chamber Opera is an opera company based in Sydney, Australia. It is a resident company at Carriageworks.[1] The company was founded in 2010 by Louis Garrick and Jack Symonds.[2] Its first production was in February 2011 and has since produced between two and four twentieth and twenty-first century chamber operas each year. Its repertoire typically consists of world premieres of Australian operas and recent international works receiving their Australian premieres, including stagings of song cycles or non-traditional stage works.[3]

Sydney Chamber Opera
OriginSydney, Australia
GenresContemporary opera, chamber opera
Years active2011–present

History and repertoire

Sydney Chamber Opera began with the world premiere of Notes from Underground by Jack Symonds and Pierce Wilcox, an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novel at the Cellblock Theatre, Darlinghurst.[4] The Cunning Little Vixen, The Lighthouse, Owen Wingrave, Exil, His Music Burns, Mayakovsky, Fly Away Peter, An Index of Metals and O Mensch! were presented at Carriageworks and I Have Had Enough, In the Penal Colony and Climbing Toward Midnight at National Institute of Dramatic Art.[5] Through The Gates was a performance for the 18th Biennale of Sydney at Pier 2/3 Walsh Bay amidst a large-scale installation by Belgian artist Honoré δ'O[6] and Victory Over the Sun was another site-specific commission by the 20th Biennale of Sydney for performance on Cockatoo Island, reimagining an early-twentieth century Futurist work with Western Sydney artist Justene Williams.[7] His Music Burns,[8] Passion[9] and O Mensch!,[10] and Biographica[11] were presented in the 2014, 2016 & 2017 Sydney Festivals. Passion was a revival of a production by Pierre Audi. Fly Away Peter toured to Arts Centre Melbourne in association with Melbourne Festival in October 2015,[12] and in 2018 the previous year's production of The Rape of Lucretia was co-presented by Victorian Opera and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at the Dark Mofo Festival.[13]


WP= World premiere; AP= Australian premiere





Key personnel

Jack Symonds is the Artistic Director.[15]

Huw Belling is Principal Artistic Associate. Danielle Maas, Mitchell Riley, Jane Sheldon, James Wannan and Pierce Wilcox are Artistic Associates.[16]

The company has typically engaged stage directors from a theatre background, often making their operatic debut, e.g. Sydney Theatre Company artistic director Kip Williams.[17] The company has also been noted for developing talented young singers.[18]


  1. "Residents – Carriageworks". Carriageworks. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  2. "The wide-eyed impresarios taking on a proud tradition".
  3. "About". Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  4. "Auspicious launch of an impressive production". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  5. "Past Productions". Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  6. "Through the Gates". Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  7. "Sorry you missed the best thing at the Biennale". Time Out Sydney. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  8. "Outstanding performances by Sydney Chamber Opera at Sydney Festival | by Bachtrack for classical music, opera, ballet and dance event reviews". Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  9. "Passion: Sydney Festival".
  10. "O Mensch!: Sydney Festival".
  11. McCallum, Peter (8 January 2017). "Biographica review: Mary Finsterer and Tom Wright's story of Gerolamo Cardano". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  12. "Fly Away Peter | Melbourne Festival". Melbourne Festival. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  13. "★★★★½ The Rape of Lucretia (VO & TSO for Dark Mofo)". Limelight. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  14. "Finland's premier composer" by Andrew Ford, The Music Show, Radio National, 16 December 2018
  15. "Louis Garrick Steps down as Sydney Chamber Opera".
  16. "About". Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  17. "Kip Williams leaps from STC to Sydney Chamber Opera and Back".
  18. "Live review: The Lighthouse (Sydney Chamber Opera)". Retrieved 2 June 2016.
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