You don’t need to be an expert to know that opera is alive and well in Melbourne and beyond. You just need to attend a performance of Victorian Opera or one of the smaller companies, or even a student production, to know that audiences have much to be thankful for. However, the sudden death of a great champion of the art, in Richard Divall, has drawn our attention to this particular field of performance, following on from another successful Ring Cycle by Opera Australia in Melbourne.
Classic Melbourne both wants to acknowledge the great contribution of maestro Divall to opera in Victoria, including his interest in the smaller companies, and also to look at our largest company, Victorian Opera, and the legacy he left to it. Most of our feature draws on recent reviews of other opera events where Divall was interested in or even involved in the production. However, we are also very grateful to the current director of Victorian opera, Richard Mills, for filling in some of the history of this great musician and indicating the debt of gratitude we owe him.
Although nothing can adequately convey Divall’s importance to the operatic world, nor the sense of bereavement suffered by many who knew and worked with him, we have presented some tributes that suggest this.
Looking ahead to the future, we particularly take the opportunity to celebrate today’s State company, Victorian Opera, for its continuing achievements in everything from Bel Canto to edgy modern productions of contemporary works under the leadership of Richard Mills. Opera is looking very healthy in the state of Victoria!