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5, 6 & 7 APRIL 2019

Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and Opera Queensland present the inaugural New Opera Workshop. NOW 2019 unites leading Australian and international composers, librettists and producers to challenge, investigate and celebrate this extraordinary art form.

Over the first weekend in April, deep dive into a series of open forums and presentations of original works to examine opera in the 21st Century.

NOW 2019 is a space for ideas, conversation and exploration of opera now in contemporary culture.



NOW Launch Performance – 6.00pm
Laura Bowler

Opera –Then to NOW – a history of opera in 7 minutes – 6.30pm
Nicholas Cleobury with Patrick Nolan

Sneak Preview – performance of songs from a new opera by Megan Washington  – 7.15pm


Keynote – Forgetting the Librettist – 9.30am
David Malouf

One Way to Make an Opera – a novelist, composer, librettist and conductor walk into a theatre… – 10.30am
David Malouf, Elliott Gyger, Pierce Wilcox and Jack Symonds

Another Way to Make an Opera – a director and performer walk out of a theatre…. – 11.30am
Patrick Eakin Young and Laura Bowler

A Creative Future – where might we go given what we know – 12.00pm
Stephen Emmerson and guests

Introduction to A Flowering Tree – 12.45pm
Natalie Murray Beale and Patrick Nolan,

A Flowering Tree (Optional Add On) – 2.00pm
QPAC Concert Hall

All Tomorrow’s Parties – 5.30pm
New short works by student composers and librettists from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and Sydney Conservatorium of Music​


Meet the Composer 1 – some of Australia’s leading opera composers share their approach to writing opera – 9.30am
Mary Finsterer
Paul Grabowsky
Elliott Gyger

What does this patch do? The role of technology in creating new operas – 11.30pm
Tim Hopkins

Getting it on – navigating the endlessly surprising terrain of producers, presenters, artists and audiences to bring an opera to the stage – 12.15pm
Patrick Nolan and Jack Symonds

Meet the Composer 2  – some of Australia’s leading opera composers share their approach to writing opera – 2.00pm
Liza Lim
Jack Symonds
Laura Bowler
Patrick Eakin Young

Australian Operas – a selection of scenes from Australian operas from the past 70 years, including one from the rarely performed Peggy Glanville Hicks’ opera, Transposed Heads – 4.00pm
Michael Halliwell

Where have we come to – plenary session – 5.10pm
Laura Bowler and Nicholas Cleobury


Laura Bowler | Nicholas Cleobury | Paul Dean | Gerardo Dirie | Stephen Emmerson | Mary Finsterer | Paul Grabowsky | Elliott Gyger | Michael Halliwell | Tim Hopkins | Liza Lim | David Malouf | Natalie Murray Beale | Patrick Nolan | Jack Symonds | Megan Washington | Pierce Wilcox | Patrick Eakin Young


Full Conference – 3 Day Pass  $250
– NOW 2019 Opening Night Reception
– Entry to all main stage talks, presentations and performances
– Networking lunches (Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 April)

Single Day Pass – $150 (available Saturday 6 or Sunday 7 April)
– Entry to main stage talks, presentations and performances
– Networking lunch

Opening Night Reception – $50
– Opening Night Reception and performance presentation

To complete your NOW 2019 experience, add Opera Queensland’s Helpmann Award-winning production of A Flowering Tree when you register.