West Australian Opera Chairman Andrew Pascoe advised that this was a new fulltime role based in Perth. He said that Mr van Tuinen would bring extensive local knowledge, networks and experience to the role and would build on his previous work with Music Viva, WASO, UWA, Perth Festival, Opera Australia and most recently as a founding artistic director of Lost and Found.
“Over the past few years, WAO has been focused on broadening the reach and appeal of Opera and on ensuring we take the take the operatic experience to our audiences, new and existing, wherever they may be throughout the State” Mr Pascoe said.
“This is part of our commitment to return a social dividend from the investment made by our key stakeholders in our State opera company. Of course, at the same time, we remain fully committed to producing main stage opera at His Majesty’s Theatre, and maintaining the exacting standards of artistic excellence for which the Company has become recognised. Chris’ role will be crucial to the continued implementation of this strategy. He brings great ideas, enthusiasm and commitment to our shared vision. Chris’ appointment also extends our determination to provide exciting professional opportunities to Perth-based talent in the arts sector.”
West Australian Opera Executive Director Carolyn Chard noted that Mr van Tuinen had articulated a strong plan for the company to engage with new and traditional audiences and a compelling vision to work with the state opera company team, audiences, artists, board and staff.
Chris van Tuinen said he was thrilled to be offered the role which would bring together the skills acquired over 20 years’ experience as a pianist, conductor, chorus director, vocal coach, artistic planner and senior arts administrator. He said he was particularly interested in working with opera companies to devise programmes and projects to bring the excitement and joy in this music to audiences and performers of all types through thoughtful and innovative programming, casting and artist development.
Chris van Tuinen will commence in the new role in January 2019 and follows Brad Cohen, who served a four year term as artistic director and who will conduct La Traviata and Macbeth for WAO in 2019.