Opera Review

The Federal Government released the Opera Review Final Report on Wednesday 26 October. It includes 118 recommendations that comprehensively consider the artistic vibrancy, programming geographical reach, collaboration across MPA Opera companies and the wider arts, management and governance characteristics of each company as well as the role of the Major Performing Arts Panel (MPAP).

Opera Review

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The review makes recommendations to government on what is needed to create a vibrant and sustainable opera sector in Australia. This includes an opera sector that generates adequate artist development and employment, is collaborative, develops new Australian work and builds audience access and audience numbers.

It recommends new money to support a number of activities, including collaborations and innovation and an end to opera companies accessing project funding for ongoing activities, rather these annual activities such as touring and education should be included in their base funding. That means for example opera companies should no longer compete for funds within the Playing Australia program.

AMPAG Chair John Irving said “The AMPAG Board, who met on Thursday, welcomes the report and the recommendation for new government investment in opera. The Board commends the review team for their extensive consultation and a report arrived at through an exhaustive evidence based approach.”

“Growing the overall pie for the arts will generate employment and associated creative opportunities across the arts. This report has been methodical in its approach and candid in its recommendations. “

“Specifically the AMPAG Board strongly supports Recommendation 11.15 which states; “New funding, rather than existing arts grants, should be used to implement the recommendations made by this Review.’ “

“The Review recognises the fiscal constraints under which Governments are currently operating. But states, ‘At the same time, taking funding from within existing arts grants funding would have serious implications for the rest of the sector.’AMPAG agrees with this fully.”

“We recognise that the arts ecology is broad and its vibrancy relies on diversity. The recent cuts in federal arts funding and the changes introduced in 2015 continue to severely impact individual artists and smaller arts organisations. AMPAG strongly supports and calls on the Government, as a first step, to return the Catalyst program funds to the Australia Council.”

“Government investment in the arts is essential for many reasons and is highly leveraged by the sector to generate corporate support and private philanthropy funding. The investment by government is modest in terms of their overall spending budget but generates valuable economic and social outcomes for the nation. “

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