It was created as a Statutory Authority, under the State Opera of South Australia Act in 1976, to present, produce, manage and conduct theatrical and operatic performances that attract a diverse local, national and, potentially, international audience. It is a flagship arts organisation in South Australia and has made a huge contribution to the operatic arts, not just in South Australia, but at a national and international level, as well.
State Opera SA is renowned as a small, specialist company that presents innovative and exciting work on a grand scale. Its most notable achievements include two complete Wagner Ring Cycles (the Paris Châtelet production in 1998 and the first ever Australian-built Ring Cycle in 2004, which is lauded as one of the great Ring Cycles of recent times), the Australian premieres of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Moby Dick, the Australian premieres of John Adams’ Nixon in China and El Nino, Flight, Le Grand Macabre, and the Fiery Angel (with the Adelaide Festival), the Philip Glass biographical opera Trilogy (Akhnaten, Einstein on the beach and Satyagraha), and most recently, the critically acclaimed stunning world premiere of Cloudstreet.
State Opera SA also has an enviable reputation for investing in, developing and presenting new Australian works in both full scale and workshop form, including Ode to Nonsense, On the Beach, Different Fields, Cloudstreet and two works currently in progress –Innocence and the Ngurunderi project.