Our Journey


State Opera of South Australia is created


Nixon in China


Paris Châtelet production of The Ring


El Nino


Dead Man Walking


First ever Australian-built Ring Cycle




Le Grand Macabre


Moby Dick


Philip Glass Biographical Opera Trilogy




Cavalleria Rusticana / I Pagliacci

Our Story 

The State Opera of South Australia aspires to be the most exciting and innovative opera company in Australia, enhancing South Australia’s reputation nationally and internationally.

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 NinoFlightLe Grand Macabre, and the Fiery Angel (with the Adelaide Festival), the Philip Glass biographical opera Trilogy (AkhnatenEinstein 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 NonsenseOn the BeachDifferent FieldsCloudstreet and two works currently in progress –Innocence and the Ngurunderi project.

State Opera SA achieves its aims through its six strategic goals:

1. Artistic

To develop and deliver opera of an international artistic standard and nurture the development of leading young opera singers and practitioners in South Australia.

2. Programming

To present an innovative, challenging and unique program of traditional and specialist repertoire that extends opera as an art form, excites the imagination and is accessible to all South Australians.

3. Brand, Marketing and Communications

To expand its market profile, reach and reputation as an innovator and centre of excellence in opera.

4. Education

To build awareness, appreciation and participation in high quality opera experiences through targeted education programs and content for people of all ages.

5. Financial & Risk Management

To maintain and secure and sustainable financial position utilising effective financial and risk management practices.

6. Organisation & Culture

To reflect its values and best practice in governance and management throughout the company.

Our Sponsors

The State Opera of South Australia gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Government of South Australia, and the Commonwealth Government through its arts funding and advisory body, the Australia Council.

The State Opera of South Australia thanks the following companies and organisations for their generous financial support:

Production Sponsors

Industry Sponsors


If you would like to sponsor State Opera SA, please see our Sponsorship page, or call Debra Pahl on 08 8226 4752.