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Stuart Maunder in a peach shirt smiling at the camera
Photograph: Victorian Opera

Victorian Opera announces new artistic director

Australian opera and musical theatre director Stuart Maunder AM will take the helm in October 2023

Written by
Bianca O'Neill

The Victorian Opera is today looking toward a bright future, with the brand new appointment of opera and theatre veteran Stuart Maunder AM to their artistic director post. Maunder has worked with the Victorian Opera on multiple productions in the past, as a director on Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and A Little Night Music, as well as co-producing productions with State Opera South Australia and New Zealand Opera.

Maunder is well known for his prolific three decades in the opera and theatre arena. Between administrating and directing on Australian stages and holding senior positions at various opera companies, he has built an excellent reputation for championing Australian repertoire and talent. He served in senior management roles at Opera Australia from 1999 to 2008, before being appointed General Director of New Zealand Opera in 2014. He was appointed Artistic Director of State Opera South Australia in 2018.

"I feel like I've come home," says Maunder. "How humbling and thrilling to be joining this great Victorian company. I've long admired Victorian Opera's bold repertoire choices, championing of new Australian work, formidable record of collaborating with other arts companies, commitment to showcasing Australian artists, and for pushing the boundaries of our extraordinary artform."

"We will continue to build on the company's history of nurturing and premiering new Australian works and acknowledging and including the voices and stories of First Nations Artists. I am equally excited by the prospect of developing new engagements with the state's richly multicultural community... What an opportunity."

Maunder will replace outgoing artistic director and composer/conductor, Richard Mills, who has helmed the Victorian Opera for a decade. Maunder's first season for Victorian Opera will be programmed for 2024, following Mills' final season in 2023.

Looking for more opera and theatre? Here's what's hitting stages in Melbourne this month.

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