State Opera South Australia established


Nixon in China


The Ring Cycle (Paris Chatalet production)


El Nino


Dead Man Walking


Philip Glass Trilogy




Saul (Adelaide Festival/Glyndebourne)


Hamlet (Adelaide Festival/Glyndebourne)

About State Opera

State Opera South Australia is a performing arts organisation with a mission to deliver more opera to more people.

Created by an Act of Parliament in 1976 (the State Opera of South Australia Act), State Opera is proud to have brought extraordinary and unique operatic experiences to South Australian audiences for over forty years.

State Opera is renowned as a specialist company that presents engaging and exciting works. Notable historic achievements include:

  • Two complete Wagner Ring Cycles (the Paris Châtelet production in 1998 and the first ever Australian-built Ring Cycle in 2004);
  • Australian premieres of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Moby Dick; John Adams’ Nixon in China and El Nino; Philip Glass’ biographical opera Trilogy (Akhnaten, Einstein on the beach and Satyagraha);
  • World premiere of Cloudstreet – based on Tim Winton’s iconic Australian novel

State Opera has an enviable reputation for investing in the development and presentation of new works in both full scale and workshop form, and is proud of its extraordinary operatic collaborations in association with the Adelaide Festival of Arts and companies such as Glyndebourne Festival Opera, including: Flight, Le Grand Macabre, the Fiery Angel, Saul and most recently, Brett Dean’s Hamlet.

State Opera is a flagship arts organisation in South Australia and a member of The Opera Conference – an Australia Council initiative that unites Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, State Opera South Australia, and the West Australian Opera, in the development of new productions.

In 2018, a new era commenced under Artistic Director Stuart Maunder AM and Executive Director Yarmila Alfonzetti. Their premiere season in 2019 delivered a record number of operas to audiences in beloved and unusual venues around the city of Adelaide, and championed the Australian voice within operatic repertoire.