SOMA and Equity lobby in Canberra for Opera Review
SOMA Director Howard Manley and Equity Director Zoe Angus were in Canberra last week to press the case for the adoption of the Opera Review recommendations.
Meeting with representatives of Arts Minister Mitch Fairfield’s office and officials from the Department of the Arts we underlined the importance of continuing funding support for the major opera companies Opera Queensland, Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia and West Australian Opera. We also supported Victorian Opera being funded as a major company.
We emphasised our strong support for the recommendation to mandate minimum mainstage productions of 11 in Sydney, seven in Melbourne and three each in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
We underlined the proposed measures to encourage the use of Australian singers and optimise ongoing employment for chorus and musicians, including rebuilding Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria to minimum ensemble size of 69.
We also urged the government to adopt the review’s proposed additional funding of $24 million over four year’s measure in next year’s budget.
We also took the opportunity to underline the continuing importance of ABC Classic FM in providing broad access for the Australian community and raised our concern about the diminution of the recording and broadcast of music performances, particularly by smaller companies and those based outside Melbourne and Sydney.
MEAA will continue to lobby for these measures in the new year.