Opera isn’t exactly the most democratic art form. Ticket prices – often in excess of $300 – mean a night at the opera is a “special occasion” or “never” purchase for many. But Opera Australia and the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation are working to change that.
In 2015, the foundation (which focuses on arts philanthropy) started a program with Opera Australia to offer $20 tickets to audiences via a ballot. That program has run each year since, and now Opera Australia has announced it’ll be continuing for the 2020 season. Ballot winners are given the chance to buy two tickets (priced at $20 each) and are assigned the best available tickets during the transaction.
This year, operagoers will have the chance to attend formidable productions including Don Giovanni, Carmen and Faust, which will all show at the Opera House. It’s the perfect opportunity for those who don’t know their Monteverdi from their Mozart or their Rossini from their Bellini to get a taste of the art form.
Since its inception, the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation Access Program has offered more than 8700 subsidised opera tickets – more than double what it originally hoped for, and enough people to fill the Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre six times.
In a similar initiative, Opera Australia last year introduced Opera for One, which offers solo opera fans a 10 per cent discount on tickets and free pre-show booze and snacks.
Sign up for the ballot here.