Australian Opera Companies to Receive $50 Million Relief Package

By Logan Martell

Opera companies in Australia’s state of New South Wales have received some much-needed support from the state government in the form of a $50 million Rescue and Restart package, meant to ease the burden on the arts industry while theaters remain closed.

The package is set to be delivered in two stages, where the first will help companies ride out the period of inactivity, and the second will help them in the process of re-opening.

“The NSW arts and cultural sector is an important contributor to the NSW economy as well as for our community’s well-being. We know that the arts is a place of refuge and a source of inspiration in these challenging times,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said of the effort.

A number of opera companies have expressed their relief at this news, with Opera Australia CEO Rory Jeffes noting that “It’s certainly something we’ve been looking forward to. From everything that’s been said, it could make an enormous difference for the organizations recovering from catastrophic loss.”

Anne Dunn, executive director of Sydney Dance Company, expressed similar views, saying, “The performing arts have been one of the hardest-hit industries and will be one of the last to recover. This announcement gives comfort that the performing arts, which is a significant employer and a vital part of the visitor economy, will get some assistance at this critical time to ensure the industry is still there and can reboot when this crisis is over. We are looking forward to more details as to how the funding will be distributed.”