Another exit from Opera Australia as Terracini quits to ‘get on’ with life

Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terracini has announced he is quitting the company with immediate effect.

Oct 06, 2022, updated Oct 06, 2022
Artistic Director of Opera Australia Lyndon Terracini poses for a portrait at the Opera Centre in Sydney,. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Artistic Director of Opera Australia Lyndon Terracini poses for a portrait at the Opera Centre in Sydney,. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Terracini, a former artistic director of the Queensland Music Festival and Brisbane Festival, has managed Opera Australia for 13 years.

He joins a growing list of senior staff to leave the organisation in recent months. His contract was expected to run until the end of this year.

The 72-year-old said he was quitting to “get on with the next phase of my life, to pursue new adventures and enable the transition of my successor”.

Opera Australia said it was mutually agreed it was the right time for the former singer to leave.

“Opera Australia is grateful to Lyndon for his significant contributions during his tenure and for his artistic vision,” chief executive Fiona Allan said in a statement on Thursday.

Terracini’s abrupt departure follows a series of high-profile changes at the organisation, including the departure of Opera Australia’s chairman, technical director and marketing boss.

Opera Australia’s former chief executive left the company last year.

Terracini’s tenure has been bookended by drama.

He took on the job during the GFC in 2009, pitching popular operas in an approach that saw ticket sales more than double, until the COVID-19 pandemic forced OA to cancel most of its 2021 season.

The organisation slumped to a $23 million loss and had to get rid of 56 staff, but in 2022 Terracini staged yet another turnaround.

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The company had sold more than 470,000 tickets by the end of August, generating $78 million in takings, making it Opera Australia’s most successful year at the box office by a long way.

Earlier this year, Terracini was hit with allegations he made inappropriate comments during a production of Phantom of the Opera.

A survey showed OA employees were also concerned about bullying within the organisation.

In a recent interview with AAP, Terracini said sensitivities were to be expected emerging from a pandemic, and he was not sure how the survey was conducted.

He insisted a company was best measured not by surveys, but onstage.


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