The Governor spoke with Mr Andrew Pascoe, Chair of West Australian Opera.
“Our signature cultural organisations in many cases have been financially well prepared for the COVID-19 lockdown and will survive it. Less well placed are the artists, many of whom are contract workers to sustain income.
It was good to talk to Andrew Pascoe, Chair of WA Opera on their nimbleness in responding to the challenge. They have tried to provide paid work opportunities to those they hire on a performance basis.
WA Opera has designed six week singing classes that can be done from home, a video tutorial of singing classes for children and a podcast of lullabies and storytelling for infants. WA Opera also has a ‘behind the scenes’ podcast which looks at opera series. A signature initiative is the Ghost Light Opera. Singers perform arias on a darkened stage broadcast every Saturday on the Opera’s website and social media channels.
We have made the Government House Ballroom available for these sorts of exercises in the hope artists can devise ways to monetise their skills. The Opera is thinking through the challenges of opening up where audiences might be wary of closed environments. Opera in the Quarry is well adapted for this but hopefully the effective performance of safety in our community will lead to an elevated public trust than compared with outcomes in say the US.”
The Governor is proud to be Patron of WA Opera.