Innovative opera company Gertrude Opera is transforming into the Australian Contemporary Opera Company. Artistic Director Linda Thompson tells Clive Paget about the company’s pandemic experiences, its plans for the future, and its upcoming performance of David Lang’s chamber opera love fail at Melbourne’s Federation Square.

Australian Contemporary Opera Co Artistic Director and CEO Linda Thompson Australian Contemporary Opera Co Artistic Director Linda Thompson. Photo © Lyz Turner-Clark

Australian Contemporary Opera Company sounds like a bold and brave initiative. What need do you hope to fulfil with the new company and what is your vision for the years ahead?

The company started in 2008-2009 – in the midst of the GFC – so, it could be said bold and brave is our DNA. Discussion around what our second decade can achieve has been at least 18 months in discussion, and the name claims our identity and sets the agenda for the years ahead. We are focused on building bridges for audiences who have perhaps shied away from contemporary opera, on creating jobs for our artists and musicians, and leading opera in Australia...