As a young director with a deep desire to work in opera, there weren’t many places to turn to in Australia. There was no specialist training available in any university or conservatoire (to my knowledge, there still isn’t), and when I met with the formidably-qualified opera director Elke Neidhardt to ask if I should attend NIDA in order to take her classes, she said that I would be much better advised to go overseas since Australia was not yet ready to embrace my chosen specialisation. The name she gave me to get in contact with would turn out to be a huge influence on my life and career choices, as he was with many others.

Andrew Sinclair, who passed awayin September, was more than just a director with a deep practical understanding of the art of operatic performance; he represented the first inkling I had that people from a humble background in a small corner of a former colony could make their way to the hallowed halls of theatres like London’s Covent Garden.

Andrew Sinclair

Born...