“Tickets are much cheaper than for most major sporting fixtures” he points out ahead of Queensland Con’s L’enfant double bill.

You were born and raised in Melbourne, but have been based in the UK for many years. What are the things you miss about Australia? How has it changed since you left, in particular, the music scene? 

Firstly, the weather obviously! Not just the sun but the light. And family and old friends of course. The resurgence of opera in my home town particularly with the Victorian Opera and the two Richards, Gill and now Mills, is a wonderful thing to behold. Nationally, however there seems to be a shrinking of the number of productions and performances, which is sadly in line with global trends.

Stephen Barlow Director Stephen Barlow

You have worked with some of the world’s biggest opera companies – the Met, Royal Opera etc – what do you enjoy about working with opera students?

I think that I have a responsibility as a successful director to enable, mentor and equip the next generation of opera and musical theatre students – the future of the art form rests in their...