When Vosspremiered in 1986, it was hailed as the long-awaited Great Australian Opera. So why have we not seen it for over 30 years? Vincent Plushtraces the history of the opera and hopes that a new semi-staged production in Adelaide – now postponeduntil 2022 – will put an end to its neglect.

An illustration by Sidney Nolan used on the book cover of Patrick White’s novel Voss, published by Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1957 © The Sidney Nolan Trust. All rights reserved. DACS/Copyright Agency, 2021

March 1, 1986 is a date which lives large and lustrous in Australia’s cultural history. The opera Voss – with music by Richard Meale and a libretto by David Malouf, based on the...