Chamber Made

  (Redirected from Chamber Made Opera)

Chamber Made Opera is an Australian arts organisation based in Melbourne, creating contemporary opera and music theatre.

Formed in 1988 by theatre director and librettist Douglas Horton, it is Australia's only full-time company exclusively devoted to the commissioning and presentation of contemporary chamber opera by living artists. After taking up the artistic directorship in 2010, David Young commissioned and presented twelve new Australian operas, many of which were created as part of the company's "Living Room Opera" series. In 2013, Tim Stitz was appointed as Creative Director, leading a new company model consisting of four Artistic Associates. In 2017, the company restructured again and Tamara Saulwick was appointed Artistic Director.[1]

Chamber Made Opera works with established artists and emerging professionals. The company also engages performers from different disciplines and non-traditional music and performance backgrounds.[2] Their productions are highly interdisciplinary, incorporating sophisticated composition and experimental performance practice.

The company has forged partnerships with Punctum, Limerick City of Culture, In Between Time Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, RMIT University, La Mama Theatre, Aphids, Speak Percussion, Melbourne Recital Centre, the Victorian Opera, the Victorian Writers' Centre, The Wheeler Centre, Fed Square, Bell Shakespeare, Rawcus, Malthouse Theatre, New Music Network, and the Australian Music Centre.[3]

The company is currently funded by Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne, and the Australia Council for the Arts, as well as by a number of philanthropic organisations and private donors.

Company historyEdit

Chamber Made Opera was founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Douglas Horton and General Manager Stephen Armstrong. The company quickly established itself as a force in the Australian arts industry, presenting many acclaimed works (see below for list of productions), winning awards, and touring nationally and internationally. Horton was the librettist for many of the company’s works; he stepped down as Artistic Director in March 2009, after 21 years.[4]

In 2010 composer David Young was appointed the role of Artistic Director, a position he held until December 2013.[5] Young lead the company through a period of rejuvenation and transformation, pioneering the innovative Living Room Opera series (see below).

In early 2013 CMO announced a new company structure would be installed following the departure of David Young, headed by new Creative Director Tim Stitz, who appointed a team of four Artistic Associates to join him in the next phase of the company's life. In 2017, Tamara Saulwick moved from the role of Artistic Associate to Artistic Director.[6]

Past staff include Artistic Director David Young, Creative Director / CEO Tim Stitz, Artistic Associate Sarah Kriegler, Artistic Associate Christie Stott, Artistic Associate Erkki Veltheim, General Managers Robina Burton and Geoffrey Williams, Resident Director Margaret Cameron, Resident Conductor Brett Kelly, Caroline Lee, and the late Jacqueline (Jacqui) Everitt, designer.


Only first productions are listed


  • 1992 Myer Group Arts Award – Chamber Made Opera
  • 1994 The Age Performing Arts Awards – Most Outstanding Fringe Performance – The Two Executioners
  • 1995 A Creative Artist Fellowship [aka a 'Keating', after the then Prime Minister, Mr Paul Keating] - AD/CEO Douglas Horton, for services to contemporary Australian opera
  • 2002 Green Room Awards – Best New Score: Slow Love
  • 2002 Green Room Awards – Best Lighting Design: Motherland
  • 2006 Green Room Awards – Best Production: The Hive[8]
  • 2007 Helpmann Awards – Best Direction of an Opera: Douglas Horton for The Hive[9]
  • 2007 Green Room Awards – Best New Australian Work: Crossing Live,[10] Best Performance-New Form: Luke Elliott in Crossing Live
  • 2013 Art Music Awards – Victorian State Award for The Minotaur Trilogy (and their Living Room Opera Series) in the Excellence by an Organisation category


  • 2001 Wicked Voice includes excerpts from Lacuna and The Two Executioners (Chesworth/Horton), ABC Classics
  • 2007 Medea (Kerry/Macdonnell), ABC Classics
  • 2012 Another Lament (Ida Duelund), Chamber Made Opera Records
  • 2013 Winterreise (Ida Duelund), Chamber Made Opera Records
  • 2013 The Minotaur Trilogy box set, Chamber Made Opera Records

Living Room OperasEdit

From 2010 to 2014, a series of domestic-scale chamber operas were commissioned and developed for presentation in living rooms of residential houses.[11]

The Living Room Opera Series involved artists and musicians from a range of styles and backgrounds. This series aimed to give the audience new, chamber operas in close proximity.[12]

In 2010 new works by composer Alex Garsden, Rawcus Theatre Company, and the Quiver Ensemble were commissioned and presented in a range of domestic settings with investment by individual donors. The Series represents a mobile and scalable model with support from private philanthropy.[13]

Productions that featured in the series were The Itch (2010), Another Lament (2010), Dwelling Structure (2011), Ophelia Doesn't Live Here Anymore (2011), Minotaur The Island (2011), The Box (2012), PM An incidental Video Opera (2012), Between Lands and Longings (2013), Turbulence (2013), and Wake (2014).

The VennyEdit

From 2012-2018, CMO partnered with the Kensington Adventure Playground (The Venny), to deliver a community outreach program for young people. Each year the company enabled professional artists to work with the children and staff of The Venny to develop and present a creative project exploring the children's interests and teaching them creative skills whilst building a sense of fortitude and community.[14]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Edgar, Ray (9 March 2012). "Shadow boxing with audio architecture". The Age. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Gruber, Fiona (19 November 2010). "Pull up the lounge for a night of opera". The Australian. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Douglas Horton to step down from Chambermade". Australian Stage. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Gallasch, Keith. "new director, new opera". RealTime. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ophelia Doesn't Live Here Anymore review by Alison Croggon, Theatre Notes, 28 November 2011
  8. ^ "Nicholas Vines : Represented Artist Profile". Australian Music Centre. Retrieved 9 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "2007 Helpmann Award Winners ",, 7 August 2007
  10. ^ "2007 Nominations and Recipients". Retrieved 9 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Gallasch, Keith. "from the living room into the world". RealTime Arts. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Power, Liza (17 December 2011). "Living room librettos". The Age. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Furhmann, Andrew. "This is the future of Australian Opera". Arts Hub. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^

External linksEdit