Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Opera Australia to restructure and sell warehouse base

Opera Australia to restructure and sell warehouse base
August 24, 2020

Impacted by having cancelled more than 500 performance during the Coronavirus shutdown, Opera Australia has announced that it is to sell its warehouse base in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria and undertake an organisational restructure to reduce costs.

Staff were told about the restructure, which will include a number of redundancies, on Friday afternoon by Opera Australia Chief Executive, Rory Jeffes.

Informing staff of the changes, which will be undertaken in the coming weeks and months, Jeffes said the company will consult with staff and stakeholders including the MEAA union regarding the planned job losses.

Opera Australia stood down the majority of its staff in March under an employee support package, which allowed them to access up to 80% of their regular salary. This was extended to September, with the company receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy to help pay the reduced wages.

Since venues were shuttered in March because of the Coronavirus, the company has cancelled more than 570 performances, and lost more than $75 month in expected ticket revenue.

Last month, Opera Australia cancelled all remaining productions programmed for 2020 and announced that it was postponing its digital Ring Cycle, scheduled for Brisbane in November/December this year.

When COVID-19 first hit, Jeffes discussed the option of Opera Australia selling both of its Sydney properties - the warehouse in Alexandria and the Opera Centre in Surry Hills, which houses rehearsal studios, offices and workshops.

In his message to staff, Jeffes advised “back in March nobody knew how long, and the extent to which, the coronavirus crisis would impact our lives. Now, as we approach six months of impact, the one thing that is clear is that this will continue to disrupt our lives, and our ability to operate as a performing arts company, for the foreseeable future.

“There is no denying our Company - and indeed our whole industry - has been hit incredibly hard. This, combined with the broader uncertainty that this once-in-a-century pandemic brings, means that I must share with you today that workplace change must occur to allow the long-term viability and artistic ambitions of Opera Australia.”

Jeffes said that the loss of ticket income during 2020, which normally makes up half of the company’s revenue has been “devastating”. Looking forward to 2021, he said that “many uncertainties regarding ongoing restrictions on venue capacities, health regulations, travel restrictions and physical distancing” remain.

Image: Props in Opera Australia's Alexandra warehouse. Courtesy of Simon Calton.

Related Articles

22nd July 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum applauds Australian Government’s JobKeeper extension

12th June 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum welcomes potential easing of restrictions on outdoor sport and entertainment venues

12th June 2020 - Australian Prime Minister moves forward relaxation of Coronavirus rules to allow crowds to return to sport and entertainment

3rd August 2020 - Australian Major Performing Arts Group to make way for new unified advocacy body

10th July 2020 - Philanthropists’ multimillion-dollar lifeline to save Sydney’s Carriageworks arts hub

25th June 2020 - Arts and entertainment funding package welcomed by Live performance industry

24th June 2020 - Australian Government announces $250 million Coronavirus rescue package for the arts

23rd June 2020 - MEAA advocate for multi-level support of arts and entertainment sector

2nd June 2020 - Reopening of cultural institutions coincides with Australian Government considering support for arts and entertainment sector

4th May 2020 - Theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh says West End and Broadway shows will be ‘last to go back’

16th May 2020 - Ongoing Coronavirus restrictions lead to nationwide cancellations for Opera Australia

22nd April 2020 - Australian Research Council to deliver virtual design for Opera Australia’s rehearsals

25th March 2020 - Opera Australia announces employee support package to limit Coronavirus impact

6th December 2019 - Opera Australia offers Walk on Roles for $5000

23rd April 2019 - Opera Australia’s West Side Story breaks all box office records

13th July 2017 - Opera Australia delivering 19 performances across regional Australia

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues



The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play


SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism


Jonas Leisure

Jonas Software operates over 110 independently managed software brands around the world, providing them with the strategic guidance and financial security required to be leaders in their respective…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business