Two Melbourne Opera Companies Merge, Continue to Fight for Bequest

Classic Arts News   Two Melbourne Opera Companies Merge, Continue to Fight for Bequest
 
Melbourne Opera and Melbourne City Opera will merge into one company called VicOpera, the Melbourne Age reports.

Dr. Joseph Talia, Melbourne City Opera's managing director, will direct the new company.

The new entity has declared its willingness to coordinate its schedule with local productions presented by Opera Australia, a national company based in Sydney that performs in Melbourne in fall and spring. The Age calls this development a "truce" in a longstanding disagreement over the terms of a A$1.7 million bequest from Edith Melva Thompson.

Thompson died in 2002, leaving the money to the Victoria State Opera. That company had been absorbed by Opera Australia in 1996, but Thompson had not updated her will, which is believed to have been written in 1993.

The local opera companies believe that the money should stay in Victoria rather than be handed over to a national company. Garry Krauss, a spokesman for VicOpera, said "We will fight to keep the money in Victoria."

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