About us

Founded in 2011 by Lisa Gasteen AO, The School offers developing Australian singers world class training and career development preparing them to be competitive when studying or working abroad. It is Australia's leading program for such elite training.

Upcoming opera 2018: Ariadne auf Naxos

Ariadne auf Naxos is an opera about opera. Strauss wrote 90 minutes of scrumptiously lush music. The poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal provided a libretto that divides the performance into a Prologue and then an opera about the Greek goddess Ariadne.

The prologue is an opera buffo that presents the comic backstage psychological game play of those preparing to entertain a nouveau riche, quixotic Viennese patron. Comedia dell'arte players collide with the opera's composer and singers arguing against their patron's command for the players and the opera seria to be superimposed so his fireworks can start punctually at 9 pm.

Strauss uses that artifice to contrast the perky, kindly Zerbinetta and her cheerful troop with grander, melancholic Ariadne whom Theseus has abandoned on the island of Naxos. She will soon be revitalised by Bacchus who discovers his godlike status in the process.

It is an opera to be enjoyed on many levels, especially glorious music styles and the witty plot, but the opera, which was created in the pre World War I Vienna of Freud and Art Nouveau comments on society, how daily life and artifice mirror each other and how they are put before the audience.

Creative Staff

    Simone Young AM
    John Fisher
    Jennifer Marten-Smith
    Philip Mayers
    Lisa Gasteen AO
    Ensemble Q
    Simon Bruckard
    Sarka Budinska


Ariadne | Elizabeth Lewis

Bacchus | Raymond Very

Zerbinetta | Rachel Pines

Harlequin | Cameron Taylor

The Composer | Shikara Ringdahl

Echo | Petah Chapman

Scaramuccio | Harry Grigg

Brighella | Joshua Oxley

Naiad | Anna Stephens

Dryad | Melissa Gregory

Music Master | Cameron Taylor

Dancing Master | Robert Macfarlane

Truffaldino | Luke Stoker

The Major-Domo | Philip Mayers

An Officer | Tom Holownia

A Lackey | Henry Pinder

Wigmaker | Daniel Macey

How you can help

The Lisa Gasteen National Opera School has established itself as the premier elite training program for young Australian opera singers

Please help us build on our highly successful training program by giving your financial support.  There are several options from which donors can choose.

Please contact Rebecca Campbell at nationaloperaschool@griffith.edu.au.

Contact us

Contact the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School