Moffatt Oxenbould AM
Moffatt Oxenbould’s contribution to the development of opera in Australia and Opera Australia (OA) spans a period of more than fifty years. He was Artistic Director of Opera Australia from 1984 – 1999, during which time he also directed a number of milestone productions for the company including Il trittico, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Rossini’s Semiramide, Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito based on the production of the late Göran Järvefelt and Idomeneo . In 2000 he directed a new production of Simon Boccanegra for OA in the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival.
Having retired from the position of Artistic Director of Opera Australia at the end of 1999, he has continued an active role as an Opera Director and Broadcaster. He has remounted and directed a number of highly regarded productions including Idomeneo at Houston Grand Opera, La Clemenza di Tito and Il trittico for Opera Australia, and Madama Butterfly for Opera Queensland. In 2007 his production of Madama Butterfly was presented by Pittsburgh Opera and the following year was seen in Montreal, Melbourne and Sydney. It was brought back to Sydney in 2011, to Taipei, Melbourne and Sydney again in 2012, and was presented by State Opera of South Australia in Adelaide in 2013. It has also been twice recorded by Opera Australia for DVD release. In 2015 Opera Australia will again present Moffatt Oxenbould’s production of Madama Butterfly in Sydney and Melbourne.
In 1989 Moffatt Oxenbould curated an exhibition for the Art Gallery of New South Wales on the career of Dame Joan Sutherland, which travelled to Brisbane and Adelaide. His memoir – Timing is Everything – was published by ABC Books in 2005 and he continues to receive considerable recognition and praise for his series of opera programmes for ABC FM Radio.
Moffatt Oxenbould was awarded an AM for his services to Opera in 1985 and was the recipient of the Inaugural Dame Joan Hammond Award, in recognition of his contribution to opera. He has won several Melbourne Green Room Awards, including best production and direction, for his production of Madama Butterfly, and in 1999 he received a special Green Room Award for his contribution to opera. To honour his dedication to developing the talents of young Australian artists, Opera Australia named its Young Artists Development Program – The Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program. In 2014 he was asked by the Attorney-General, the Minister for the Arts to join the panel of the National Opera Review.