Hot on the heels of the season announcement comes a bit of a scandal. Mezzo soprano Fiona Janes has gone public with a lengthy list of complaints about Opera Australia, its treatment of singers and a slide into what she calls "an abyss of mediocrity". According to the Herald article, she'll meet with members of the Opera Australia board next week to discuss her concerns — outlined in a seven page letter first discussed in April. These include:
-young singers cast in roles too big for them
-the neglect of older singers and particularly women
-the importation by Richard Hickox of "second- and third-rate" overseas artists
-"disrespect for a number of established Australian singers"
On the first point, I absolutely agree. The rest is murkier. I am very interested to see what comes of this. In the meantime, I want to throw this open for discussion. Reader, what do you think about Fiona's claims? Speak your mind. (Anonymity is fine.)