Appointment of Music Director
West Australian Opera today announced the appointment of Chris van Tuinen as Music Director. He will commence the role on 8 January 2019.
West Australian Opera Chairman Andrew Pascoe advised that this was a new fulltime role based in Perth. He said that Mr van Tuinen would bring extensive local knowledge, networks, and experience to the role and would build on his previous work with Music Viva, WASO, UWA, Perth Festival, Opera Australia, and most recently as a founding artistic director of Lost and Found.
“Over the past few years, WAO has been focused on broadening the reach and appeal of Opera and on ensuring we take the operatic experience to our audiences, new and existing, wherever they may be throughout the State” Mr. Pascoe said.
“This is part of our commitment to return a social dividend from the investment made by our key stakeholders in our State opera company. Of course, at the same time, we remain fully committed to producing main stage opera at His Majesty’s Theatre and maintaining the exacting standards of artistic excellence for which the Company has become recognised. Chris’ role will be crucial to the continued implementation of this strategy. He brings great ideas, enthusiasm, and commitment to our shared vision. Chris’ appointment also extends our determination to provide exciting professional opportunities to Perth-based talent in the arts sector.”
West Australian Opera Executive Director Carolyn Chard noted that Mr van Tuinen had articulated a strong plan for the company to engage with new and traditional audiences and a compelling vision to work with the state opera company team, audiences, artists, board and staff.
Chris van Tuinen said he was thrilled to be offered the role which would bring together the skills acquired over 20 years’ experience as a pianist, conductor, chorus director, vocal coach, artistic planner and senior arts administrator. He said he was particularly interested in working with opera companies to devise programmes and projects to bring the excitement and joy in this music to audiences and performers of all types through thoughtful and innovative programming, casting and artist development.
Chris van Tuinen will commence in the new role in January 2019 and follows Brad Cohen, who served a four-year term as artistic director and who will conduct La Traviata and Macbeth for WAO in 2019.
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Christopher Van Tuinen
Christopher graduated with a B.Mus from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2001. In 2005 he completed a Masters in Conducting at the VCA. Experienced in both vocal and instrumental music he was awarded the John Williams Conducting Scholarship for 2004-5. He also holds a B.A. from the University of Queensland, an LLB from Q.U.T. and an A.Mus.A from the AMEB. He has been nominated by the Musical Theatre Guild for Best Music Direction and received a Green Room Award nomination in the ‘Best Conductor’ category.
During 2008 and 2009 he was a member of the Young Artists program as a Conductor with Opera Australia. In 2007 Chris was appointed as the inaugural Conducting Fellowship at the Australian Ballet. He has worked with the WASO, Orchestra Victoria, AOBO and the QSO. His previous roles include WA State Manager for Musica Viva, Classical Music Program Manager for Perth Festival, Chorus Director for WASO, Conductor of UWACS, Musical Director of Fremantle Chamber Orchestra. He is also currently Artistic Director of Lost & Found Opera.
His most recent credits include a 14 city tour of China conducting Turandot for AIOC, Peter and the Wolf and the Britten Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra with WASO, The Rite of Spring for UWA, The Bells, the Verdi and Mozart Requiems for UWACS and UWA, Verdi’s Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No 1 and Scheherazade for WAYO, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Staatsoper Hamburg Stabile, Madame Butterfly and Barber of Seville for OzOpera, Abduction from the Seraglio, Guistino, Don Pasquale, Sweeney Todd and The Rape of Lucretia for Lyric Opera and Gianni Schicchi / The Telephone for Powerhouse Opera Queensland. In 2005 he performed his re-orchestration of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle with the Australian Classical Players. As a pianist and conductor, he recently recorded broadcasts of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine and The Emperor of Atlantis for ABC Classic FM.