“I’m one of those extremely fortunate people whose work doesn’t feel like a job,” he says. “I’d do it even if they didn’t pay me.”
As the artistic director of Opera Australia, Lyndon Terracini spends his days beneath the sails of the beloved Sydney Opera House, working with some of the most acclaimed singers in the world.
Lyndon’s association with Opera Australia dates back to the 1970s, when he began performing with the company as a baritone. Since taking up the artistic directorship in 2009, he has radically modernised Opera Australia, favouring digital backdrops over handmade sets and mounting an edgy production of West Side Story on a stage jutting out over Sydney Harbour.
He also oversees the company’s Opera Australia: Star at the Sydney Opera House experience, which gives visitors the opportunity to step onto the stage as an extra during an actual performance. On the night, participants enter the venue via the Stage Door and report to Hair and Makeup before mounting the stairs and joining the chorus.
“When the people who take this experience come off stage, some of them burst into tears,” says Lyndon. “It’s a feeling of relief that they haven’t made a mess of it combined with being overwhelmed by the emotion they can feel from all the other performers who are inhabiting their roles. They’ll tell me it’s the best experience they’ve ever had. When you’re standing on that stage and you look out into the audience and see 1500 people on their feet cheering, it’s just such a joyful experience. It’s extraordinary.”
Cultural Attractions of Australia is pleased to present this series of the stories behind the storytellers who have enriched the experiences of countless visitors to our iconic attractions whilst their doors are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.