Lyric Opera of Melbourne appoints new Artistic Director

Lyric-Opera-of-Melbourne-Patrick-BurnsFollowing an extensive search, the Lyric Opera of Melbourne (Lyric) has appointed Melbourne-based conductor Patrick Burns as its new Artistic Director. In 2022, he will oversee a program committed to exploring the works of female Australian composers.

The appointment follows over a decade of work by outgoing Artistic Director Patrick Miller. During this time, the company grew from strength to strength, including seeing its productions consistently receiving nominations for Green Room Awards.

Lyric Chair Matt Thomas welcomed the new appointment and thanked the outgoing Artistic Director for his outstanding contribution. “2020 has proven a significant and pivotal year for all of the world’s opera companies and Lyric is no exception,” he said.

“Not only did it see Lyric undertake its first fully zoom-based workshop of a baroque pastiche, it also heralded the departure of our outgoing artistic director Patrick Miller as he moves on to pursue other interests.”

“This time has offered the company a period of reflection and an opportunity to renew our focus and commitment to bringing the best of independent and Australian-repertoire opera to the Melbourne stage.”

“We are delighted to be welcoming well-respected conductor Patrick Burns to help shepherd Lyric as it comes of age and we move towards celebrating our 20th birthday in 2023.”

“We are confident that under his leadership, Lyric will continue to confirm its position as not only one of Australia’s most exciting independent opera companies but also one of its oldest,” said Mr Thomas.

The appointment represents Patrick Burns’s first time as Artistic Director of an Opera Company, having gained experience as a conductor and assistant conductor for a number of organisations.

These include The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, Sydney and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Opera and internationally with the National Theater of Serbia, State Opera of Bulgaria Ruse and the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra in Bulgaria.

In accepting his appointment, Artistic Director Patrick Burns acknowledged his predecessor and expressed his excitement at the opportunity to step into this leadership role.

“Over the past ten years I have watched with interest as Lyric carved a place in the Melbourne landscape, launched careers and showed a proud commitment to producing lesser-known and Australian works,” said Mr Burns. “I am delighted to be able to take the helm and lead the company into the future.”

For more information about Lyric Opera of Melbourne, visit: for details.

Image: Patrick Burns (supplied)