Moffatt Oxenbould AM


Management: Worldwide

Madama Butterfly - Opera Australia, Sydney
“Moffatt Oxenbould's brilliant 1997 production transformed my view of the work. Seamlessly incorporating aspects of Japanese theatre traditions, its ingenious simplicity magnified the opera's tragedy. Every revival reinforces its timelessness and visual beauty. It is hard to see how this intelligent, imaginative and elegant production will ever look dated or tired.”
Murray Black, The Australian, 13 January 2011

Idomeneo  Houston Grand Opera
“The gods were surely smiling on Houston Grand Opera’s production of Idomeneo… a propitious alignment of mortals made this an evening to remember … Emphasizing Enlightenment values, Oxenbould proved that traditional stagings can hold their own and then some against the vogue of trendy productions”.
Marcia J. Citron Opera News USA  2005

Madama Butterfly, OA Sydney
“The new OA production, gravely beautiful and elegant, puts its faith completely in the humanity of the characters and the power of the music. It is absolutely convincing in concept and almost totally successful in execution”.
Deborah Jones The Australian 1997 

Il Trittico, OA Sydney
“It was a successful and satisfying presentation of the three pieces (production by Moffatt Oxenbould, designs by Desmond Digby) – conventional, faithful to the composer’s intentions and so effective”.
Andrew Porter London Financial Times 1973 

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. Opera Australia again presented Moffatt Oxenbould's production of Madama Butterfly in Sydney and Melbourne in 2015 and it will again be seen in Sydney in 2017. In 2016 the company revived his production of Simon Boccanegra.

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 received 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. 

Moffatt Oxenbould is managed by Graham Pushee:
February 2017
This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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