The Australia Council for the Arts joins the Australian opera community in expressing our sadness at Richard Hickox’s sudden passing.
CEO Kathy Keele said Mr Hickox made a great contribution to opera internationally.
“Australia was very fortunate to have a person of Mr Hickox’s great talent and experience as music director of Opera Australia since 2005,” Ms Keele said.
“Mr Hickox conducted many memorable performances for Opera Australia, including his final performances of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd in September and October 2008, which were unanimously acclaimed by critics and audiences.
“Mr Hickox also contributed to positive international exposure for Australian operatic artists through recordings of Opera Australia performances, such as Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges and Dvorak’s Rusalka,” Ms Keele said.
Opera Australia is one of the world’s busiest opera companies with more than 250 main stage performances every year. It performs to more than 700,000 Australians annually via television and big screen performances, its significant education program and its regional touring arm, Ozopera.
The Australia Council for the Arts, on behalf of the Australian Government, extends its sincere sympathies to Mr Hickox’s family.