This is a small sample of our audience comments over the years:

That was THE most absorbing and wonderful musical experience ever for me. Just everyone involved should feel so proud of the performance. My only regret was that I didn’t come up from Melbourne for two nights then I could have heard it on Saturday night as well. It was so stunning and so full of intricacies that it needed to be seen a second time at least. I can’t begin to list the highlights - there were so many - but Elena’s performances of the two parts with differing voice and personality were brilliant, Erin’s playing so superbly sensitive and the orchestra members really excelled in presenting that wonderful music. Well done everybody.
— L'Anima del Filosofo

“You have excelled yourself this year. As someone who has been to your productions for several years - I can attest to this year as a triumph! the choice of opera, the quality of the singing as well as the staging was breath taking. Well done- wish i could see it twice!” 

-  Iphigenie

“it was sensational!  It just got better and better all the way through!  Surely this is the best one, or did I say that last year?  There wasn't a weak link in it - the singing was outstanding, also the set and costumes absolutely perfect, and the projected titles as well couldn't have been better."

- Iphigenie

I can honestly say that I have not enjoyed an opera as much as I did tonight for a very long time indeed. The orchestra sounded wonderful, so beautifully nuanced and colourful, and I particularly enjoyed the knock-out singing of the female cast. Brilliant!’

- The Chimney Sweep

The quality of what you all produce is all so very impressive, the fine detailing appreciated I know by a grateful audience of opera lovers. It was a great cast, great crew and Erin and that orchestra - stunning!’

- The Chimney Sweep

Pinchgut Opera’s production of Griselda this evening was nothing short of sensational. Don’t wait for a review. JUST GO! Three electrifying counter tenors, a mezzo bound for international stardom and the most committed conducting and playing. AND ALL AUSSIES!
— Griselda
I’ve been on your mailing list for a little, but I never thought I’d actually go to an opera. I came along this year as I’d heard good things about what you have been doing and decided to give it a try. I don’t really know what I was expecting and didn’t have high expectations, but I enjoyed it more than I can say. The music was wonderful (as I expected it to be), but the production really made it for me. The contemporary setting and the modern costumes made it real somehow, which is not something I ever expected to think about opera! The story was involving and the music and choreography seemed to emphasise the story as being for all time somehow. I’m trying to say that I’ve always been a bit intimidated by opera and thought that it was old-fashioned and not for me. I’ve always thought that theatre has much more to say about contemporary life, so thanks for showing me that this is not so!
— Dardanus
I must say that what I admire most of all about Pinchgut productions is that they always make me think and feel something about the music itself: there’s no clever-clever excess, no grandstanding and (I speak from a distance, necessarily) no large egos in evidence. Which is why I always find that, though completely enthralled by many individual performances - Sally-Anne Russell, David Walker, Fiona Campbell, Sara Macliver were all outstanding, the chorus was, as always, marvellous in its power and commitment and the orchestral playing an unqualified delight— it’s the music itself, and its meanings, that shines through. I congratulate Pinchgut yet again on another unforgettable night: it’s become the highlight of December, so far as we’re concerned.
— Juditha Triumphans
I was in the audience on Wednesday night and it was just fabulous! The best opera I’ve seen [in Australia at any rate] for years. Every single aspect of it – singers, chorus, orchestra, production – was a class act. We all came out on a high. Hearty congratulations and thanks for providing Sydney with such a superlative artistic experience. You may be interested in a slightly more succinct comment from a friend yesterday – “Wasn’t it just f…….g stunning!!”
— Idomeneo
Last year you brought The Fairy Queen alive as the wittiest and most intellectually engaging opera. Pinchgut’s Orfeo would have to be the most emotionally engaging (gut wrenching) opera I think I’ve ever been to.
— Orfeo
We have to let you know that our night at David & Jonathas was one of the three best nights in music, theatre and opera that we have had in the course of about 50 years of music-, theatre- and opera-going, including attending many performances in Europe.
— David & Jonathan
Giasone was brilliant! Superb singing, stunning orchestra, great acting, staging, design and direction...witty surtitles, huge range of emotions in a universal, engaging and though-provoking story. Huge congratulations to absolutely everyone involved. The Orchestra was awesome...if you can make it, GO! Not to be missed. A wonderful night at the Opera...no wonder it was so popular in its time.
— Giasone

“Was absolutely fantastic last night - loved every minute of it. Such a fabulous opera, and I thought the production was just great. The singing and playing was top quality, as always. Yet another massive success for Pinchgut - what a triumph! I always say it’s the best yet, but I think it really might be this time.”

- Iphigenie

"The Chimney Sweep was pure joy from start to finish.  Everything about it was so finely crafted  and perfectly realised that Salieri must have been cheering from whatever dimension he now inhabits.

- The Chimney Sweep

"Congratulations!  What a wonderful night we had!  Such fun too!  Everyone had smiles on their faces.  And the applause said it all.   A wonderful romp to send us on our way.”

- The Chimney Sweep

From the first WOW factor of the set on entering, the lighting, the absolutely breathtakingly beautiful music played and directed so magnificently all evening, to the most glorious singers - one and all - each and every one - such beauty which never flagged, never lost its radiance - amazing characterisations for every role - humour played to perfection - wonderful costumes and brilliant direction overall. Long may Pinchgut continue to enchant and enthral music loving audiences. A lady who sat next to me said something quite wonderful I think - “I have come every year for the last four years, I love music, I am not a fan of opera, but I adore and would never miss Pinchgut”. In admiration and awe of all your talent and commitment to perfection in musical experience in opera.
— Ormindo
Went on Monday night and it was stunning. My highlight of the year. Spent half the night with my mouth open in awe. Thanks (and I’m now a huge fan of Rameau).
— Castor & Pollux
Pinchgut should win every award Australia can think of this time! The singers were breathtaking and the ensemble superb. The entire production was one of the highlights of many years. What a fantastic production and thankyou for bringing this together. We are all lucky to hear and see such magic in a venue where we feel part of the production.
— Ormindo
Your … productions illustrate what I love about the arts in Sydney. Innovation and risk with self evident confidence of those behind the event!

— Dardanus
All up, I drove 1500 k from East Gippsland to attend Juditha. It was thrilling and whilst driving home the following morning, I reflected on the fact that [Another Opera Company] just couldn’t mount a production from that era to match Pinchgut’s for its artistic integrity, the quality of the singing, the skill of the orchestral players and the artistic vision that underpinned the whole show. The overarching decisions and vision of the Pinchgut management team in developing and refining their concept to even greater heights were inspired – and crucial...Long may I be inspired to undertake this drive each year. (And I’m 75!)
— Juditha Triumphans
It was actually the best opera I’ve ever seen. It was so engaging and relevant, yet maintained the connection to its origins. It was so well crafted, and delightful to watch and listen to. I enjoyed every minute.
— Griselda
One of the most memorable musical experiences of my life and the finest thing that Pinchgut has done so far in what has been 3 years of musical and dramatic excellence. I don’t really want to single anyone out since just about everyone performed their roles so splendidly but, not knowing beforehand what to expect, I was utterly bowled over by Charon/Pluto’s marvelous singing and moving. I can’t recall ever hearing or seeing before something that seems to correspond so closely to the felling evoked by the ghost in Hamlet. For the first time in my experience we really were transported to the land of the dead - or, rather, the classical underworld. The staging, the superb singing and the splendid orchestral playing - all struck just the right note. Here was the genuine feeling of Greek tragedy overlaid with Renaissance humanism - the classical austerity combined with moments of celebration of the power of the human. I could go on and on but won’t; I simply want to congratulate all the performers on having provided us with such a near-perfect version of a wonderful piece of music. The only problem now is: how are you going to top this next year!
— Orfeo
Wonderful. I was completely blown away by the quality of your production and the amazing singers and musicians, more than once a year please!!! Truly, I’ve seen an awful lot of productions in many big Opera Houses and this was really up there with one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had at the Opera. I can’t thank you guys enough, and my friend had a ball, she’s a convert!
— L'Anima del Filosofo
After hearing from friends of the work of Pinchgut, I joined your list last year and enjoyed the performance of Juditha very much...with a great sense of anticipation we took our seats in the front row upstairs where we had an excellent view of the orchestra and of course the stage. I had told my husband cheerfully the he could go to sleep if he wished (he is not a fan of opera except for Verdi and Puccini) and settled down to enjoy the performance. I was amazed however to discover that my ‘enjoyable’ evening would turn out to be such a fantastic experience for us both! From beginning to end we were entranced. The music, the singing, the performances and above all THE FANTASTIC CHORUS. ..I have been spreading the word to all my friends and congratulate you on your vision and initiative in staging these wonderful productions each year.
— David & Jonathan
The opera last night was just wonderful. The whole night sparkled with world-class professionalism on all fronts. Despite my jetlag, I was entranced with yet another BEST EVER from Pinchgut. I think Cavalli is an astonishing composer. His lyricism is incomparable and Erin’s work on the score was right up to standard. Sometimes I gasped at the cleverness and inventiveness of it. As for the singers: they were all exceptional, all first rate. Then all the ‘added pluses’: the wit and humour all through the night, but particularly in the first half; the director, Chas Rader-Shieber, couldn’t have found a more tuned in and turned on cast to highlight all the emotions portrayed in the work and that he milked for all they were worth.
This was without doubt an exceptional night. It’s so worthy of Representing Australia and Pinchgut all over the world.
— Giasone
What a triumph Idomeneo is! I don’t think I’ve every enjoyed an opera performance so much .. the orchestra and singers were just wonderful… so many goose pimply moments.
— Idomeneo
You have made my xmas!! It was the best Pinchgut performance yet. All of the performers were superb. I do not think Sydney can manage without you all.
— Castor & Pollux
We’ve just got back from L’Ormindo (we fly down from Brisbane, overnight, then come straight home the next day—it’s our annual anniversary present to ourselves). I just want to say it was brilliant. We do this jaunt because we know we can rely on Pinchgut’s musicians (not the case with every company), but it’s really nice to get intelligent (and ingenious) staging and convincing acting as well. Bravi, I reckon you all excelled yourselves with this year’s offering—not easily done!
— Ormindo
I went twice; took as many friends as I could muster (who were all enraptured); and would have gone every night if I could have. This is the only opera I now go to each year - I have been to each one since 2002 - and I would like to thank you for having the courage to do something that is completely unique in my experience of opera and music. Viva Pinchgut!
— Juditha Triumphans
I was at last night’s opera, and wanted to send my thanks and congratulations to you. It was incredibly moving, superbly performed on every level. Thank you so much for being brave and visionary enough to create this culture in Australia. We’re so lucky to be able to be inspired by your work.
— David & Jonathan
Well done again on Giasone. Bloody brilliant – one of the best productions I’ve seen in a long time.
— Giasone
…though by no means an expert, I’ve been to operas in Paris and Moscow as well as Sydney. Never have I heard a chorus that combined the precision and power of the chorus for Dardanus. So tight, so powerful, so exciting.

— Dardanus
I am still floating.
— Castor & Pollux
Every year Pinchgut gives us an extraordinary musical experience, and this one was even more remarkable. A long-time fan of Pinchgut, I was there with a small group on opening night. The evening was fabulous in every respect. The singers, orchestra, musical direction - all wonderful! Bearing in mind all those other wonderful large-scale operas and stage shows available to us, I simply must say that this was the most delightfully engaging piece of musical stage art I’ve experienced. It held us enthralled throughout its full length. Our attention was never permitted to flag, and was particularly taken by the comic elements of the production. Within the limited resources available, the designers took the action well above the height of the stage with an artistic set that suited the intricacies of the plot. The costumes were extremely effective and even added a little ‘frisson’ here and there. They certainly enhanced the physical attributes of the singers, and the vibrant colours were part of the stunning set and inspired the dynamic ‘pictures’ formed through the choreography. It was music as art, in motion - and the music was glorious from where I was sitting in Row M. Speaking of plot - after initially putting aside the story outline provided in emails (busy life etc) I came to grips easily with the handout left on seats - not that I needed it. The singers conveyed every nuance of their role, and Natalie Shea’s surtitles were so natural they became an integral part of the experience. The whole evening left me on a high. I couldn’t sleep for hours. Once again, thank you for an uplifting experience.
— Ormindo
It was truly sensational —- one of my best nights ever in the theatre.
— Juditha Triumphans
Congratulations to all concerned on the wonderful success of your latest production and thank you for making it worth the while of a number of Pinchgut Pilgrims to cross the Tasman to take in a performance (on Wednesday and Saturday). Those of my acquaintance who were persuaded to do so this time have vowed to return for next year’s season of Cavalli’s ‘L’Ormindo’. Your New Zealand fan base is growing.
— David & Jonathan
In short, I thought it was absolutely amazing. It’s an amazing thought to know that Pinchgut is able to emancipate rarely heard Operas from the shackles of history and pull them off with such aplomb. The obvious standout to me was David Hansen. His control over such a high part and yet still having such a rounded tone that projected was impressive, and I could tell this was certainly the view of everyone who sat around me on the night. I was absolutely astounded with the aria in the first act where it is just him onstage. The high notes that he was able to pick right out of thin air was incredible, and he pulled off what I would think to be an incredibly difficult part very well. I was also equally astounded by the orchestra. I loved how the conductor really got into it, and the enthusiasm was matched in the sort of typical baroque edginess that you hear. Having heard it, I really want to get my hands on a recording of the performance…..Thanks for such a wonderful night.
— Griselda
It was wonderful. I love that Pinchgut provides the means to experience music that I otherwise would not hear. Discovering something new in life is always such a joy in any sphere.
— Ormindo
It was just truly wonderful. I was in tears half of the time - a real healing force, that work. And so moving. Just can’t think of anything to say, other than I loved it.
— Orfeo
From a student at the Sydney Conservatorium:
I was totally absorbed from the first notes of the overture till the very end. I have enjoyed several Baroque concerts this year, but I don’t think I have been so mesmerised so completely by anything of this nature before. The experience was enhanced for me with the new knowledge I have gained from Baroque History and the Baroque seminar course. I knew about the period instruments used, the form of the oratorio, and the rhetorical devices in the da capo arias, recitatives and basso continuo accompaniment, and the movement and gestures on stage. I understood why there were no tenor/bass leads and why the period instruments sound perfect for the work. I enjoyed watching the musicians perform and I was reminded about why Vivaldi was such a great composer and what wonderful musical training the girls at the Ospedale della Pieta must have received. But mostly I understood the importance of historically informed practice and why it makes the performance so wonderful and so right.
— Juditha Triumphans
Last night was my introduction to Pinchgut Opera. In spite of the fact that I had heard wonderful things about Pinchgut, I had not anticipated that it would be as wonderful as it was. Haydn’s music is a delight from the first note to the last; the staging is simple but effective. The orchestra is, as the man next to me put it, ‘a very tight band’ with a warm mellow sound. The chorus is perfect, the fates appropriately sinuous and sinister, Derek Welton and Craig Everingham superb. Now what superlatives are left for Andrew Goodwin and Elena Xanthoudakis? Even if I hadn’t already used up so many, I’d be hard pressed to find any which do justice to these two splendid singers, whom I shall be hoping to hear again soon. Elena’s rendition of the Sybil aria was pure bliss.
Thank you everyone.
— L'Anima del Filosofo
Yet again, you achieved a wonderful performance, and from start to finish, I just loved it. The singing was superb, and very thrilling. What you have been doing in bringing us all these wonderful operas with their sublime music is tremendously exciting and has certainly enriched my life. I attended with a Canberra friend who came here with a busload of like-minded people, and as we all wended our ways to our various bus stops, the glow on all the faces was quite magical. people couldn’t help talking to anyone spotted as having been at the performance.
— Dardanus
Pity I only saw your last night. If I had have been wise enough I would have gone to the opening night and then to each of the other performances. Wow!
— Castor & Pollux
I went to the performance last night, and want to tell everyone how wonderful an experience it was. You have outdone yourselves. I think it was the best yet. Singing, acting, emotional intensity, the sets, the staging were all superb, and from beginning to end, it was fantastic. Pinchgut’s performances have brought so much to our musical life, particularly to those of us who love early music. And the orchestra was wonderful, the colour, the sheer beauty and complexity of the sound, and Anthony Walker’s superb conducting - all, all such a joy. My congratulations to everyone….We did not want to go home, but wanted the experience to last and last. Cantillation’s singing was superb, and of course the wonderful music of Charpentier with its richness and emotional range and intensity is unforgettable. You brought the whole production to life and showed how much a live performance gives to the audience. It is not an easy piece, with its complicated structure, so it was a great achievement. All the soloists were wonderful, … and emotion which went beyond acting. Even more compliments to the singers and orchestra for producing such an incredible, beautiful and resonant sound in the lovely and serene Angel Place hall. I can’t wait for the next production and wish there were more.
— David & Jonathan
Congratulations to the whole team who brought all the ingredients of great opera performance together in one place at one time last night and to an audience who really knew that they were witnessing something truly exceptional musically – even by Pinchgut standards! Yes, you have done it again and truly created yet another pinnacle in opera performance.
— Griselda
Couldn’t agree more with all the lovely comments! Well worth every kilometre of the total 1,000+travel & 17+ hours in trains! ALWAYS IS! With lots of love and huge congrats to EVERYONE!
— Ormindo
For us, Castor & Pollux was one of the most outstanding of Pinchgut’s productions, we enjoyed everything - An amazing cast, an absolutely brilliant orchestra (of course), a wonderful chorus and extremely effective stage settings/production costumes etc. Overall thoroughly enjoyable! Thank you for all your work in putting it all together - all of you are just incredibly amazing.
— Castor & Pollux
Brilliant! Absolutely loved it - the set, the costumes, the acting, the voices and most especially the music. This will stay in my memory as one of the best. And for me, Miriam Allan’s performance was breathtakingly beautiful and utterly moving.
— Giasone
It always takes my breath away with Pinchgut Opera that I can “do my homework” listening to recordings, doing the background reading and familiarising myself with the libretto, and then the team always take the whole thing so much further, extracting completely new ideas and themes that would never have occurred to me.
— Juditha Triumphans
We floated down Pitt Street on Saturday night after the performance. To be witness to such excellence was awe inspiring. All of our party were totally gob smacked by it all.
— Ormindo
It doesn’t get any better than Juditha ! How could anything exceed tonight’s opening experience.?! This is as good as it gets - surely? Congratulations to all the amazing team at Pinchgut for everything you have done with Pinchgut Opera, for Sydney and for music. Thank you for bringing us this music which we would not have had without you. From Semele onwards you have thrilled us annually .. but Judith was indeed Triumphans ! Tonight’s performance was, as I am sure you felt from the audience, the best ever. With 6 friends we marvelled at everything, the sheer perfection of every element which made up this amazing, wonderful and mesmerising production. The artistry in every aspect - the glorious singing from everyone, the acting, the production, the choreography of movement throughout, the design, set, lighting, costumes - and the music which was truly sublime from all players and from the Music Director. What an experience. Thank you all so much. I’ve been there every year .. how can we possibly wait until next year ?
— Juditha Triumphans
The most enjoyable opera that I have attended.
— Ormindo
Words rarely fail me, but the first night of Orfeo left me searching for adequate expression of the most thrilling enjoyment I experienced from that magic perfect performance of Monteverdi’s wonderful music ... we were absolutely entranced by it all. I knew the music was wonderful - but it has to be superbly performed and it was, by all the soloists, a marvelous chorus and fantastic band. We will be there next year with our ears pinned back!!
— Orfeo