Indonesia Opera Society Objectives
The Indonesia Opera Society is the first Opera society in the country, with the goal of cultivating greater appreciation of this musical-theatrical art form in Indonesia. This is achieved both by bringing internationally renowned performers into Indonesia and developing and featuring local talents throughout its various productions.
Our production approach is meant to not only to familiarize the public with Opera, but to also create a culture of concert-going by convincing art lovers to adopt this form of musical expression as an integral part of their lifestyle.
We plan to create in ever more productions to Jakarta, and to create increasingly attractive and exciting Opera events involving collaboration between gifted local Opera singers and talented foreign artists
Our Brief History
It all started with a dream.
Producing opera performances have always been my passion since I was very young. An opportunity finally arrived when the Rotary Club Jakarta was planning a big celebration, and I advised them, “Why not make an opera highlight concert?” It was my first time ever organizing such a production, and ‘Voices of Magic’ became a series that I produced annually from 2000 to 2004 at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta. This is what paved my way to the realization of the Indonesia Opera Society.
After producing the ‘Voices of Magic’ series, I felt that making classical music concerts, in particular opera, is more of a life calling. From 2004 to 2006, I got to produce classical music concerts of different concepts – from charity concerts, custom made opera highlights for corporate companies, to mini Broadway musicals for The Jakarta Players. However, the highlight from this period is when the founder of Bel Canto Series, Ms. Dorothy Poon, asked me to team up and revive her famous series. Thus, ‘Ancora Bel Canto’ ran for a short season in 2005, also at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta.
Nearing the end of 2005, I met up with Anthony Moody and Mari Moody, who gave me an advice to start my own opera initiative. With another support from Srisetiowati Seiful, who has always believed in me since day one, the Indonesia Opera Society was finally born in 2006, with all four of us as the founding members. Since the day that it was created, the Indonesia Opera Society has been striving to create better awareness about opera, as well as give our local talents (classical singers and musicians) experiences to perform with international artists, enabling them to have an exchange of knowledge. Producing an opera production, or even a simple recital, is definitely not an easy task. We are dealing with problems such as how to pay the production, find the right venue with a great acoustic, select talents, and finally convince the audience to come and see. Of course, the government’s support would have been an ideal solution, if they had expressed interest or enthusiasm in classical music. Sadly, in reality, that is not the case.
Fortunately enough, we managed to create production concepts that attracted corporate and commercial companies to get involved. To be honest, without their support to this day, the Indonesia Opera Society would not have been able to go on for this long. In time, the Indonesia Opera Society has slowly worked on enhancing opera awareness in Indonesia by producing small scale but fulland complete opera productions, such as Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone (2007 and 2016), Mozart’s Die Schauspieldirektor (2007) and Bastien und Bastienne (2007), and Pergolesi’s La ServaPadrona (2008 and 2010). Our objective is to produce full and complete operaswith short durations, with English (if possible) as its language and easy themes that people can relate to.
Recognition came not only from our audiences, but also from esteemed national media such as The Jakarta Post. On The Telephone opera production back in 2007, The Jakarta Post wrote, “The Indonesia Opera Society thus deserves praise for selecting such an interesting theme for their first performance of the year. Opera is not only a fat lady who sings in a high pitch at the end of the show. It can also be light and enjoyable, as simple as a telephone.”
The Indonesia Opera Society has been fortunate enough to receive supports from big corporations, such as Bank CIMB Niaga, which has allowed us not only to produce more operas, but also to put together big concepts like opera gala performances. Started in 2011, CIMB Niaga Opera Gala, in cooperation with the Indonesia Opera Society at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta is recognized as one of Jakarta’s most prestigious high society events. Another great collaborative support also came from our relationship with Diageo Asia Pacific, where we created a series of dinner events with opera performances, using the concept of a secret garden, for one of their brands, Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
As an opera society, we are trying to generate opera awareness in any way that we can, whether in a conservative way or using creative approaches. We have been collaborating with many partners from fashion brands, such as RuslyTjohnardi and S.T. Dupont; hotels,such as the Grand Hyatt Jakarta and Hotel Borobudur Jakarta; even with clubs, such as Ismaya group’s Dragonfly. We always strive to make audiences and stakeholders see and enjoy opera, not only in its proper form, but also through other possible ways.
On behalf of the other founders, I would like to thank all of you for your continuous support. We really could not have done this without your attention and generosity. Opera might not be the culture of Indonesia, but neither is dangdut, or rap, or pop music. Indonesia has a great number of talented singers and musicians, who, with the right support, might just be the next Anna Netrebko or Lang Lang. Again, opera and classical music might not be in our indigenous culture, but it can help Indonesia to show the world that we have an impeccable standard of civilization.