Elizabeth Proust has occasionally been referred to as “Madame Melbourne” and no wonder really. Melbourne, and many of it’s key institutions have ‘made’ her just as much as she has (re)made many of them. This is a woman who barracks for Collingwood Football Club and was also chair of MSO; who worked for two Victorian premiers at opposite ends of the political spectrum (Cain & Kennett) and who, like many believed that it was ‘just a matter of time’ before there would be equal numbers of women in leadership positions. She now says time’s up on that strategy.
Mildura is not known for its opera scene. But it might gain an extra degree of cultural notoriety if Siobhan Stagg’s star continues to rise. I met Siobhan in mid-2012 when she performance at the Woodend Winter Arts Festival. The Festival’s Artistic Director, Jacky Ogeil, confided in me when she booked the 24-year-old: “Watch this one, she’s a find. She’s going places.” How right she was.