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Frá Professor Richard Divall AO OBE was the VSO musical director from 1972 – 1996. Appointed by the then Victoria Opera Company, General Manager, Peter Burch on the recommendation of VOC Chairman, Dame Joan Hammond he was pivotal in the development of the company to grow into an ensemble which produced opera to an international standard.

Highlights include the 1976 Maria Stuarda starring Nance Grant and June Bronhill ,the 1978 Idomeneo, starring Ronald Dowd, the 1983 Samson and Delilah in the new Melbourne Concert Hall with Anthony Roden ( now Hamer Hall ), the 1984 Don Carlo directed by John Copley which opened the newly built State Theatre with Kenneth Collins, Malcolm Donnelly, Joan Carden and Noel Mangin, the 1985 August Everding production of Wagner’s Lohengrin with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with Alberto Remedios, Karen Bureau, Nance Grant, Geoffrey Chard and Noel Mangin, the 1989 Tannhauser starring Australian tenor, Anthony Roden with Eileen Hannan and Lisa Gasteen, and the 1994 il Trovatore with Richard Margison and Lisa Gasteen.