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23 January 2017

Richard Divall, former music director of the Victorian State Opera, has passed away after a protracted battle with cancer.

Richard Divall

Richard Divall AO OBE

A composer, conductor and musicologist, Divall was at the helm of the Victorian State Opera from 1972 until 1996, when the organisation merged with Opera Australia. Divall served as the resident conductor of Opera Australia from 1996 until 2001.

Throughout his career, Divall conducted more than 150 operas. He returned to study later in life and became a fellow of State Library Victoria where he conducted research into Australian music history.

In 2009, Divall became a Member of the Order of Australia. He was recognised for his contribution to the performing arts and his work preserving Australia's musical heritage; his support for young performers and his service to the community.

Victorian Opera artistic director Richard Mills said, "Richard leaves a prodigious legacy of scholarship performance, artistic leadership and personal philanthropy. He was a great Australian and a great son of Melbourne."

Vale Richard.