Internationally recognised philanthropist and passionate opera lover, Dr Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture has been announced as Opera Australia’s new Patron in Chief.
The announcement follows Dr Handa’s increasing commitment to Australia’s national opera company with a significant financial contribution over the next three years, with an option for another three through his International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC).
Opera Australia’s Chairman David Mortimer AO warmly welcomed Dr Handa’s generous donation and his commitment to the art form and the artists, in particular the young artists who will take opera into the future.
“Dr Handa’s dedication to arts and culture in Australia, his love of music and hands-on approach to his philanthropic ventures is truly valued by Opera Australia and we look forward to a very long and productive partnership.”
In Sydney to accept the appointment on behalf of Dr Handa, former NZ Prime Minister and IFAC Patron Sir John Key said the partnership between Opera Australia and IFAC has always been strong.
“Both organisations are acutely aware of the importance of the artistic legacy in opera, yet have the courage to explore new realms of the art for its growth and development with times. We are proud of the success we have enjoyed through the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour for the last 6 years and are excited about what can be done together through our new and expanded level of partnership in the future,” said Sir John.
Dr Handa has been quoted as saying “music has the power to transform human hearts and minds, to draw us inward and upward to our better selves.” A philosophy shared by Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini who has come to know the philanthropist and businessman well.
“We very much have a shared vision, and our collaborations have already proved incredibly successful for Opera Australia, particularly with the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour series that has cemented its place as one of the world’s greatest outdoor opera events.
“This new partnership and the appointment of Dr Handa to Patron in Chief will encompass the ongoing commitment to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour from 2018 to 2020 along with other noteworthy patronages that will be announced in due course through the 2018 and 2019 seasons,” said Mr Terracini.