Operatunity Oz was a 2006 talent search, and accompanying four-part television documentary by Simon Target, in which Opera Australia conducted a nationwide quest to find someone without professional opera experience, who could be coached to sing in a staged opera – Verdi's Rigoletto in the event – at the Sydney Opera House in the company of professional performers, as part of Opera Australia's regular season. It was modelled on the earlier British Operatunity (2003).
The panel of judges was led by conductor Richard Gill, and included opera director Elke Neidhardt, world-renowned soprano Yvonne Kenny, and soprano Antoinette Halloran. An album of performances by contestants, Operatunity Oz, was recorded in May and June at the Eugene Goossens Hall of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Ultimo Centre in Sydney.
The winner, bass vocalist, David Parkin, took the role of Sparafucile in a performance of Rigoletto on 24 October 2006. Two other finalists, soprano Emily Burke and tenor Roy Best, impressed the judges sufficiently to be offered places in the same opera, performing the roles of Gilda and the Duke of Mantua respectively in the final act.
The documentary aired on ABC TV weekly during October 2006. A follow-up program, Operatunity Oz Revisited, aired on 2 December 2007; in it, the judges reflected on the experience and updates were provided on the winners and some of the more memorable finalists. The ABC issued a DVD version of the documentary.
Parkin continued as a senior consultant for his firm, he also took up "vocal and language coaching with Sharolyn Kimmorley, Glenn Winslade, David Harper and Anna Connolly." He performed with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at a Verdi Gala and later took "the roles of The Commendatore and Masetto in Don Giovanni for Opera Australia." Burke became an Australia Day ambassador in 2008, she studied "voice under Yvonne Kenny and Rosamund Illing. Later [that] year, she [travelled] to Italy to attend a masterclass conducted by internationally renowned soprano, Mirella Freni." Best performed at the National Multicultural Festival Finale – Opera by the Lake in February 2007.
- "Operatunity in OZ". Throng. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Best, Roy; Burke, Emily; Fyfe, Warwick; Lopez, Renae; McGuren, Jodie; Parkin, David; Roehring, John; Greene, Andrew; Sinfonia Australis (2006), Operatunity Oz, Universal Music Group [distributor], retrieved 3 September 2017,
Notes: Recorded on 15-17 May and 19, 20 and 22 June 2006 in the Eugene Goossens Hall of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Ultimo Centre in Sydney.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- Operatunity Oz: Revisited, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 2007, retrieved 3 September 2017,
Catches up with some of the participants in the ABC's 2006 reality series Operatunity Oz (which saw selected and trained amateur singers perform in a professional opera production) to discover what effect appearing on the show had on their lives and careers.
- "David Parkin". Pinchgut Opera. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "Burke – Australia Day". National Australia Day Council. 7 February 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Stanhope, Jon (18 February 2007). "Opera Event of the Year Set to Dazzle Canberrans". Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2017.