Paving the way ... Harold Blair: The first Aboriginal opera singer

Paving the Way is a short documentary that offers a glimpse into the life of Harold Blair, a world-renowned tenor, family man and political campaigner who sought social justice and human rights for Australia’s First Nations people.

Harold Blair (b. 1924) was Australia’s first professionally trained Aboriginal Opera Singer, who overcame enormous racial barriers to be accepted at the Melba Conservatorium of Music (now the Melba Opera Trust) to study opera singing. Paving The Way features interviews with Dorothy Blair (Harold’s widow), Nerida Blair (Harold’s daughter), Warren Blair (Harold’s son), Kim Walker (CEO, NAISDA Dance College) and Don Christopher (Opera singer), as well as the 2022 and 2023 recipients of the Melba Opera Trust Artist, Harold Blair Opera Scholarship, Elias Wilson and Nina Korbe. These interviews are interspersed with images from the Blair family archives.

Published on 
Todd Duncan (baritone) with Harold Blair, c.1950s

Harold Blair, trailblazer

Wulli Wulli tenor Harold Blair AM was Australia’s first professionally trained Aboriginal opera singer

Harold Blair and Ida Scott circa 1940s/50s at the piano
Past event

First Stories of the House: The Life, Contribution & Legacy of Opera Singer Harold Blair AM

Join us for an evening celebrating the life of Harold Blair with a panel discussion moderated by Bundjalung and Kullilli journalist and broadcaster Daniel Browning

Past exhibition

The People’s House: Sydney Opera House at 50

Celebrating five decades of extraordinary performances and unforgettable moments from the Sydney Opera House