Alan John

Music Director

Best known as the composer of the opera The Eight Wonder (produced by Opera Australia in 1995 and revived in 2000 and 2016), Alan has also worked as an actor, dramaturg, musician and musical director.



Over the last 25 years Alan has developed close working associations with theatre companies, including the Adelaide Festival (A German Life); State Theatre Company of South Australia (That Eye The Sky, A Doll's House, Tartuffe); National Theatre London (I’m Not Running); Sydney Theatre Company (Macchu Picchu, Orlando, Under Milkwood, Pygmalion, A Streetcar Named Desire, The City, The Great, The Wonderful World Of Dissocia, Gallipoli, Tales From The Vienna Woods, A Midsummers Night’s Dream, The Season At Sarsparilla, The Bourgeois Gentleman, Mother Courage, A Hard God, Boy Gets Girl, The Give And Take, Hedda Gabler, Harbour, Hanging Man, A Man With Five Children, A Doll’s House and Major Barbara); Bell Shakespeare Company (The Tempest, The Duchess Of Malfi, The Government Inspector, Romeo And Juliet, Moby Dick, Antony And Cleopatra, Henry V, Henry Iv, The Winters Tale, Hamlet and As You Like It); Malthouse Theatre (Optimism, Through The Looking Glass, co production with Victorian Opera) and especially with Neil Armfield and Belvoir Street Theatre, including Things I Know To Be True, Twelfth Night, Seventeen, Once In Royal David’s City, Angels In America, Babyteeth, A Diary Of A Madman, Gethsemane, The Man From Mukinpin, Snugglepot And Cuddlie Pie, Peribanez, Ray’s Tempest, Stuff Happens, The Chairs, The Spook, Our Lady Of Sligo, The Threepenny Opera, The Underpants, Waiting For Godot, My Zinc Bed, Emma's Nose, Small Poppies, The Judas Kiss, The Governor’s Family, Death And The Mainden, The Government Inspector, Diving For Pearls, Diary Of A Madman, The Tempest. He has also worked closely with director Jim Sharman (Lighthouse Company 1982-88, David Malouf’s Blood Relations, orchestrations and arrangements for Chess); singer Robyn Archer (musical director 1984-88, The Last Decade - A Cabaret Song Cycle); writers John Romeril (the musical Jonah - 1985) and David Holman (Frankie - An Opera For Young People).

Alan also composed the music for Tyler Coppin’s one man show Tales Of Helpmann and for Khoa Do’s stage show Mother Fish, which was recently adapted into the critically acclaimed feature film Missing Water.

His film and television credits include the reimagining feature film Storm Boy for Ambience Entertainment; The Beautiful Lie for ABC/Endemol; Holding The Man with director Neil Armfield; Three Dollars and The Bank (both directed by Robert Connolly); Looking for Alibrandi (director Kate Woods); Travelling North; the ABC mini series The Farm (director Kate Woods); Dangerous for Southern Star/Foxtel; Love My Way for Foxtel (Season 2, Episodes 7,8,9); Cops Lac for the Nine Network; ABC TV’s telemovies The Shark Net and Loot; Edens Lost (producer Margaret Fink, director Neil Armfield); Coral Island (part 1 of Jan Chapman’s Naked series) and for Film Australia's animation series Human Contraptions.

In 2016 Opera Australia revived THE EIGHTH WONDER, at the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE — THE OPERA, with the forecourt of the House as the stage.



  • 2002
    Best Music in a Feature Film "The Bank" - APRA/Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award
  • 2003
    Best Music for Short Film "Human Contraptions - APRA/Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award
  • 2004
    Best Music for Mini Series or Telemovie "The Shark Net" - APRA/Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award
  • 2005
    Nominated for an APRA/ Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award "Three Dollars"
  • 2005
    Nominated for an AFI Award for Best Music for a Feature Film "Three Dollars"
  • 2009
    Best New Operatic Work "Through the Looking Glass" - Green Room Award