Thanks to recovery funding from the Queensland Government, Queensland’s flagship arts companies will once again grace the stages of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from 27 September to 20 December 2020.
Opera Queensland (OQ), Queensland Ballet (QB), Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO), Queensland Theatre (QT), and Circa will all return to QPAC over the coming months representing a significant step in QPAC’s reopening since its closure in March this year due to COVID-19.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the announcement was a very welcome light at the end of the tunnel for an industry hard hit by COVID-19 closures and said it was an important step forward in the industry’s recovery.
“We’re fortunate in Queensland to have our very own nationally and internationally acclaimed arts companies and we feel it’s a natural progression for them to be part of this next phase of QPAC’s reopening as we move towards our theatres operating at 50 percent capacity in a COVID Safe environment,” Mr Kotzas said.
“The recent success of our sold out QPAC Unlocked program shows there is appetite for people to get out and enjoy live performance again and that’s great news for our industry but also the other sectors and businesses that are impacted by our closure.
“These challenging times have highlighted the important and unifying role that art plays in our lives and we’re grateful to the Queensland Government for acknowledging this through their funding of this program.
“QPAC, alongside our state companies and the wider arts industry, is committed to creating joyful arts experiences and connecting communities and this funding is enabling us to do so once again.”
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the investment of $350,000 would enable state arts companies to return to the stage and reinforced Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“This investment is part of the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package and means these companies will perform once again on the QPAC stage, showcasing their incredible talents,” Minister Enoch said.
“This is a fantastic outcome for Queensland audiences who can once again connect with live performances from our leading arts companies.
“The new program will also support around 2000 employment opportunities for artists and arts workers. This is great news for the arts sector which has been terribly impacted by venue closures since March.
“Our Arts and Cultural Recovery Package works to sustain the arts sector, drive new creative work, employ artists and arts workers, and deliver rich COVID-safe arts experiences for Queenslanders,” she said.
Mr Kotzas said the health and wellbeing of its patrons, staff and artists was the top priority in planning for the upcoming program and said the Centre would be operating under its approved site-specific COVID Safe plan available at www.qpac.com.au
Queensland’s Own will kick off with classical music from the movies with Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Reel Classics (27 September). This will be followed by Beethoven 5 (16 and 17 October) featuring Richard Strauss’ Don Juan and Beethoven’s Symphony No.5, and Beethoven’s Emperor (21 November) showcasing the composer’s mighty Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat (Emperor) and Respighi’s Pine of Rome.
In ENCORE, Opera Queensland returns to the stage, captivating audiences with a soul-stirring collection of much-loved arias, duets and ensemble pieces performed by acclaimed singers Shaun Brown, Andrew Collis, Eva Kong, Rosario La Spina, Virgilio Marino and Milijana Nikolic. This remarkable ensemble is joined by rising star, Opera Queensland’s 2020 Young Artist Rebecca Cassidy from 23 to 24 October 2020.
Queensland Theatre will present the Queensland premiere of Mouthpiece by Kieran Hurley from 31 October to 14 November 2020 starring acclaimed Queensland actor Christen O’Leary (Ladies in Black, North by North West., End of the Rainbow) and Jayden Popik in his QT debut. Winner of the 2019 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, it is described as unmissable and destined to be a classic of our times.
After a sold-out season at Lights On at the Powerhouse, a program which was supported by the Queensland Government’s venue pilot program to trial COVID-safe venue reopenings, Queensland Ballet will continue its 60th anniversary celebrations, presenting a collection of short ballets created by its own dancers in isolation around the theme of love, in Queensland Ballet for 60 Dancers: 60 Stories from 10 to 12 December 2020.
The Queensland’s Own showcase program will conclude with two sensational circus productions by award winning contemporary circus ensemble, Circa. Humans from 18-22 November 2020 will be followed by the popular family production by Circa and QPAC’s Out of the Box, Carnival of the Animals, from 16 to 20 December 2020.
From September to December, QPAC will be the place to be when the best of Queensland arts companies and artist talent will be on show. General Public tickets on sale from 11.00am Friday 25 September 2020 at qpac.com.au or phone 136-246.