In the first major announcement for Opera Queensland’s new executive management team, the Queensland Government has committed $2.16 million in additional funding over four years to help the company grow, invest in new initiatives and return to three mainstage Brisbane seasons from 2019.
The announcement was made by Queensland Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch at Opera Queensland’s opening performance of its 2018 season, the sold-outReprise at QAGOMA.
Combining classical music with modern art, including new compositions by Paul Grabowsky and Megan Washington,Reprise was a taste of what is to come from Opera Queensland’s new Artistic Director Patrick Nolan.
Mr Nolan, who has promised a 2019 season themed around classical, contemporary and future, said impact of the new funding would be immediate.
“We can now plan for three mainstage productions in 2019. With this public recognition and affirmation, we can look to the future, confident that the State Government is invested in not only sustaining, but also growing our artform,” Mr Nolan said.
“As a major arts organisation we believe it’s essential to engage with artists working around us now, and the commissioning of new works, as well as engaging with Queensland’s smaller arts companies, is going to be central to our artistic programming.
“There’s a good reason why so many people in the arts are moving to Queensland and I applaud the Queensland Government for showing such dedicated support for the arts across the state.”
Executive Director Sandra Willis said the funding would ensure Opera Queensland continues to bring opera to audiences across the state.
“We take the responsibility of bringing opera in all its various forms to audiences across the vast and diverse state of Queensland very seriously and this lift in funding means we now have the ability to be even bolder as an organisation,” Ms Willis said.
“We can leverage this funding to secure more philanthropic and corporate support, opening doors to a wealth of creative opportunities.
“This announcement is, we hope, the first of many good news stories as we continue to develop our strategies for the coming years. We aim to make opera that is powerful and bold in the scope of its imagination, and breathtaking in its execution."
The next big event on the Opera Queensland 2018 calendar is Graeme Murphy’s critically acclaimed production ofThe Merry Widow starring the popular and charismatic performers, David Hobson and Natalie Christie Peluso, followed byDon Giovanni with international star Duncan Rock in the title role.
This year the company will also stage a regional tour of Gilbert & Sullivan’sRuddigore, or the Witch’s Curse!, where the chorus will be made up of local performers from each of the six cities.