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Queensland Opera set to hit high notes with new state government funding

The Queensland Government today announced an injection of $2.16 million over four years to support Opera Queensland’s growth and secure its future sustainability.

Queensland Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said the funding would support the company to return to three mainstage seasons in Brisbane from 2019 and grow its audiences.

“This investment will also assist Opera Queensland to leverage new philanthropic and sponsorship opportunities, in addition to implementing other market development strategies to increase audience engagement,” Ms Enoch said.

“Importantly, this support will enable the company to continue to deliver its regional touring and community engagement activities, which provide audiences across the state with the opportunity to access and experience Queensland’s state opera company.

Ms Enoch said she applauded the company for the steps it has taken to grow new audiences, including diversifying and improving its offering through collaborations and greater outreach.

“In 2017, Opera Queensland performed to over 40,000 Queenslanders and employed more than 200 artists and arts workers, creating unique opportunities for regional artists and audiences of all ages to experience opera,” she said.

“The company has also successfully partnered with our vital small-to-medium sector over recent years, including a three-year artistic collaboration with Blue Roo Theatre Co (2014-2016), and co-produced Snow White with La Boite (2016), Mozart Airborne (2017) with Expressions Dance Company (2017), and Abandon (2014) with Dancenorth to help make opera a more accessible art form.

“In 2018, aspiring local artists will have the chance to perform in the company’s chorus with its regional tour of Ruddigore, in addition to taking Hansel & Gretel to more than 15 regional primary schools.

“These sort of opportunities build on recent successes such as October’s week-long school residency program in Cunnamulla, where local students were joined by the Opera Queensland team and Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts singer and Wiradjuri woman Caitlin Wall to share the beauty of this art form.”

The new funding commitment responds to specific recommendations made by the National Opera Review around supporting the sustainability of Opera Queensland by growing its audiences.

Artistic Director and CEO of Opera Queensland Patrick Nolan said that through this new funding, the Queensland Government had acknowledged the demands of running an opera company for a state as large and diverse as Queensland.

“With this funding, we now have the capacity to build a program of works that will create great opportunities for artists and audiences alike,” Mr Nolan said.

“We are very grateful for the support and look forward to working with the state government to establish Opera Queensland as one of Australia’s leading arts companies.”

To see what’s in store for season 2018, visit the Opera Queensland website.