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How much longer will it be before our arts companies are no longer run by artists?

Dance, Musicals, News & Commentary, Opera, Stage, Theatre |

The acclaimed lighting designer Nick Schlieper delivered the 2017 Philip Parsons Lecture this week in Sydney at Belvoir Theatre. His address makes for sobering reading about the state of our state theatre and opera companies. Schlieper describes how an increasing reliance on box office, corporate sponsorship and philanthropy has led to safer, blander programming and fewer opportunities

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Adelaide Festival reveals 2018 line-up, including Grace Jones & Ivo van Hove


Adelaide Festival’s joint Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy today announced a 2018 program with several high-profile exclusives, and extended their contract until 2021. The pair were initially contracted for 2017 through 2019, but the Festival Board has opted to keep them onboard for another two festivals, including the 60th anniversary in 2020. This extension of their

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Meeting Points: Scary Beauty and The End: Vocaloid Opera (OzAsia, Adelaide)

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Music, Opera, Reviews |

The program for OzAsia 2017, compiled by intrepid artistic director, Joseph Mitchell, will be remembered for a number of events: Singapore theatre company, Wild Rice’s assured and engaging play, Hotel, stylishly directed by Ivan Heng and Glen Goei; the captivating, absurdist realism of Kuro Tanino’s The Dark Inn; and, especially – the futuristic musical experiments

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Calls for Turnbull government to support live performance as audience growth remains slow


While Australia’s live performance industry grew its revenue and ticket sales in 2016, industry body Live Performance Australia (LPA) is calling on the Turnbull Government to step up and make good on its innovation and jobs agenda for the sector. The industry last year made $1.43 billion with 18.78 million tickets sold to performances. Those figures represent

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Victorian Opera season 2018: William Tell’s Australia premiere – after nearly two centuries

News & Commentary, Opera, Stage |

Rossini’s overture to his 1829 opera William Tell is one of a small handful of classical tunes that most people can hum on command, with its thrilling galloping rhythm and blaring brass. But the opera for which it was written is rarely performed, and will receive its Australian premiere season next year thanks to Victorian Opera. The company tonight

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David Atkins to direct the Helpmann Awards for three years

Dance, Musicals, News & Commentary, Opera, Stage, Theatre |

The Helpmann Awards ceremony looks set for a major rejig, following the appointment of a new production team for 2018-20. Live Performance Australia (LPA) today announced David Atkins OAM has been appointed Artistic Director with Will Sheehan as Executive Producer and Dawn Martin as Production Director. Atkins has a long history of directing both theatre

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Opera companies ordered to employ more local singers as Opera Australia’s imports reach record highs

News & Commentary, Opera, Stage |

Australia’s major opera companies will be fined up to $200,000 if they do not employ an “appropriate balance” of Australian versus non-Australian artists, after the Federal Government’s acceptance of most of the recommendations of its 2016 National Opera Review. The penalty would be imposed by funding bodies only after “engaging in serious discussions” with the companies. The trigger

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Lindy Hume on opera’s existential crisis, opportunities, and sexism

News & Commentary, Opera, Stage |

The last five years have been a particularly difficult and unusual period in the opera world, with both Australian and international companies facing huge financial pressure and apparently dwindling audiences. That situation has made for a challenging few years for Lindy Hume, who has been Artistic Director of Opera Queensland from 2012, and is stepping down from the role

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Cancelled music theatre festival leaves leading opera singers seeking payment in court

Musicals, News & Commentary, Opera, Stage |

The inaugural Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival launched late last year, with a program of concerts and stagings of full-length musicals at the Athaeneum Theatre. It had lofty ambitions of evolving into “THE major Musical Theatre Festival in the world.” The centrepiece of the festival was to be Some Enchanted Evening, a concert of Rodgers and Hammerstein music, starring leading

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Will private philanthropy save the arts in Australia? Survey reveals extraordinary growth


The Australian Major Performing Arts Group has today released the results of its annual philanthropy survey, showing that income from donations, corporate sponsorship, and fundraising to our major performing arts companies grew by 15.2 per cent in 2016. The survey showed revenue from these private streams grew by $12.6 million to a total of $95.7 million from

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