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VIDEO: artists protest Opera Australia opening

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A protest group hoping to pressure Australia’s major performing arts companies into speaking up against Arts Minister George Brandis’ cuts to Australia Council funding met on the steps of the Sydney Opera House at the opening of Opera Australia’s Turandot on Wednesday night. Dressed as “the ghosts of Australia’s artistic future”, the Speak Now AMPAG protest group is made up of artists and arts workers from small-to-medium arts organisations, and has a clear message for the 28 members of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG): “Your silence is killing me”.

AMPAG (whose members include the state theatre companies and major orchestras, dance and opera companies) who are quarantined from Brandis’ cuts, have been generally reluctant to speak publicly about Brandis’ cuts to the Australia Council to establish his own National Programme for Excellence in the Arts. AMPAG released a group statement last week, but the Speak Now AMPAG says it does not go far enough.

Daily Review spoke to a representative from the organisation last week about the group’s plans for protests around the country.

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