At last night’s Annual General Meeting Opera Queensland announced its best financial result since 2007, with the company on track to realise its ambitious long-term goals of financial sustainability and building new audiences.
While OperaQ reported a small operating loss of $60,005 it doubled its box office for its last regional tour and reached thousands more people along the way. A ground-breaking community project, the latest Philip Glass opera, a return to primary school touring and many other opera experiences made 2014 a landmark year.
OperaQ Chair Robert Hubbard praised the efforts of the OperaQ team and the support of the community.
“Our patrons, supporters and partners were vital contributors in making this turnaround possible. We now have strong foundations in place and 2015 is shaping up to be even more successful,” he said.
In a bold response to the pressures opera is facing around the world, OperaQ’s 2015 season takes the 400-year-old art form into new venues and pop-up spaces as well as creating thousands of opportunities for people to see a performance for the first time or even become a part of it.
So far the strategy has paid off. A regional tour of pop-up adaptation The Adventures of Figaro has been enjoyed by thousands of Queenslanders, hundreds crowded into Cloudland for OperaQ’s first opera in a nightclub, and La traviata in QPAC’s Lyric Theatre has performed to packed houses.
Part of this success can be attributed to OperaQ’s unprecedented initiative to remove barriers for new audiences by offering 25% of all tickets (2,000) for just $25.
Every single $25 ticket to La traviata was snapped up within days. More will go on sale for Candide in July.
Artistic Director Lindy Hume has just returned from a triumphant New Zealand season of Rossini’s Cinderella, OperaQ’s third co-production with New Zealand Opera, which premiered in Brisbane in 2013. In an international coup for OperaQ/NZO, the Cinderella production has now been acquired by Leipzig Opera, who will present it in 2016.
Ms Hume said the company would continue to look for innovative ways to deliver more diverse opera experiences for all Queenslanders.
“The future of OperaQ is grand opera, of course, but also chamber-scale projects, pop-up events in unexpected places and adventures in regional landscapes. We’re creating a rich portfolio of music theatre experiences for opera aficionados and first-timers alike. Our audiences will respond to the quality of our work and enjoy some new experiences”.
A copy of the Annual Report is available here