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  • Bradley Daley – Songs of Wagner and Strauss

    Tuesday 28 July 2020

    This weekend we welcomed audiences back to the Opera Queensland Studio Recital Series for the first time since early March. Oddly, […]

    Read More
  • Joseph Calleja – The Maltese Tenor

    Wednesday 15 July 2020

    We are pleased to advise that we have rescheduled the performance by Joseph Calleja – The Maltese Tenor originally slated […]

    Read More
  • Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program

    Friday 26 June 2020

    Opera Queensland has a long and proud history of nurturing emerging artists. Jacqueline Dark, Kanen Breen, Kiandra Howarth and Shaun […]

    Read More
  • Main Beach Flower Festival

    Thursday 25 June 2020

    Performance available to watch 9am Saturday 27 June. Soar across the Gold Coast skyline from a butterfly’s perspective. Be amazed by floral […]

    Read More
  • Introducing our partner, Kawai

    Wednesday 24 June 2020

    The quest for perfection is a rare journey that few choose to undertake. It is not for the faint of […]

    Read More
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    This weekend we welcomed audiences back to the Opera Queensland Studio Recital Series for the first time since early March. Oddly, in this time of cancellations and ever changing expectations, this performance went ahead on the date it was originally scheduled. Something to celebrate in itself! 

    Bradley Daley presented his intimate program Songs of Wagner and Strauss in our first staged performance in over four months.

    “Often when people come to see a performer on stage, they’re seeing the character not the performer, so for better or for worse, at these recitals you’re getting me.” Bradley Daley as quoted by InQueensland.

    The Australian tenor has won critical and popular praise for some of opera’s most expansive tenor roles – Siegfried, Der Kaiser, Otello, Florestan, Canio, Don José and Erik. Most notable have been his interpretations of Mao Tse-tung in Nixon in China and the tenor solos in The Dream of Gerontius

    For Opera Queensland Bradley has performed the roles of Florestan in Fidelio, Rodolfo in La bohème and Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West, as well as Bob Boles in Peter Grimes for the 2018 Brisbane Festival.

    Prior to his performance in Opera Queensland’s Peter Grimes for the 2018 Brisbane Festival, Bradley made his debut with Opera Kiel in the role of Siegfried in The Ring Cycle.  This led to an invitation in 2019 to sing the role of Der Kaiser in Richard Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten. Last year he also toured nationally singing Pinkerton in Opera Australia’s production of Madama Butterfly.

    Internationally he has sung with Opera North, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Holland Park Opera, Co-Opera Ireland and performed regularly with Muziektheatre Transparent in Belgium, Compagnia d'Opera Italiana di Milano, and Opera Nomade in Paris. In 2005 he was invited to give the first performance of a Western opera at the Hanoi Opera House.

    Concert performances include Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Dvorák's Stabat Mater, Verdi's Requiem, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9Die erste Walpurgisnacht for the Prague Music Festival, Messiah with the Britten Sinfonia at Snape Maltings and Elgar’s The Kingdom and The Dream of Gerontius at Melbourne Town Hall.

    “I’m looking forward to singing repertoire that I know well and that I’ve been performing on stage, and I’m looking forward to taking that to a much more intimate level, where it’s just me singing it to a group of people as opposed to all the lights in the orchestra – it can be very easy to get lost in the production.”

    For An Aria A Day, Bradley performed the much loved 'Vesti la giubba' from Pagliacci, Ruggero Leoncavallo's only opera that is still performed in opera houses across the world. In support of emerging artists, Bradley has donated his appearance fee to the Freelance Artist Relief Fund.
     

    https://youtu.be/ffoitf2IAVo
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    We are pleased to advise that we have rescheduled the performance by Joseph Calleja – The Maltese Tenor originally slated for Saturday, 10 October 2020. Joseph will now take to QPAC’s Concert Hall stage on Thursday, 9 September 2021.

    While ticket transfers are managed by QTIX, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Email rsvp@oq.com.au or call (07) 3735 3030.

    Joseph Calleja is one of the most exciting lyric tenors in the world.

    Blessed with a golden-age voice which has inspired comparisons by the Associated Press to “legendary singers from earlier eras including Jussi Björling, Beniamino Gigli, even Enrico Caruso”, the Maltese-born artist has quickly become one of the most acclaimed and sought-after tenors.

    His frequent appearances on the world’s leading opera and concert stages prompted him to be hailed as “arguably today’s finest lyric tenor” and led to his being voted Gramophone magazine’s 2012 Artist of the Year. The Grammy-nominated recording artist for Decca Classics has release five solo albums for the label. 

    His extensive discography includes a thrilling Verdi album and a hugely popular tribute to Mario Lanza, whilst his performance of Puccini’s famous ‘Nessun dorma’ at The Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 2012 was nothing short of electrifying.

    https://youtu.be/b-eigH2O7Dk

    While Brisbane audience will have to wait until September 2021, Calleja’s appearance on QPAC’s Concert Hall stage heralds the singer’s eagerly anticipated debut Australian tour. Calleja, often described as the young Pavarotti, will be joined by two of Australia’s best loved artists, soprano Amelia Farrugia, who is also of Maltese heritage, and internationally acclaimed pianist Piers Lane, in an unforgettable performance.

    Presented by Andrew McKinnon in association with Opera Queensland.

    Joseph Calleja - The Maltese Tenor
    Concert Hall, QPAC
    NEW DATE: 9 SEPTEMBER 2021

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    Opera Queensland has a long and proud history of nurturing emerging artists.

    Jacqueline Dark, Kanen Breen, Kiandra Howarth and Shaun Brown (pictured below) are some of the many talented and successful singers who have participated in the Opera Queensland Young Artist Program.

    After a period of inactivity, Opera Queensland Artistic Director, Patrick Nolan chose to reignite the program thanks to a generous bequest from Lois Schultz and June Wheeler.

    ‘Lois and June were two visionary patrons, entrusting us to establish a professional development program for opera artists,’ he said.

    ‘The program will offer exceptional training and development activities including individual coaching, stagecraft technique, language tuition and involvement in main stage productions, community and corporate engagement events – opportunities young artists may not otherwise receive.’

    LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS

    Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program has taken many Queensland artists to careers on the world stage.

    Professional singer and vocal coach Susan Ellis participated in Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program from 2006 to 2008 before performing principal roles for the company. Susan credits her time as a Young Artist as the perfect stepping stone from tertiary study to the main stage.

    ‘When artists graduate from formal study, they are often far too young to take on principal roles, and it’s not always clear what pathway they should take. The Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program filled that void for me,’ she said.

    ‘Being able to work with internationally acclaimed conductors and directors early in my career, and even just sitting in on closed rehearsals, was a transformative experience.  To hone my craft while being immersed in the daily happenings of a working opera company was incredibly enriching.’

    Another alumnus of the program, Virgilio Marino, has worked extensively as a freelance artist throughout Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. In his time with Opera Queensland in 2006, he performed more than 30 concerts.

    ‘My year as Opera Queensland’s Young Artist helped me tremendously in expanding my repertoire and developing stamina, while learning to be flexible and adapt to new venues and challenges while on the road,’ he said.

    Like Virgilio, other former Young Artists have gone on to perform with many of the world’s great companies including La Scala, the Royal Opera House, and the Paris Opera.

    Queenslanders Kate Miller-Heidke, Hayley Sugars and Jade Moffat are three local past Young Artists who gone on to have careers on the international stage.

    After graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Kate Miller-Heidke stepped into the role of Opera Queensland Young Artist in 2004. The award winning singer-songwriter has since performed with The Metropolitan Opera in New York, at Coachella one of the world’s largest outdoor music festivals and Eurovision.

    Hayley Sugars was a member of the Opera Queensland Young and Developing Artist Program from 2007 to 2009 and has enjoyed success in national competitions, including winning the German-Australian Opera Grant shortly after her time with Opera Queensland. This success resulted in contracts with the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden and the Landestheater Coburg.

    Hayley made her recital debut with Opera Queensland in February this year and was the final artist to grace our stages before the Covid-19 pandemic led to our performances being cancelled .

    Part of our Young and Developing Artist program in 2012, Jade Moffat now resides in London. The mezzo-soprano joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera chorus for their 2019 summer season and toured extensively with Scottish Opera as a soloist for their Opera Highlights Tour across Scotland.

    Another artist born and raised in Brisbane is Victoria Lambourn. Victoria is currently completing a PhD in Performance Science at the University of Melbourne, where she also teaches in the Master of Opera course. For Opera Queensland’s An Aria A Day, Victoria performed the traditional folk song ‘Dudarai’ in both Kazakh and Mandarin.

    Originally from Korea, Mariana Hong, (formerly known as Hyeseoung Kwon), graduated from Seoul’s Han-Yang University with a Bachelor of Vocal Music, before studying in Milan. Mariana looks back on her time with Opera Queensland, almost 17 years ago, as one of the most rewarding times in her career.

    ‘Language coaching with Teresa Desmarchelier and Elisabeth Pillgrab was about more than just language. They helped me give meaning to the words so I could bring them alive on the stage,’ she recalls.

    ‘I fondly remember masterclasses with Joshua Hecht, Graham Pushee, Jeffrey Black, and movement classes with Anna Sweeny. These mentors became my family and so willingly shared their knowledge with me, especially Narelle French, Opera Queensland’s Head of Music.’

    One of Australia’s most respected and versatile pianists and musicians, Narelle French joined the company in 1999 where her roles have included Head of Music, Chorus Director and Director of the Young Artist Program. She has appeared as conductor, performer, arranger, librettist and translator, has co-created and performed for numerous touring productions, special events, concerts and workshop programs. Narelle has led the Opera Queensland Chorus for more than forty main stage productions, concerts and events.

    ‘Working with our Young Artists and seeing them flourish and move into roles is incredibly rewarding. The future of opera in Queensland looks very bright and I am extremely proud to have worked with so many talented performers,' Narelle said.

    EMERGING ARTISTS BEYOND SINGERS

    Away from the stage and principal roles, the Young Artist Program also looks to nurture the careers of other creatives in the industry.

    Conductor Dane Lam, Opera Queensland Young Artist 2009, is the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of China's Xi'an Symphony Orchestra. Acclaimed by Limelight Magazine as “one of the most talented young conductors Australia has produced”, Dane recently conducted Opera Queensland’s Orpheus & Eurydice.

    PRESERVING THE FUTURE OF OPERA

    So, what does the program look like in 2021 and beyond, in a time where the contribution the Arts makes to our lives is more important than ever?

    We need your support to extend the program. We want to work with more singers each year and other associated artists such as directors, composers and designers.

    Your investment in Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program will enable us to discover and support emerging artists, safeguarding the transformative power of opera for future generations.

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    https://youtu.be/zloX7XLu9ek

    Performance available to watch 9am Saturday 27 June.

    Soar across the Gold Coast skyline from a butterfly’s perspective. Be amazed by floral creations from around the world. And be left speechless by an exclusive performance from Opera Queensland. 

    These are just some of the experiences that await you at the Main Beach Flower Festival – the world’s first digital flower festival launching online this weekend 27 and 28 June.  

    Opera Queensland Artistic Director Patrick Nolan said the company has a longstanding relationship with audiences on the Gold Coast, most recently with the highly celebrated performance of Verdi’s Requiem in collaboration with HOTA and Queensland Conservatorium at the 2019 Bleach* Festival. 

    ‘As the state’s opera company, we see our presence at the Gold Coast as a very important part of what we do. We are driven to bring the excitement, drama and passion of opera to all Queenslanders, travelling extensively to perform to more than a quarter of a million people last year,’ he said. 

    ‘Now, more than ever, with our theatres closed, we are reminded of how important the Arts are in our lives. The Arts bring people together, strengthening the bonds between us and, like a Flower Festival, making us aware of the beauty and wonder in our lives.’ 

    Opera Queensland continued this important engagement throughout the Covid-19 lockdown with numerous digital programs including QPAC’s online concert, True North, the phenomenally popular An Aria A Day initiative, and now The Main Beach Flower Festival. 

    Opera Queensland’s 2020 Young Artist Rebecca Cassidy headlines the digital festival.

    Filmed exclusively for the Festival, Rebecca brings us the melting performance of Thomas Moore’s classic song, 'The Last Rose of Summer', exploring the beauty, tenderness and joy a flower brings.  

    As the company’s 2020 Young Artist, Rebecca Cassidy is undertaking a period of extensive training and professional development including voice coaching, stagecraft technique and language tuition. Rebecca is also understudying the coveted role of Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde

    The Young Artist Program supports and nurtures future generations of talented performers who are essential to the future of opera.  Your donation to Opera Queensland allows us to support emerging artists like Rebecca and prepare for a return to the stage – as soon as that may be possible.

    Opera Queensland’s performance for The Main Beach Flower Festival is available to watch from this weekend 27 June.

    Rebecca Cassidy performs 'The Last Rose of Summer'
    Trad. arr. by F. von Flotow & N. French
    Words by Thomas Moore

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    Warrick Baker, National Sales and Marketing Manager from Kawai

    The quest for perfection is a rare journey that few choose to undertake. It is not for the faint of heart but only for those with the vision, the will, and the passion to succeed. These qualities, deep in the heart of one man, became the essence of a dream – a dream that would launch a never-ending quest for perfection.

    Nearly a century ago in Japan, an obscure medical instrument technician was struggling alone to build an upright piano from imported parts. One day, he was surprised to see a neighbour’s son riding by on a unique pedal-driven cart, the first ever to travel the roads of Hamamatsu, Japan. The aspiring piano builder was so impressed when he learned that the boy had designed and built the cart by himself that he invited the young man to be his apprentice. The next day, the invitation was accepted and a dream was born. The young man, Koichi Kawai, the son of a wagon maker, would set out to build his first piano.

    The ensuing years would reveal Koichi Kawai’s extraordinary genius for design and innovation. He led the research and development team that introduced pianos to his country. Later, he became the first in Japan to design and build a complete piano action, receiving many patents for his designs and inventions. It was an impressive beginning, yet his greatest achievements were still to come.

    From humble beginnings in 1927, Kawai pianos have reached the pinnacle of international acclaim. Found on concert stages throughout the world, they continue to be selected by gold medal winners and finalists at prestigious international piano competitions across the globe.

    And they are our piano partner at Opera Queensland.

    We caught up with Warrick Baker from Kawai to find out how they have been adapting during Covid-19.

    How has Covid-19 impacted Kawai

    From the outset we had two very different scenarios playing out across our Australia and New Zealand. One side of the Tasman went into full shutdown, to the point where outside of essential goods and services no one could even shop online due to the strict measures put in place on freight movements. On the other side of the Tasman in Australia we have seen the other extreme where so far (at the moment at least), it’s almost been business as usual.

    What we didn’t foresee was the demand for more people engaging in making music at home. One thing that has been proven by the shutdowns and distancing is that in times of uncertainty, people still want a release, and music has been proven to be just that, time and time again.

    What did you need to change or introduce into the business?

    The biggest change we had to implement was taking advantage of different technologies so everyone could function effectively, and work continuity remained as normal as possible.

    It was a quick turnaround of two or three days at most from having only a couple of us set up to work on the road, to everyone in the office being able to function normally as if we were at our desks.

    What’s the biggest thing you personally miss about going to live performances?

    It really comes down to two things really: the experience that live performance gives, and the social aspect. I think what has been discovered by most people during the last few months is that a lot of the freedoms we take for granted have had to go on hold.

    What we have taken away from all of this is just how vital the experience economy is, and in many cases, it’s taken for granted. There has been considerable focus on how the various codes of football could be back up and running sooner rather than later: the very act of sitting in a stadium, sharing a live experience, is one that people need, and it’s no different from sitting in a concert hall for an opera performance, or musical theatre, or a live band at the local.

    We gravitate towards the experience of the performance, being part of it many ways. In terms of the social aspects, live performance adds to the social fabric of society and allows everyone to escape the day to day realities and pressures for a few hours.

    What are your top tip for motivating your team? 

    The first tip has been keeping routine. It’s the little things that help keep some form of normality. Personally, the novelty of working from home wore very thin very early but I focussed on keeping a morning routine as I would attending the office on the same time schedule... how that looks for us all is always different.

    The second part for us is timely, honest and clear communication. We’re keeping everyone up to date with what’s going on at the organisational level. We are lucky we are a small team and normally everyone is across most things happening at any given time. It was important that this continued in a remote working environment. We’re determined to leave no one behind.

    Outside of all of this it’s important to make an extra effort to connect on a personal level. It doesn’t need to be a big production so to speak but just a simple text or call outside of the usual group office teams’ conversations.

    What do you see or hope for the future post-Covid?

    What we do see is the future will look different to what we had up until a few months ago. Some companies are talking mid-2021 before they can think about opening venues and programming again. The big unknown is how many we will we lose long the way.

    As we start to come out of the COVID environment, the value that live performance and music gives to our social fabric and our lives in general needs to be recognised.

    The biggest hope we have for the future, is that a support and funding spotlight is focused on the arts, going forward. Just imagine life without music. No thanks!

    Warrick Baker, National Sales and Marketing Manager from Kawai

    Find out more about Kawai here.

    For more information about partnering with Opera Queensland, please contact Erin Robinson at erobinson@oq.com.au or on 07 3735 3057 or contact our Development Team at development@oq.com.au or phone 07 3735 3030.

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    This weekend we welcomed audiences back to the Opera Queensland Studio Recital Series for the first time since early March. Oddly, in this time of cancellations and ever changing expectations, this performance went ahead on the date it was originally scheduled. Something to celebrate in itself! 

    Bradley Daley presented his intimate program Songs of Wagner and Strauss in our first staged performance in over four months.

    “Often when people come to see a performer on stage, they’re seeing the character not the performer, so for better or for worse, at these recitals you’re getting me.” Bradley Daley as quoted by InQueensland.

    The Australian tenor has won critical and popular praise for some of opera’s most expansive tenor roles – Siegfried, Der Kaiser, Otello, Florestan, Canio, Don José and Erik. Most notable have been his interpretations of Mao Tse-tung in Nixon in China and the tenor solos in The Dream of Gerontius

    For Opera Queensland Bradley has performed the roles of Florestan in Fidelio, Rodolfo in La bohème and Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West, as well as Bob Boles in Peter Grimes for the 2018 Brisbane Festival.

    Prior to his performance in Opera Queensland’s Peter Grimes for the 2018 Brisbane Festival, Bradley made his debut with Opera Kiel in the role of Siegfried in The Ring Cycle.  This led to an invitation in 2019 to sing the role of Der Kaiser in Richard Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten. Last year he also toured nationally singing Pinkerton in Opera Australia’s production of Madama Butterfly.

    Internationally he has sung with Opera North, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Holland Park Opera, Co-Opera Ireland and performed regularly with Muziektheatre Transparent in Belgium, Compagnia d'Opera Italiana di Milano, and Opera Nomade in Paris. In 2005 he was invited to give the first performance of a Western opera at the Hanoi Opera House.

    Concert performances include Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Dvorák's Stabat Mater, Verdi's Requiem, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9Die erste Walpurgisnacht for the Prague Music Festival, Messiah with the Britten Sinfonia at Snape Maltings and Elgar’s The Kingdom and The Dream of Gerontius at Melbourne Town Hall.

    “I’m looking forward to singing repertoire that I know well and that I’ve been performing on stage, and I’m looking forward to taking that to a much more intimate level, where it’s just me singing it to a group of people as opposed to all the lights in the orchestra – it can be very easy to get lost in the production.”

    For An Aria A Day, Bradley performed the much loved 'Vesti la giubba' from Pagliacci, Ruggero Leoncavallo's only opera that is still performed in opera houses across the world. In support of emerging artists, Bradley has donated his appearance fee to the Freelance Artist Relief Fund.
     

    https://youtu.be/ffoitf2IAVo
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